Can Can Cannonau


It's dusty, windswept, almost African in its wide-flung spaces and scraggy escarpments. Isolated old farmhouses, propped up with corrugated iron, shelter rusting car chassis in the yards; wildly pink bougainvillea tumble over decrepit walls. Sheep dot arid, grazed-up, grey hillsides that finally give way to vines. A few rows here and there begin to turn gold and crimson in the cool of early October. It's a stark contrast to the white-sand beaches and lapis lazuli seas of the tourist guides.

Sardinia (Sardegna) – just a little larger than Tuscany – is an island of contradiction and contrast. Its 1,850 km...