At Moreno’s vineyard, where Hospitality has home

At Moreno’s vineyard, where Hospitality has home

Hospitality, a recurring word on tourism manuals

It may look absurd, this is definitely misused by too many hotel chains, and people involved in hospitality sometimes are missing the deep meaning of this word.

Hospitality is something that can’t be planned, you need the will to open the door, to listen and enter the private dimension and experience of somebody else life.
Few days ago I’ve learned about hospitality more than on my 10 years working for a hotel chain. Where?

Moreno's vineyards

Come with me, I’ll tell you about Moreno and his family

At the big oak on the left, just before the junction to Jerzu, we head towards the countryside crossing the neat rows of a vineyard under beautiful fall colors.
Moreno welcomes us at the gate of his farm, he shakes our hands and pauses to know who you are, while preparing the barbecue. An enthusiastic and curious man, with thousand of skills and an iron will, a man that changed his life to live his own dream.
His house overlooks the valley, a great view point over the Ogliastra region, and introduces us to Ilaria, his wife, the other half of heaven.
They want to know the stories of those who came from the other side the world: Florida, Colorado, Vermont.
Ilaria is the great organizer of the hearth, and she must have an immense strength … for sure with 4 children !! The table is set, simple yet neat, and shows all the dishes they proudly prepared for us. By the way, the sweet and sour onions with honey are just to die for.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Mara, part of the family, is preparing the “culurgiones”, a local kind of Ravioli, stuffed with potato and mint.
She handles the dough and closes each culurgione by pinching it with the fingers, getting each time a perfect shape.
By her hands we see a tradition that has been passed down to her from the past, she manages this art and each Culurgione is a masterpiece. We would like to try, but no one asks Ilaria..she reads our minds and in a moment we have aprons and flour on our hands … of course the result is quite different from the masterpieces of Mara, but never mind, the atmosphere is magical.

A tavola!

We all are sitting at the table, chatting, tasting delicious food and listening about the life of Moreno and Ilaria and their wonderful children.

We talk Sardinian, American, Italian, and we “breathe” hospitality, that was woven during this day of November.
A walk along the rows of vines, while the children hide and steal few grapes, complete and concludes an unforgettable day in Jerzu with its magic atmosphere, a day that may change the perception towards hospitality, helping to grasp its true meaning.
It’s time to go back home with the promise to meet again, even if the ones who say it come from Vermont or Montana, because today is such a good day for everyone’s heart and life.[:]

Culurgiones, a tipical Sardinian pasta

Culurgiones, a tipical Sardinian pasta

On a beautiful day at a friends house, which we’ll tell you more in the next days, with a group of American friends we kneaded, stretched, cut, filled, closed, and cooked some wonderful culurgiones of Ogliastra, which are a kind of ravioli. Oh, we’ve also eaten…


This is the recipe, try it yourself, but don’t expect the same result obtained by the skilled hands of a lady from Ogliastra:

  • 1kg of potatoes
  • 500 grams of durum wheat
  • 300 grams of cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 fresh mint leaves

You boil the potatoes whole, then peel and mash it. You knead the flour with warm water and a little of salt, until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Now you should wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let rise it for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan brown minced onion and garlic, then combine them with mashed potatoes, along with the grated cheese and chopped mint and mix between them.
As the dough has risen, stretch it and make circles using a large glass, on which you put a tablespoon of filling. Now we are ready to close culurgiones. But here is the hard fact, achieving closure with the typical plait requires a good teacher, a good manual skills and lot of experience. It will not be today, in fact. Looking forward to perfect the technique, we can fall back on a simple closed semicircles, folding the circles on them and seal the edges with a light finger pressure.
You are now ready to enjoy your culurgiones!


I’m just a cook: Roberto Petza

I’m just a cook: Roberto Petza

This is Roberto Petza, and he defines himself as a cook, not as “Chef”.
This subtle difference describes him as a modest person that, thanks to his work and his team, really promotes Sardinia.
In a world that has too many Chef superstars , it’s a pleasure to meet somebody not bigheaded.
He has a record of challenges and success, certified by the Michelin star award, but also by being known as a pioneer.
His last creation was the opening of S’Apposentu restaurant on the buildings of a former pasta manufacturing plant, in the small village of Siddi, located in the Marmilla region famous for agriculture and its excellent foods.
This choice, plus the exclusive use of local grown food, even from the restaurant vegetable garden, shows a business thats it’s totally integrated in the environment.
S’Apposentu it’s not jsut a restaurant, but a Temple of Taste, a place that teaches the cooking from professional chefs to cooking passionate, sharing a cuisine able to innovate yet respecting the sardinian traditions, never campy and always focused on conviviality.
This is a place not to miss!