The Secrets of Sardinia
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The Secrets of Sardinia - SOLD OUT!

September 30-October 08, 2024
Double Occupancy: $7995 per person
Single Occupancy: $8895 per person
Airfare is not included.

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Tour Highlights

Sunset in Alghero coast

The Italian Island of Sardinia has an incredibly high percentage of people living to the age of 100 or beyond. The proportion of centenarians in the population is twice the rate considered normal for the rest of the world! Making it to your 100th birthday barely raises an eyebrow. How do they do it? Join Go Learn as we search for Sardinia’s secrets to long life. We will enjoy the local customs, food, and way of life that have made Sardinia fascinating and unique.

We’ve planned an epic nine-day exploration of Italy, beginning with the luxury and big city bustle of Milan before turning our focus to Sardinia and its culture of health and long life! We will spend our time exploring Sardinia’s “Blue Zone”, an area known for having the world’s highest concentration of centenarians and for the overall health and strength of its inhabitants! Our trip leader, Giuliana Marple, will share with us her research into the “Blue Zone” and the history and insight to her native Italy and Sardinia’s unique approach to aging. We’ll see the sites, experience the culture, and taste the unique food and wines that Sardinia has to offer. We will enjoy boat rides, hiking, historic walks, cooking classes, and wine tasting all in the name of research and longevity. We’ll even learn how to make fresh sheep’s milk cheese from a local shepherd! This is the type of trip that creates a life-time of memories!

We’ve handled the details, you’ll just arrive with an open heart, ready to learn from the amazing experiences we’ll provide. Don’t let this life-changing opportunity pass you by. Experience Italy’s finest and book your spot today!

Tour Highlights Include:

Algherro old town

  • Enjoy a Welcome apéritivo on one of Milan’s many beautiful terraces.
  • Explore Milan on a guided tour that includes the gorgeous sites of Duomo rooftop, Brera, Via Lincoln, Arco della Pace, Giardino della cultura.
  • Discover the Nuragic civilization of Sardinia in the archeological tour in one of the most impressive Nuragic Complexes in the area.
  • Spend time in Sardinia’s “Blue Zone” where you’ll explore the culture and way of life that have been studied for the life-extending properties they seem to possess.
  • Enjoy a cooking class with local women who honor old and precious traditional recipes from the Barbagia region.
  • Spend time with shepherds in the Supramonte where we’ll learn about cheese making and sample the fresh homemade cheeses.
  • Explore the breathtaking Neptune’s Cave, one of nature’s most breathtaking sites in the Mediterranean.
  • Swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Sardinian Sea as we discover the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago aboard a comfortable motorboat.
  • Learn, through daily lectures and discussions, Sardinia's secrets for a long and happy life, including Active Lifestyles, Family/Friends Interaction, Organic Food, Stress-fee Environments, Healthy Environments, and Self-love and Acceptance.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Monday September 30, 2024 - Milano—The Martini

Today you arrive in beautiful Milan and make your way to the hotel. In the late afternoon, we meet in the lobby to say our first “Buonasera” to Milan. Together we’ll learn about the famous aperitivo culture from Northern Italy. The aperitivo, an alcoholic beverage meant to be consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite, was invented in the late 1700s. The Northern Italian culture around them has expanded to be much more than just a drink, it’s an experience! You’ll get to enjoy your aperitivo from one of the most beautiful terraces in Milan before enjoying a lovely group dinner. It will be a nice, relaxing day as we recover from traveling!

Afterwards, the evening is yours to explore on your own or get some sleep.

Hotel: Rosa Grand
Meal: D
Activity level: Moderate

Day 2: Tuesday October 1, 2024 – Milano and Brera

Duomo of MilanWe’ll start with breakfast and a brief discussion at the hotel before we are off for a guided tour of Milano. No trip to Milan would be complete without seeing the view from the top of the Duomo rooftop; people come from all over the world to walk amongst the cathedral spires. We’ll also see Milan’s chicest district, Brera. Located in the heart of Milan, this charming area is known as the artists’ district and one of the most beautiful places in Milan. The breathtaking views continue in Via Lincoln, where we’ll be surrounded by houses in vibrant pastels of pink, purple, yellow, blue, and mint green. Sometimes called “the Notting Hill of Milan”, this is a must-see stop.

Next stop is the Arco della Pace, or Arch of Peace, with its fascinating history and eye-catching architecture - it’s an absolute can’t miss. Then we’ll explore Giardino della Culture, the Garden of Culture. This area was opened in 2015 and is a testament to the artist’s nature that thrives in Milan; they took a long-neglected area of the city and turned it into a public space with shared gardens, amazing murals, and gorgeous ornamental plants.

This will certainly be a life-changing day enjoying the quiet luxury of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and offers a look at new sites and experiences in this great city.

Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure, we’ll see you in the morning!

Hotel: Rosa Grand
Meal: B
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 3: Wednesday October 2, 2024 - Cagliari

Sunset in CagliariEarly breakfast at the hotel and then it’s time to check out to head to MXP Airport and catch our flight to Cagliari. Once we arrive in Sardinia, we will be met by private coach and taken to our beautiful hotel in the city center. We’ll spend the afternoon walking in Cagliari’s historic Castello district in the old city, where rulers and nobles once lived. You’ll witness the luxurious marks of the old aristocracy throughout this area. There are so many things to do and see, we won’t be able to get to them all!

We’ll finish the day getting to know each other over dinner. Followed by our first lecture from Giuliana to help prepare us for tomorrow’s Sardinian adventure!

Hotel: Hotel Palazzo Tirso or similar
Meals: B, D
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 4: Thursday October 3, 2024 - Staisili—Orgosolo—Oliena

Bari Sardo towerWe will breakfast at the hotel, then we’re on the move. We’ll meet our driver and drive to central-eastern Sardinia, where we’ll begin our discovery of Sardinia’s “Blue Zone.” Our first stop will be Upper Ogliastra where we’ll enjoy some snacks, made from local products, while enjoying a spectacular view of the sea. In the afternoon, we’ll move to Villagrande Strisaili, the village of longevity. Here you’ll find the world’s highest concentration of centenarians (someone who is 100-years-old or over) and see how they are celebrated. Together, we’ll explore the town and share some time with the local people.

The late afternoon will be dedicated to discovering the Nuragic civilization in the archeological tour in one of the most impressive Nuragic Complexes in the area. In the heart of Sardinia, we find the Supramonte countryside, wrapped in the ancient quietness of vineyards and olive groves, where the air smells of myrtle and rosemary.

Once we return to the hotel, the evening will be on your own to continue exploring what Oliena has to offer.

Hotel: Hotel Su Gologone or Hotel Cote Bianca
Meals: B, L
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 5: Friday October 4, 2024 - Ogliastra and the winery

Grapes for winemakingWe’ll breakfast at our hotel and then we have a cooking class! This cooking class is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn first-hand from local women who honor old and precious recipes in their homes in the Barbagia area. Sardinian cuisine features simplicity, genuine and frugal tones, with strong, authentic flavors—like sheep milk cheese, meats cooked in the fireplace, crusty bread, pungent oil, and hand-made pasta—prepared by Sardinian women every day. We’ll work to master the art of making passata, pasta, and local bread so you can impress your friends when you get home!

In the afternoon we’ll head to the mountains for a hike and to admire some of the most beautiful vistas of Ogliastra. Later, we’ll stop for a wine-tasting in a local winery to learn about wine making in Sardinia and sample some of their wares. Along the way, we’ll catch a glimpse of the Selvaggio Blu in Baunei.

Once we return to the hotel, the evening is yours.

Hotel: Hotel Su Gologone or Hotel Cote Bianca
Meals: B, L, Wine-tasting
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 6: Saturday October 5, 2024 - Cheese and trekking—Cala Gonone—Golfo Aranci

Porto RotondoWe will breakfast at the hotel before checking out and continuing our journey around the island. Today we enjoy a walk in the wildest areas of Sardinia, called The Supramonte, a mountain range whose history has contributed to creating an almost mythical and legendary image of this territory. To better understand this area, it is necessary to walk over the ancient limestone stones, the paths of the shepherds, and the old mule tracks of the charcoal burners. It is here, in the midst of the scents and colors of the Mediterranean scrub, under the trees of the most ancient primary forests of Europe, that you will feel silence. True silence.

We’ll meet a shepherd, who lives and works on the Supramonte, who will show us the area and teach us all about the art of cheese making. Lunch will follow with the shepherd’s family. And afterward, a quick stop at the beach, Cala Gonone.

We will check in to our boutique hotel in Golfo Aranci, where we’ll have dinner. Here, you’ll have uninterrupted views across the Sardinian Sea, coastline, and views of the most extraordinary beaches of the islands of the Maddalena Archipelago.

Hotel: Hotel Su Gologone or Hotel Cote Bianca
Meals: B, L, D
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 7: Sunday October 6, 2024 - Nettuno Caves and Alghero

Neptune Grotto

We will breakfast at the hotel before leaving for our Alghero adventure. Our first stop—Nettuno caves! Definitely worth seeing at least once in everyone’s lifetime, the marine grotto offers an experience of unique beauty and remarkable charm. Located on the northwestern ridge of the promontory of Capo Caccia between the cliffs overlooking the sea, Neptune’s Cave truly is one of nature’s most breathtaking sites in the Mediterranean.

We’ll embark on a walking tour with a local historian at the picturesque historic center, one of the best preserved in Sardinia. Enclosed by robust, honey-colored walls, it’s a tightly knit enclave of cobbled lanes, Gothic palazzi, and café-lined piazzas. Then it’s back to the hotel for dinner!

Afterward, the rest of the evening is yours.

Hotel: Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites or similar
Meals: B, D
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 8: Monday October 7, 2024 - La Maddalena and Caprera

La Maddalena harborWe will breakfast at the hotel before we head to the water. Today we’ll depart from the port of Palau and enjoy a full day discovering the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago, aboard a comfortable boat. Our experienced skipper will take us to the crystal-clear waters of the Sardinian Sea. You’ll be able to jump in for a swim or you can simply relax once we land at the beach. This is an exceptional day, that’s a promise!

We’ll stop at Cala Granara beach on Spargi Island before having an al fresco lunch on the boat or directly on Cala Granara beach. Then we’ll journey a short distance to the small bay of Cala Coticcio on Caprera Island and start our one-hour hike.

After our fun-filled day on the ocean, we’ll return to the port of Palau and head back to our hotel. The rest of the evening will be yours to explore and spend your final night in beautiful Sardinia.

Hotel: Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites or similar
Meals: B, L
Activity level: Moderate to Strenuous

Day 9: Tuesday October 8, 2024 - Departure

We will breakfast at the hotel before we depart for the airport. Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to Sardinia. Our private driver will transport you to Olbia airport where we will catch our group flight back to Milano before you head home or continue on your solo travels. Arrivederci!

We will see you soon at the reunion.

Meal: B
Activity level: Moderate

Giuliana Marple


Giuliana has been an international tour director for many years. She has directed programs for the university of Utah Learning abroad for more than a decade and she leads tours to Italy every Spring and Summer. One of her greatest passions is to teach. For the last 23 years as an educator she has been teaching Italian culture and society in many different kinds of settings. At the university of Utah she teaches Italian, Italian literature and civilization. Giuliana believes that traveling enriches the heart and soul, and opens the mind to new ways of seeing and living life.

Details and What to Expect


Like all Go Learn journeys, the adventure begins at home. We will meet about a month or so before the trip to discuss travel logistics and packing. This trip may appeal to travelers from all over the U.S. and we are happy to send you information you’ll need ahead of time if you cannot join us in person.

This trip will also offer a pre-trip lecture by Giuliana to help prepare us for what we will see and experience in Sardinia.

Our journey does not end with the day we leave Sardinia! A trip reunion a month or so after return is a wonderful capstone to an unforgettable and enriching edu-vacation, as we like to call our journeys!

Peace arch in Milan

About The Secrets of Sardinia

We deliberately picked September/October as the time of travel as we feel this will show Sardinia at its best (without the crowds of tourists). While we will miss the heat and humidity of the summer, the weather will still be warm and pleasant for our adventures. We can expect warm sunny days and cooler evenings with consistently pleasant high temperatures between 70 and 80-degrees and lows between 54-70 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to bring a light jacket in case you're chilled in the evenings and maybe something a little nicer for exploring Milan’s exciting night life.

Activity levels and restrictions

In order to fully explore the sights on our itinerary, we will be walking every day. We may walk between 5-7 miles daily. Some walking could be on uneven surfaces and we will encounter many stairs and some hills. We may stand on our feet for prolonged periods. We will be taking advantage of Sardinia’s beautiful and unique landscape through multiple long hikes in Sardinia’s hills and mountainside. We will also spend time on boats in the oceans and you will have the opportunity to swim. We consider this trip to be a Level 2 with the understanding that there is a considerable amount of walking and hiking.

Learn More about our .

Be sure to pack comfortable shoes! We will rely on the private buses for most of our transportation. Our full itinerary will leave you happily exhausted at the end of each day.

September 30-October 8, 2024

Tour is limited to 20 participants

Double Occupancy: $7995 per person
Single Occupancy: $8895 per person
Payment options are available upon request. Contact for information.
See for payment and cancellation details.

Cala Coticcio beachIncluded:

  • Airfare to and from Sardinia
  • Explorations of La Maddalena Archipelago by boat
  • All Hotel accommodations
  • All breakfasts and meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Cooking class with local women
  • Winetasting
  • All admissions to historical sites and museums
  • Each day has both planned activities and free time built in

Not included:

  • Airfare to and from Italy
  • Airport transfers upon arrival
  • Cancellation and lost luggage insurance
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Any costs outside of the itinerary