Palm trees grow everywhere and it is not unusual to see some hardy souls swimming in the sea in winter, usually English or Irish.
There is a local saying that when God made the world he had lots of rocks left over so he piled them all into the sea and it’s now called Sardinia. This is because the land is full of stones and boulders of epic sizes. When you dig foundations to build a house you will have enough rocks to build a small pyramid. Water that falls in the mountains filters down through all these rocks so just about every property built in the country has its own well and it is not unusual to bore a water hole down through the rock layers, and install a pump for a well. Our own house has a bore hole 182 meters deep with a water level only 20 meters below ground. There is no shortage of water in Alghero and agricultural water is piped all over for irrigation purposes. This makes Alghero particularly green, even in summer, though some areas get very parched and dusty.
The abundance of water and the guaranteed sunshine means solar panels for hot water are everywhere. The solar boilers that hold the hot water can be backed up with gas boilers so that even on very cloudy days there is still hot water. Gas and solar power are the order of the day throughout Sardinia, as electricity, often wind generated is eye wateringly expensive! However, although this state of affairs might seem strange to northern Europeans who rely heavily on electricity, it works very well indeed and can cut a hole in the running costs of the average country home.
Buyers should be aware that for at least 2 weeks in August all the builders in Sardinia stop work and take a holiday so any renovations in progress will come to a sudden halt.
Talking of builders it seems that the Italian national past time is the dodging of paying tax, so it will come as no surprise to be offered two prices for any work you ask for, black and white.
The national past time is so well entrenched that laws have been passed preventing the payment of cash for anything over 1000 euros. This can be a bit of a headache when the new kitchen arrives and you have to drive back to the store to pay with a credit card. Its a strange system but fine once you get used to it.
All that sunny weather washing dries in an hour or two and anyone with green fingers will be in paradise.
Want to grow lemons, avocadoes and grapes? Go ahead – no problem. Make your own wine.