#OnLiteraryLocation in SARDINIA with Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea

12th June 2017

#OnLiteraryLocation with ….Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea, in the footsteps of her characters Faye, Charlotte and Fabio…..

TripFiction’s Andrew chatted with Rosanna Ley, author of #TFBookClub choice The Little Theatre by the Sea, ahead of going to Sardinia to follow in the literary footsteps of Rosanna, her characters and places.

He’s there now. Let’s hear how he is getting on…. (and as he travels, we will be posting some fabulous photos for you to drool over!). Over to Andrew:

Bosa is a charming town on the west coast of Sardinia. Visiting it myself for the first time, I can completely understand why Rosanna used it as the core location – becoming her fictional Deriu – for her latest “destination novel”, The Little Theatre by the Sea.

“The jumble of buildings lay mainly between the riverbank and the hill beyond; both the town and the river were backed by mountains which stood, tranquil, seemingly untouched for centuries. Faye could see what looked like a castle on top of the hill, the other old buildings sheltered beneath. The cluttered houses were painted various shades of pastel, the river snaking from the cradle of the lush mountain valleys in the east through to the sea beyond”.

Beautiful view from the Castle over the red-roofed centro storico, and the River Temo snaking back towards Bosa

I walked along the river Temo, from its mouth by the sea towards Bosa. I saw the converted houses on the riverbank, where Rosanna’s principal character Faye stays in friend Charlotte’s house, whilst planning the design of Deriu’s Little Theatre.

Converted houses on the riverbank, where Faye stays with Charlotte & Fabio

From there, I got lost amongst the crumbling pastel-shaded townhouses of the centro storico, climbing ever upwards through shiny-cobbled alleyways towards the 12th century Castello Malaspina, guarding Bosa from its dominant hilltop.

That’s the centro storico, the old mediaeval town,” Charlotte pointed towards the castle on the hill. The lower reaches of the old town were in shadow. “It was originally founded by the Phoenicians – because of the fertility of the soil and the river, I should think. The sea and the marina are over there,” she gestured ahead. “And we live on the riverbank.” She laughed. “Like Ratty and Mole from Wind in the Willows.”

More about Bosa Marina later, where the mysterious Alessandro Rinaldi works as a boat builder. Alessandro and his sister Marisa hire Faye to work on the design of their old Little Theatre, around which hangs much history and conflict amongst the town’s inhabitants.

The boatyard… could this be Alessandro’s boatyard?

For now, I just enjoyed the labyrinthine streets of the centro storico, where “most of the balconies were crammed with window boxes and the peeling paintwork had a charm of its own. The fragrances of jasmine and basil hung honeyed in the air….

Beautiful Bosa. Bellissimo Deriu.


Andrew’s trip has been made possible by the generosity of Sardatur Holidays “Italian Holidays crafted from the finest ingredients” and you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and via their website. And do come and join team TripFiction on Social Media:

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For plenty more books set in SARDINIA, just click here!

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