La Cavalcata, one of Sardinia’s biggest non-religious festivals, was a real humdinger this year. Taking over Sassari, the island’s second city, it’s an unmissable occasion sardinian festivalsfor anyone interested in the island’s traditions. The morning sees a long costumed procession representing towns and villages throughout the island, each group in their traditional garb. Walking or riding through the streets, resplendent in their tunics and dresses, the men and women sporadically break into folk dances to the accompaniment of accordions. Some of the costumes are particularly theatrical—not least those belonging to some of Sardinia’s obscurer mountain villages…

festival in sardiniaThe afternoon is devoted to feats of equestrian prowess at the local race-track, with teams of riders—completely unprotected—performing jaw-dropping feats, climbing onto each other’s shoulders while hurtling along at full gallop. The element of control is truly traditional sardinian dancingimpressive.
After supping royally at the superb Bella Blé restaurant, we headed for the grand Piazza Italia, the venue for traditional folk dances and unaccompanied singing.