Notes on a Sardinian Breakfast

by Joelle

Lately I have been posting several times a day on Instagram and neglected Joelle Magazine. Among the different tags I created, one, #Breakfast AroundThe World With Joelle has been quite popular with instafriends. But after my recent trip to the North of Sardinia  at the hotel Capo d’Orso,  in the small commune of Palao , the breakfast  beat them all. Why? Simply because of  Valentina Rosso’s soft notes of the  Harp to the overall enchanting experience.

Six in the morning , I wake up  gazing at the beautiful view of  Cala Capra Bay  and the chimes Caprera Island in front of  my room’s vast terrace  perched over by a blue sea , olive  trees and  old village  tiled rooftops village  typical of an authentic Sardinia or even the region of  a more  exotic French Provence. Slowly, My husband and I pack for the day in silence and head to the sea the wind carrying the aroma of myrtle, arbutus, rosemary and wild juniper  filling our beings  with sweet scented air, flower-filled  stone arches , and a few ” Buon Giornos” from the staff.

We reach one of the paths to the sea suspended wooden solariums. There, as we sit on teak loungers shadowed by trees, we pick our prayers books , meditate for a while  and plunge into the fresh deep green waters. The swim is reinvigorating,  the fish feast us as we take ourselves seriously into laps until we  reach one of the most beautiful sandy beache of the region, Cala Selvaggia nestled amid  lush natural vegetation and protected by the famous Roccia dell’ Orso.  Flanked by coves sheltered from the winds , the landscape is superb. We rest a few minutes on the sand looking at the sky turning bluer than ever and the crystalline waters framing this  perfect  moment of  peacefulness.

We decide to walk back through the park of the estate. We pick some rosemary and camomile leaves for tea. We  stop at the  L’Incantu ( The Enchantment)  the Thalasso Spa. We indulge in long warm showers,  and walk together, refreshened and energized to the outdoor upper level stoned paved breakfast court . Later in the afternoon I will meet the therapist for a “Scent of Gallura Ritual”,  an aromatic scrub with flowers of salt followed by a Mediterranean massage with oils of Sardinia while my husband will try his first golf class with Gianni ,the charming instructor.

The sun now  high in the sky , reflects it’s warmth over a silver sea as Maria in black pants and white shirt,  whose sweet, quiet expression resembles  Pompeo Batoni’s Madonna with short hair,  welcomes us to sit under a large Olive tree wrapped by the roots of a pink Bouganvillae . At our back  the elongated, golden arp.  And yes, the freshly squeezed orange juices, the Miele di Corbezzolo and the one  that still contains hexagonal-shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb. Fresh croissants, locally made ricotta cheese, flavored pistachio , walnut and hazelnut olive oils , buffalo mozzarella imported daily from Naples and Burrata from the region of Puglie. Home made orange, strawberry  and blackberry jams, olives, smoked and marinated salmon, herrings, white sardines in vinegar, crostata di albicocche ( apricot custards), eggs poche on whole west toasts,  and succulent fruits grown under the sun. We pick some into our stylish marine hotel bags for later. We will have dinner only at eight.

Valentina Neeltje Rosso in her long black dress was born in Amsterdam in 1984. She told us she began the study of harp at 14 years old and graduated with honors at the “Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi” of Turin under the supervision of Gabriella Bosio. In Lausanne where she moved, she  attended  her MSc in Harp Pedagogy at the “Haute Ecole de Musique”, where she perfected her studies with Letizia Belmondo.

She likes to teach the instrument to small children. Her touch on the chords is soothing, the notes caressing one’s soul, her movements  gracious.  I am surrounded by angels, the breeze carries me away to what I suppose is heaven. I taste heaven,  I smell honey,  I am grateful to have found this place and to have met you dear Valentina!

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