I spent five days at Cagliari’s T Hotel for a science meeting and appreciated the modern amenities (wi-fi! a good restaurant! a bath tub! coffee breaks!). But at the end of the meeting, I was ready to get outside. Cagliari itself was unimpressive and we were on the fence about renting a car (60 Euros for a day). But thank God we did. We drove down to an archaeological site called Nora, which was first settled in the 8th century B.C., dominated variously by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Spanish. It was less than 200 kilometers from North Africa and remnants of North African marble and mosaic designs could be seen in the ruins of a wealthy citizen’s house. We also took a winding drive along the Costa del Sud, a rugged part of the Sardinian coastline that reminded us of California’s Pacific Coast Highway. It was a land of aquamarine bays, jagged, toothy rocks, and lonely, abandoned Spanish watchtowers. I don’t know if many of the other meeting goers were able to get out to the Costa del Sud, but it made me understand why tourists would come here and why Sardinians would be proud of their survivor of an island.