Ciao Sardinia Grand Tour! My name is Marco, but people know me as “Sorrisino”, in Italian it means “Smiley”. I was given this nickname because of an ever smiling look I live with. I was born in Cagliari, it was July 1982, Italy had just won its third football world cup. I grew up in one of the eldest neighbourhood in the city. I graduated in foreign languages, after that I lived a year and a half in Australia. Nowadays I work for a Sardinian cycling tour operator.
First steps as a guide
It all started by chance, as every beautiful thing in life. I simply saw an advertising flyer in my university. Pick up the phone, had a chat, had an interview, and off I went, I was with a group! It was almost 10 years ago. I still remember the excitement, the difficulties, the worries.
I was discovering a new world, of which I didn’t even suspect the existence. I didn’t know yet that I was going to inhabit that world for a long while.
What bike represents to you?
Freedom. Being on a bike is being free. You rely on anything else than yourself and your own strength. It all depends on you, how far you can go, how long you want to go, how fast you wish to move. There is no petrol involved, nor a complicated engine. It’s all there, in your hands, it’s all about you.
And bike is also lightness. You need to be light when on a bike. It teaches you how to recognize the essential things, both when cycling and in your life.
Bike is flying. I must have heard this one on a song, or who knows where. Cycling is the thing that brings us the closest to flying. Your body loses contact with the ground, you move quickly and with agility, and still you are silent, it is all very natural. Air blows gently on your face (except on a day of strong Mistral wind, in that case air blows with a certain amount of power in your face, and you kind of hate it !), you are gliding
A guest you would like to have here
He was Marc, a member of a group I lead. He was very passionate about astronomic. At night, after dinner he used to lead the group in darker spots in the villages to show us the stars and the constellations. He had with him a laser punter, with which he pointed at the stars he was talking about. He had that beautiful simplicity and calmness of those who know perfectly what they love in life.
A place you love, in Sardinia of course
I would say the beaches of Chia and the surroundings. In winter, it seems as if you are hundreds of miles away from every human being, you can get lost in its blinding beauty and silence. The colours are… it’s hard to find the words. Colours are sharp, there is no halfway, the blues are deep and definite, so are the greens, the yellows and so on. The sky is bright and endless, or dark and heavy, there really is no half way.
Sardinia, in three things
Ah, this one is hard!
To me, Sardinia is some landscapes. One in particular: the Sella del Diavolo (devil’s saddle). It’s a rock dominating the beach of Cagliari, the Poetto. It’s one of the sights I am most close to. Whenever I see its shape, I know I am home.
Sardinia is also a scorching summer afternoon. Sun is high and pitiless, it’s hot, everything around stands still because of the heat. You can only hear crickets, people and animals try to move as less as possible. I love it!
Finally, Sardinia is cycling in the Costa Verde empty roads, surrounded by a rough landscape, filled with smells of Mediterranean bush. The road goes on endlessly, losing itself in countless bends, opening up in breathtaking views of pristine beaches.