La Sardinia (Sardigna in Sardinian, Sardhigna in Sassari, Saldigna in Gallurese, Sardenya in Alghero, Sardinia in tabarchino) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an Italian region with special status whose official name is Autonomous Region of Sardinia.
Lo Special Statute, enshrined in the Constitution of the 1948, guarantees the administrative autonomy of local institutions to protect linguistic and geographical peculiarities.
In Sardinia they talk differently Romance languages: in addition to Italian, expressed by most of the speakers in its regional variant, the most widespread language on the island is Sardinian, considered immediately after Italian the most conservative among the Romance languages.
Despite the insularity mitigated only by the proximity of Corsica, from which it is separated by the Strait of Bonifacio, the strategic location at the center of the western Mediterranean Sea since ancient times has favored the commercial and cultural relations, as the economic, military and strategic .
In modern times many travelers and writers have extolled the beauty of Sardinia, immersed in an environment still largely unspoilt with several endemic species and a landscape that is home to the remains of Nuraghic.
Sardinia is by extension the second island of the Mediterranean, after Sicily, and the third Italian region, still after Sicily and Piedmont.
The length between its extreme points (Punta Falcone north and Cape Teulada in the south) is 270 km, while 145 are miles wide (from Cape dell'Argentiera to the west, east to Capo Comino).
It is 189 km (Capo Ferro - Monte Argentario) from the coasts of the Italian peninsula, from which it is separated from the Tyrrhenian sea, while the Sardinia Channel it divides it from the Tunisian coasts of the African continent which are found 184 km further south (Capo Spartivento - Cap Serrat).
To the north, for 11 km, the Strait of Bonifacio separates it from Corsica and Sardinia Sea to the west, from the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.
Mountains and hills
More dell'80% of the territory is mountainous or hilly for a total area of 16.352 ² km, of which 67,9% is made up of hills and rocky plateaus.
Some of these are very characteristic and are called jars or gollei if granite or basalt, heels or if tonneri sandstone or limestone.
The mountains are formed from very ancient rocks and leveled by slow and continuous process of erosion.
Culminate in the center of the island the mountains of Punta La Marmora (1834 m), Bruncu Plug (1829 m), Punta Paulinu (1792 m), Punta Grass Irdes (1676 m) and Monte Spada (1595 m), located in the Massif Gennargentu, which slopes down towards the south (interrupted by the path of the Flumendosa) with Mount Perdedu Seulo (1334 m) and Monte Santa Vittoria Esterzili (1212 m).
From the north, there are the mountains of Limbara (1362 m), the Mountains of Ala (1090 m), Mount Rasu (1259 m), the Monte Albo, mountains 7 brothers (1127 m), and with the Supramonte Corrasi Oliena (1463 m).
Under the Gennargentu are the heels of Ogliastra with Punta Seccu 1000 m high in the territory of Ulassai.
To the south of the Monte Linas (1236 m) and the Mountains of that slope down towards the sea with lower altitudes.
Plains, rivers and lakes
The flat areas occupy the 18,5% of the territory (for 3.287 km & sup2;); the most extensive plain is the Campidano which separates the northern center of the mountains from the Iglesiente mountains, while the plain of the Nurra is located in the north-western part between the cities of Sassari, Alghero and Porto Torres.
The rivers are predominantly torrential.
The most important are the Tirso, the Flumendosa, the Coghinas, the Cedrino, the fear, the Flumini Mannu.
The major ones are blocked by imposing dams that form large artificial lakes used mainly to irrigate the fields, among these the basin of the Omodeo lake, the largest in Italy.
Then follow the Flumendosa basin, the Coghinas, the Posada.
Unique natural lake and the Lake of Baratz located north of Alghero.
Coasts and Islands
The coasts are divided into bays dell north of Orosei on the east, to the south of Cagliari and Alghero and Oristano on the west.
For a total of 1897 km, are high, rocky coves and with that to the north-east in the valleys become deeper and s'incuneano.
Low and sandy coasts, sometimes swampy areas are located in southern and western: they are coastal ponds, wetlands are important from the ecological point of view.
Many islands and islets surround it and among these the largest is Island of Sant'Antioco (109 km & sup2;), then follow: Asinara (52 km & sup2;), Isola di San Pietro (50 km & sup2;), La Maddalena (20 km & sup2;), e Caprera (15 km & sup2;).
The four extreme points are: Capo Falcone (north), Capo Teulada (south), Head cumin (to the east), Head dell'Argentiera (west).
By extension, Sardinia is the third Italian region and the second largest island in the Mediterranean.
Its natural landscape alternates between mountain profiles on the morphology suggestive spots and forests, ponds and lagoons torrents that create gorges and waterfalls, long sandy beaches, rugged cliffs and slopes.
The limestone formations are the 10% of its surface and the karst phenomena are frequent in the areas of east-central and south-west, with the formation of caves, potholes, sinkholes, underground lakes, karst springs, such as those Gologone Oliena and Su Marmuri Ulassai.
The granite rock formations are suggestive, characterized by jagged spiers that the continuous erosion of atmospheric agents has often modeled, creating singular sculptures scattered all over the island, such as "Palau bear","Castelsardo elephant", the"Arzachena mushroom"," sa Conca "in Nuoro in Monte Ortobene to name a few.
Although the launch of some parks proceeds with some difficulty, some are under the protection of the most important parts of the coast and large areas of the interior.
This natural heritage is integrated with the historical and cultural heritage, represented by the ancient sites of archaeological interest and the remains of the most recent of the mining complex.
The Autonomous Region to preserve and enhance this unique legacy has defined protected areas under protection.
In total there are:
- 2 national parks
- 2 regional parks
- 60 nature reserves
- 19 natural monuments
- 16 areas of significant naturalistic interest
- 5 WWF oasis
1985 from Sardinia has a body just forest called the Forest Service and Environmental Surveillance of the Sardinia Region.
Thanks to the mild climate, unspoiled landscapes, the purity of marine waters, Sardinia attracts every year a large number of vacationers (2007 in the number of tourists for the first time exceeded 10 million visitors.
The first investment and the first development plans date back to 1948 in conjunction with the final defeat of malaria and with the acquisition of the status of autonomous region.
The first infrastructural promotions and achievements were implemented through the ESIT Regional Authority (Sardinian Tourist Industry Agency) and the first tourist boom developed between the years' 50 and 60, especially at Alghero and in his Riviera del Corallo.
But the biggest tourist boom was realized starting from the early sixties when it was founded by Ismaili prince Aga Khan to "Costa Smeralda", with the place of election Porto Cervo, In the municipality of Arzachena.
From the beginning tourism in this area was characterized mainly as an elite, based on the quality of accommodation and infrastructure as well as on natural beauties especially due to its proximity to Maddalena archipelago with the offer of numerous routes for boaters.
Its main centers soon became places for the election of the international jet set and among the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean.
This initiative was followed by a myriad of other settlements, still in the area, such as Cala di Volpe e Capriccioli but also in the rest of Sardinia.
In a few years, the industry grew exponentially to become one of the leading sectors of economic activity.
In the seventies, as a result of the increase in value of the areas, there was a strong exploitation of the coast with new buildings, mainly second homes.
Subsequently, the various regional governments for about 20 years have tried to prepare a landscape plan which to date is still the subject of controversy and conflict.
In recent years, the tourist offer has partly changed, moving towards diversification and seasonal adjustment, trying to involve inland areas and enhancing culture, art and archeology, equestrian tourism, Hiking, bird watching, sailing, free climbing.
Of note also the Ski Bruncu Plug the only ski resort island located in the mountainous part of the latter and a destination for tourists who love winter sports.
An important support for the seasonal adjustment in recent years has been guaranteed by the many low cost flights connecting the island to several European cities.
Centrally located in the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia has been since the dawn of civilization a mooring frequented by many sailed from one side of the Mediterranean Sea in search of raw materials and new markets.
Its territory is rich in forests, water and minerals, has favored human settlement, and the planting of substantial settlements.
So it was that throughout its history has been able to take advantage of both its insularity - that has allowed the development of civilization nuragica - both from its strategic position as an essential place in the network of ancient paths.
In its historical and cultural heritage are abundant testimonies of indigenous cultures but also the influence and presence of the most ancient colonial powers.
About 8.000 nuraghis, about every 3 ² km (7.000 scattered in Sardinia), hundreds of villages and megalithic tombs are evidence of a unique civilization that has developed on the island since the second millennium BC
The dolmen was the center of social life of ancient Sardis, but in addition to the towers, other structures characterized their culture, such as the tombs of the giants (burial sites) whose central pillar can be up to 4 m high, holy wells (places of worship) from the refined manufacturing technique, the number of bronzes arrived to our days and time using the lost wax technique are the symbol of the civilization that built them nuragica but also in Sardinia.
The Nuragici were a warlike people and boater shepherds and farmers, divided into nuclei tribal (clan) who lived in the so-called cantons.
They traded with the Mycenaeans, with the Minoans, with the Phoenicians and Etruscans, along routes that crossed the Mediterranean from Spain to the coast of Lebanon.
Their most famous symbol, the nuraghe, was classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site, identifying "Su Nuraxi" At barumini the most significant example.
Bright colors and various shapes and original, traditional costumes are a clear symbol of belonging to a specific collective identities.
They are considered a treasure trove of ethnographic and cultural traditions from the very peculiar characteristics, the result of centuries of historical layers.
Although the basic model is homogeneous and common throughout the island, each country has its own traditional clothing, male and female, which differentiates it from other countries.
Getting there and around
By ferry for those traveling by car.
By plane for those in a hurry, or by train, to enjoy the hinterland calmly.
All the ways to better discover our westernmost island.
The plane remains the fastest way to reach the island (about an hour's journey).
The Sardinian airports of Cagliari, Olbia and (to a lesser extent) Alghero are frequently connected to the continent by many airlines. The greatest number of connections, even with the smaller ports of the country, is guaranteed by Sundial, Ryanair, Alitalia, Air Italy e Easyjet.
For those who want to go in Sardinia by ship, or with your own car, the connections are insured by Moby Lines, Sardinia Ferries, Tirrenia, Grimaldi Lines, Grandi Navi Veloci e SNAV.
To move around the region it is mandatory to have a car. In Sardinian airports it is possible to rent a car at a car rental. The cost varies depending on the type of car and the time of use.
Among the major car rentals, Reviews, Greater e Hertz, which have offices in the island's airports.
In addition to the main guidelines of Trenitalia, Ferrovie della Sardegna they offer a light train service on the Cagliari, Macomer-Nuoro and Sassari sections for Alghero, Sorso and Nulvi. In this case the problem is given by the railway infrastructures, definitely dated.
To move from north to south there are companies that carry out bus rides such as Arst or Ferrovie della Sardegna and Southern Sardinian Railways (only in Sulcis, Iglesiente and Cagliari.