Autunno in Barbagia – Aritzo

Aritzo was our first destination for the event Autunno in Barbagia.

Before going there we googled a bit and figure out that the city was famous by the chestnuts produced there and also they traditional ice cream called carapigna.
The Carapigna

The carapigna

The story says that the ice collected in the mountain was transported by the “niargios” to Cagliari, they would make a special type of ice cream with lemon called Carapigna.

Ice, sugar, and lemon juice are the ingredients of a delicious product in its surprisingly simple form. The ‘carapigna’ of Aritzo is the ancient sorbet traditionally produced with the ice accumulated during winter in the highlands of Funtana Cugnada. A frozen cream is the result of hours spinning the metal container in contact with ice.

The history of Aritzo’s carapigna dates back to the early 1600s. The locals devised a clever strategy to preserve winter snow, which, collected in snow pits dug at an altitude of 1,400 meters and covered with branches for protection, could be utilized in the summer. The ice obtained by compressing the snow was extracted in blocks as needed. Today, the production process of carapigna remains the same as it was back then.

The crushed ice goes into a wooden tub (su barrile), inside which a steel sorbet container (sa carapignera) is placed, containing the artisanal lemonade. The addition of salt inside su barrile significantly lowers the melting temperature of the ice in contact with the outer walls of sa carapignera, which is rotated clockwise and counterclockwise by the craftsman. The heat exchange facilitated by the rotational movement causes the water, lemon, and sugar solution to freeze in contact with the inner walls of the sorbet container.

Chestnuts and wine

The city is also known by its production of chestnuts. You can find it all around and price is around 5 euros for a small bag.

In the main square, near the church they will prepare roosted chestnuts that later is distributed for free for the visitors together with wine.


In Sardinia they have this tradition that is called Canto Sardo that they will sing their stories in a chorus. It is really beautiful to see. There is also a particular type of chorus that they will in only 4 that I will show in a different post.

Anyway, walking around the city we found them in their costumes singing.


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