Meet Rina from Sardinia


I have always tended to travel abroad without a lot of advance preparation. Sure, I have purchased a small language dictionary, or a guide book and have even contributed to Lonely Planet over the years.

But, the notion of just showing up is more important than all the advance research, particularly when all the odds are against you, like arriving on a popular Mediterannean island during the month of August.

Everyone said, “Are you mad?” Okay, so my British friends said, “are you mad?” and my American pals said, “are you nuts?”

Finding Rina involved a spontaneous decision to leave a crowded but pleasant Santa Teresa in Italy’s Sardinia, and head further up the coast to an area we had hoped would be less slammed with summer traffic.

What’s interesting about both Sardinia and Corsica in the summer is that in over a two week period, I had not once heard an American accent. Largely visited by Italian and French mainlanders, the dynamics are incredibly different than they would be during the same month in the Caribbean or the Virgin Islands.

I went on a journey seeking the ‘authentic’ as we all do, if not on a holiday, then in our daily lives. For me, it’s always about the journey and the Rina’s of this world.

Ah yes, Rina, a close to 70 year old Sardinian-born woman who lives a mere hundred yards or so from Stintino’s waters edge, a port filled with sailing ships and small cruisers. It could quite easily be a smaller, old world version of Nice or while it tries to capture some continental tourists two to three months out of the year, it lacks the wealth and trappings of a more established tourist destination.

There are few hotels, one overpriced one along the main drag and a handful of smaller inns (often in homes) on side streets. All of these were booked of course since no one waits until 4 pm on the day of, in peak season to find a room.

Then there are gites, which are people’s homes for rent, or in this case, a room in someone’s home – Rina’s home. It was really more like a B&B, but it, like a couple others in the town, were listed as gites. Here, a spare room or two may be offered to the weary traveler on their journey.

Often owned by people who lived in the same house their entire lives, gites are more common in mountainous areas and villages in France. But in Stintino, under the guise of gite, B&B, inn, whatever, I met Rina. Lovely, playful, loaded with a sense of humor and business acumen, I wanted to adopt her and her me within minutes of walking into her house. Meet Rina.


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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2 Responses to Meet Rina from Sardinia

  1. Manuela - Blog-Sardinia March 24, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    This is a lovely post and you surely understood a lot about Sardinia.

    My island, is amazingly beautiful but with a very fragile economy. Tourism is very seasonal and prices tend to go high in those two months of July/August.

    Shame, as Sardinia is blessed with a lovely mild and sunny weather and if you are prepared to escape the most popular resorts and visit off pick you can really meet the real Sardinia and the most interesting and genuine Sardinians Rina.

  2. jennifer May 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Great post on Sardegna. It’s a lovely island here, which I now call home. Hope you make it back one day, albeit not in August.

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