If you have read my post about the best festivals and events in Sardinia, you will have seen Time in Jazz mentioned among the ones you should not miss during the summer.
This is a music festival of international fame. It takes place each year in Berchidda and some nearby small towns and brings to the island several great artists and many visitors who appreciate jazz and other kinds of music. It takes place between the first and the second week of August, lasting for about a week. The first edition took place in 1988, organized by Sardinian musician Paolo Fresu.
The festival is usually divided into paid events, where you can meet more renowned artists, and free events held in important/historical spots in the various villages and their surroundings, to add value to your trip. The events are not limited to music but include all types of performing arts such as dance and movies.
Curious to find out more about this popular event? Continue reading!
Who Is Paolo Fresu?
Paolo Fresu is a musician (trumpet and flugelhorn player) who was born and raised in Berchidda. He started getting interested in music at a young age when he played in the city band and learned the basics. He then moved to Sassari to study at the Conservatory and found his lifelong path: jazz.
After working his career and experience, he took another course at Cagliari’s Conservatory where he graduated in 1991. In 1988, he decided to create the Time in Jazz Festival, improving it year after year and making it grow from a city seasonal festival to an internationally appreciated one.
What Is Time In Jazz About?
Time in Jazz usually takes place in Berchidda and a few other small towns nearby and follows a different theme every year.
When it was first founded, it was merely a local musical event (although the guests for the first edition were all great jazz musicians!), but thanks to Paolo Fresu, who kept pushing for a new edition each year and always took care of the organization despite his rising fame, it has now become an important rendezvous for numerous artists and a great spotlight for young talents.
Despite its name, Time in Jazz doesn’t only give space to jazz musicians. It’s also a good starting point for emerging artists in other music genres and for movie directors and dancers. The events are abundant and held throughout the day, in different places that usually hold a cultural or natural value, so to highlight every feature of the beautiful Gallura area.
Paolo Fresu himself, who has been the Time in Jazz Organization president since the first edition, never fails to perform in his hometown and always brings great artists to the stage, contributing to the fame and quality of every edition and helping the festival’s reputation grow year after year.
Another excellent thing that helps the festival be successful every year is the extraordinary effort of hundreds of volunteers, both from Sardinia and outsiders, who every year come to Berchidda to help with the organization and running of the event.
Where Does Time In Jazz Take Place?
The main city where Time in Jazz is held is Berchidda, a small yet pretty village in a valley, at the feet of the Limbara mountains. The vast majority of the events are held here. One of the most loved ones is the so-called “FestivalBar”, where musicians tour the city’s bars, performing in different places every night. Other events include concerts, literature–themed seminars, and movie showings.
The other places where the festival takes place are all in the area surrounding Berchidda and change every year (even if they host events cyclically). This year, the chosen ones are Arzachena, Bortigiadas, Buddusò, Bulzi, Ittiri, Loiri Porto San Paolo, Luogosanto, Mores, Olbia, Oschiri, Porto Rotondo, San Teodoro, Telti and Tempio Pausania. Let’s see a bit more in detail the events of Times in Jazz 2021 and where they will be held.
Time In Jazz – 2021 Edition
This year’s Time in Jazz will be held from August 7 to August 16 and its theme will be the stars, with special events dedicated to Dante Alighieri (this years Italy commemorates 700 years from his death) and David Bowie.
The main concerts will be held in Berchidda (Piazza del Popolo Square), where there will also be several events especially organized for kids and the younger generations.
Tempio Pausania will be the location for one of the events, held each year, most loved by the public: a concert dedicated to Fabrizio de Andrè. O
n the 13th, in Oschiri, Pietro Casu will perform a dramatic reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Sardinian.
The events from the 7th to the 11th are sort of a “pre-festival”, while the actual opening will be held on the 11th at night by Paolo Fresu, who will perform a tribute to David Bowie with other great artists.
Time in Jazz tickets
This year, because of the health emergency, all events must be pre-booked and admissions will be capped. You can buy the tickets for the paid events on vivaticket, where you can also view the calendar.
How to get to Berchidda from Olbia
Olbia is the closest main city to Berchidda, and since it has a harbor and an international airport with connections to the rest of Italy and Europe, it makes sense to use it as your starting point to attend Berchidda Time in Jazz Festival.
If you are arriving from Olbia, just follow State Road 127. It’s a 38 km (23.6 miles), 40 minutes drive.
From the airport, take line 2, get off at Mameli fr. Casermette stop in Olbia and walk to Olbia (Piazza Crispi) stop (or start from there if you are in the city). Take bus line 1401: it will take you to Berchidda’s Piazza del Popolo in about an hour and a half.
There are four trains leaving from Olbia airport to Berchidda station. They all take about one hour and depart at 1:00 pm, 1:35 pm, 6:00 pm and 8:00.
Where to eat in Berchidda
Albeit small, Berchidda is a village with a lot of great restaurants. Tourists coming here for Time in Jazz – or visiting on other occasions – can’t help but fall in love with the local cuisine. Here are the top picks:
Maman Ludì – I semi del Gusto – The restaurant, relatively new, offers a great view of the village and the mountains. They serve several traditional dishes, both meat and fish-based, and some newer ones, a fusion between Sardinia and Bologna’s dishes. The prices are average, not too cheap but not excessive either. Guests love the chocolate dessert and the kind, well-mannered staff. Definitely a must-go place!
Ristorante Nuovo Limbara – A cozy and well-managed restaurant in the center of Berchidda. Guests love the traditional food and the possibility to book for big groups, for a fixed price and menu. The Zuppa Berchiddese (Berchidda’s soup) they serve is particularly renowned. Prices are fair.
La Perla – This place serves as a restaurant, pizzeria, and steakhouse and is located at the entrance of the village. It can be a bit pricy but well worth the money. They serve traditional, simple Sardinian dishes and more elaborated ones. The staff is polite and skilled and the location itself is simple but warm and cozy.
L’Agnata di De Andrè – This restaurant is located in Tempio Pausania, in the house that was once owned by Fabrizio de André, who was a famous singer, poet, and songwriter. The restaurant is very suggestive, the location is peaceful. You will pay €45 for a fixed menu including many traditional dishes. Here takes place, every year, one of Time in Jazz’s most loved events: the concert paying homage to De Andrè.
Where to sleep
If you visit Berchidda for the Time in Jazz events, you will surely need a place to sleep. Here are some suggestions:
- Agriturismo B&B Domo De Resteblas – Located in an old tenure at less than 2 km (1.2 miles) from the village, this place is peaceful and therefore really appreciated by guests. Breakfast is served in a panoramic spot and the rooms are equipped with every comfort. They also offer a swimming pool and free parking.
- Vallicciola Nature Hotel – Another great place to stay in a peaceful location, immersed in nature, only 7.5 km (4.6 miles) away from Berchidda, in Tempio Pausania’s municipality. They offer great rooms with free Wi-Fi and private bathrooms, continental breakfast and they have their own restaurant. Guests love the stunning mountain view.
- B&B San Michele – A nice Bed and Breakfast in Berchidda’s San Michele area, it offers a great view and excellent rooms. The only slightly bothersome thing is the common toilets, but the vast majority of guests book more than one room and have therefore all the house for themselves as if they were renting an apartment. It’s the ideal place for families or groups of friends.
Remember that Time in Jazz is a famous festival. If you are planning to visit Berchidda during this time of the year, make sure to book a place well in advance!