SARDINIA: THE FACTS
September is the best time to visit: the crowds have subsided but the sunshine has not.
COSTA SMERALDA AND VICINITY
The northeast coast of the island has luxury, jet-setters, fragrant vegetation, and crystalline waters.
Pitrizza Porto Cervo; 800/325-3589 or 39-0789/93011, fax 39-0789/930-611; doubles from $787, including all meals. The most elegant and intimate of the upscale hotels around Porto Cervo, with 52 rooms, a horizon pool, a private beach, and an A-list clientele.
Cala di Volpe Porto Cervo; 39-0789/976-111, fax 39-0789/976-617; doubles from $787, including all meals. Jacques Couelle designed this resort in 1963 as an ancient village with Gaudiesque touches. There are pools, shops, and a tender to a private beach club.
Hotel Due Lune Puntaldia; 39-0784/864-096, fax 39-0784/864-017; doubles from $125. A tasteful, quiet resort, used mostly, in Angela Missoni's words, "by private people."
RESTAURANTS AND NIGHTLIFE
Grazia Deledda Strada per Baia Sardinia, Arzachena; 39-0789/ 98988; dinner for two $112. Named for Sardinia's Nobel Prize— winning novelist, this renowned traditional restaurant is on the road between Porto Cervo and Arzachena.
El Peyote Villasimius; 39-0789/98800; dinner for two $50. Small, atmospheric Mexican restaurant and bar for the late-night, dancing-on-tables crowd.
La Gallura 145 Corso Umberto, Olbia; 39-0789/24648; dinner for two $64. Spectacular Sardinian cooking, both traditional and modern. Run by Rita Denza for more than 65 years.
Il Portico Porto Cervo; 39-0789/931-603. On the busy Piazzetta, the café for having a drink and seeing who's in town.
Sopravento Porto Cervo; 39-0789/94717. One of the biggest discos in the area, near Golfo Pevero. The scene at Sottovento (39-0789/92443) next door is more intimate.
Billionaire Porto Cervo; 39-0789/94192. Open only during high season, this disco is the inner sanctum of the outwardly affluent.
There's an urban feel to the historic main town in the archipelago, but amazing beaches are right nearby.
Gabbiano 20 Via Giulio Cesare; 39-0789/722-507, fax 39-0789/ 722-456; doubles from $52. A modest hotel with good views on the edge of the port.
Giuseppe Garibaldi Via Lamarmora; 39-0789/737-314, fax 39-0789/737-326; doubles from $84. Small boutique hotel above the harbor.
La Grotta 3 Via Principe di Napoli; 39-0789/737-228; dinner for two $50. Family-run local favorite since 1958. The no-nonsense menu features mollusks and fish in hearty sauces.
Cervo 23 Via Vittorio Emanuele; 39-0789/733-014. The Gepetto-like Umberto Cervo, a self-taught artisan, makes interesting, modern-looking jewelry and leather goods.
Baghi Baghi 1 Via Montebello; no phone. Unusual vintage clothing and curios at great prices.
A city with Catalan character and café culture on the island's tranquil northwest shore.
Capo Caccia Via Capo Caccia; 39-0799/46666, fax 39-0799/ 46535; doubles from $170. On a cliff above the sea, with a private beach and extensive recreational facilities.
Villa Las Tronas 1 Lungomare Valencia; 39-0799/81818, fax 39-0799/81044; doubles from $166. Near the historic town center, this former royal villa has a pool, a garden, and a genteel, old-fashioned atmosphere.
RESTAURANTS AND NIGHTLIFE
Al Tuguri 113 Via Maiorca; 39-0799/76772; dinner for two $50. Small, old restaurant with the best Catalan cooking in Alghero. The elderly owner is either charming or imposing, depending on how you look at it.
Diva 1 Piazza Municipio; 39-0799/82306. Hip and lively late-night hot spot for locals.