Where the Mountains turn Pink

SARDINIA – San Pantaleo // The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

As Sardinia gets fancy, the quaint and quiet San Pantaleo stays true to itself. The original Italian village is a must visit.

Why Bond was here
James Bond (Roger Moore) and his Russian counterpart Triple X (Barbara Bach) head to Sardinia to follow the trails of marine megalomaniac Karl Stromberg (Kurt Jürgens). Shortly, after they have been discovered, Stromberg sends out his first henchmen on a motorcycle – just as Bond and Triple X drove their Lotus Esprit through the small village San Pantaleo.

San Pantaleo

The start of the car chase in San Pantaleo

How you gonna get there
San Pantaleo is hidden away in the mountains west of Costa Smeralda. There is a bus from Olbia leaving several times a day, driving for about 30 minutes.
When coming by car, take either the road SP59 from Porto Cervo to Arzachena or road SS125 from Olbia to Arzachena. Look out for the road signs that lead to San Pantaleo. SP73 is directly leading through the village.
In San Pantaleo, two spots had been used for filming. The first one is at Via Molise and Piazza della Chiesa, the main square next to the church. The Lotus drives along a s-curve where there is now a stone monument of Pope John Paul II. The second scene is two crossings south at Via Guiseppe Verdi and Via Terni, between what is now a pharmacist and Pizzeria Ichnos.

Good to know
The quaint and quiet village is Costa Smeralda’s only original. Where many places along the coast are artificial tourist hubs, San Pantaleo is a true Sardinian town – from its church piazza to its homemade pizza joint.
Go there in the late afternoon and sit for a sundowner at Caffe Nina at Piazza della Chiesa. The in-crowd from the Yachts will join you there and sip at their wines and martinis. Look around you as silence lays down over the village like a night blanket. The mountains surrounding San Pantaleo turn pink as the sun sets.
For dinner we recommend Pizzeria Ichnos, a true Italian gem. The restaurant looks a bit plain, but the pizzas are great. They are freshly made in a big revolving oven, paper-thin and just yummy.

As we lived nearby we came to San Pantaleo several times. At noon the village is asleep and quiet, but in the afternoon it comes alive. Small vendors open their shops and offer art and clothes. In the evening, San Pantaleo gets crowded around the piazza with locals and Smeralda guests raising their glasses.

© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 1977 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)