The Island of stories – Sardinia surprises with its literary festivals

Gavoi - Festival Isola delle Storie

The Island of stories – Sardinia surprises with its literary festivals

A series of high-profile cultural events held throughout the year enthuses the Sardinian public and communities. One that stands out is the celebrated international in event in Gavoi, a fairy-tale village
An unusual and fascinating side of Sardinia, on the coast and also inland

A fascinating cross section of Sardinia, reflected in literary events with dates sprinkled across spring, summer and autumn. Unmissable occasions that will go with relaxation during a holiday spent on the coast or inland. The Island of Stories Festival (Isola delle storie) in Gavoi in the Nuorese area is the standard banner for the festivals, and is held in high summer, but in a pleasant environment, with the cool air that comes from being at altitude. Its prestige has done nothing but grow over its thirteen editions, and it is now a point of reference at a national and international level, together with other Sardinian literary festivals like La Notte dei Poeti, Éntula, Marina Café Noir.

Gavoi - Festival Isola delle Storie
Gavoi - Festival Isola delle Storie
Let yourself be carried away by tales and imaginative fairy-tale scenes

At Gavoi, in the heart of the Gennargentu park, you get the feeling of having entered a fairy-tale village. It is an unspoilt picture, and an unusual one where the silence is a pleasurable fellow traveller amongst the narrow, windy cobbled streets and welcoming piazzas. Since 2004 writers, actors, journalists, musicians and thousands of avid readers have met up in the weekend of the beginning of July. They are drawn by the warm welcome given by the people of Gavoi, who are happy to share their traditions and their good life with them. Houses are opened up to guests, and the colourful wooden balconies of the stone dwellings become stages for reading stories and accounts, while the piazzas are arenas for the audience.

Gavoi - via San Martino
You will become a star of the events and a participant in the Sardinian sense of community

You won’t be just a spectator: you will meet and talk with the authors, you will take part in participatory shows and art exhibitions. Your weekend will be spent between a series of events and emotions. In the Isola delle storie, adults, teenagers and children let themselves be transported by words and imagination, by tales of life and opera songs, read by the authors themselves. The curiosity of those who listen gives life to dialogues and exchanges of ideas. The festival continues until dusk, the colours of the countryside change and the atmosphere becomes more and more intimate and captivating. Don’t miss the after dinner talks in which you can share a drink of local Mirto with the authors in the village gardens. The prologue of the 17th edition is on 22 June, hosted by ISRE – Sardinian Ethnographic Museum in Nuoro: the Sardinian writer Marcello Fois and his Spanish colleague Arturo Perez-Reverte will be speaking.

Leggendo Metropolitano - Cagliari
cities and villages are enlivened by presentations, readings and meetings with authors

The inaugural event, on the evening of Friday 1 July, is ‘Ballo di famiglia e altre storie’ (Family dance and other stories), with guests David Leavitt and Chiara Valerio. From Saturday 2 July, meetings, readings and shows begin and last until Sunday 3 July. The first event of the morning includes readings ‘from the balcony’, a privileged place for listening and narration by female voices. The day carries on until dusk: the colours of the landscape change and the atmosphere becomes increasingly friendly and engaging. Piazza Sant’Antiocu hosts ‘Mezzogiorno di fuoco’ (High Noon) with celebrity guests. In the afternoon, there will be readings in the communal garden and the ‘Altre prospettive’ (Other perspectives) cycle will take place in Piazza Mesu Bidda. After dinner, it’s time for new encounters: Saturday with Bianca Pitzorno and Sunday with Dario Vergassola. Completing the programme, there are exhibitions, workshops and music. The ‘tributes’ are dedicated to Grazia Deledda, in the wake of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Nobel prize-winning writer’s birth.

Festival Letterario - Gavoi
Gavoi - Festival Isola delle Storie
from spring to autumn, literature is the star in dozens of events

Literary events will continue all summer and in autumn. From 7th to 23rd of July there is the rich programme of a great event: the 40th edition of the La Notte dei Poeti – the Night of Poets. The stage is set in a magical landscape: between the isthmus of capo Pula, the beach with the little church of Sant'Efisio and the ruins of the ancient Phoenician and Punic city of Nora, which then became Roman, very close to the splendid tourist venue of Pula. Poetry and fiction accompany theatrical, musical and dance performances, with great national and international authors.  At the beginning of August in Jerzu and Ulassai, in the heart of Ogliastra, there is the Festival dei Tacchi theatre festival. At the end of the same month, Seneghe, a village in the Montiferru, from 'oil village' becomes a centre for poetry with Cabudanne de sos poetas.. In October, there is an event for for younger people: Tuttestorie. From April to November the calendar includes sessions of the Éntula, a festival which spreads entertainment across piazzas, libraries and theatres in several Sardinian towns.