San Pantaleo market

San Pantaleo – vibrant artisan market town

Set among the ancient granite mountain peaks of the Cugnana massif that rises high above the Costa Smeralda, San Pantaleo is a serene and mesmerising market town that never ceases to charm and inspire both visitors and its 1,200 residents, many of whom are artisans.

Most of what they produce is exhibited and sold at the vibrant Thursday morning market alongside other fine and delicious marvels; local wines and cheeses are set out on stalls alongside chic linen clothing, glassware jewelry and delicately fragranced candles.

The market, although a weekly event, is never a static or predictable occasion. You may find yourself talking with a Florentine hat vendor before rounding a corner to exchange introductions with a Senegalese trader. It’s a global experience that’s distinctively local.

As you browse the stalls and absorb the atmosphere, you become aware of a shared spirit-lifting experience – of joy and delight in the sunshine beneath the white, pink and rosso corsa blooms of the oleander trees which adorn the town square.

Savour these moments with friends and strangers alike beneath the canopies and parasols of Café Nina and La Place, the latter venue states catalyzing elements: “Wine & Art” in neat lettering above its doorway. These are also evident all around as people relax and converse, sometimes across tables, to celebrate the revitalizing situation and people of a San Pantaleo market day.

As the sun lowers through the afternoon sky, the market vendors pack and depart.  People remaining are now fully engaged with one another, in groups or intimately as couples. You might decide to stay until nightfall and for as long as the venues stay open, or, perhaps with some reluctance, watch the last of your Spritz merge with iced water before making your way back to the road home; glorious with mountain peaks aglow, touched into a deepening pink by the sun’s softening rays. When will you return?