The hidden paradise on the earth, a true jewel in the heart of Mediterranean. Sardinia island, being the part of Italy, is famous in all the world for crystal-clear sea and numerous amazing sandy beaches, beautiful virgin nature, various landscapes, centenarians and high quality of life, the oldest history and civilization in Europe, millennium traditions and unique various cuisine.
Sardinia, with its about 1800 kms (1149 miles) of coasts, is the first island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy, which goes by the official name of Regione Autonoma della Sardegna (autonomous Region of Sardinia).
The “strategic” position of Sardinia in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Spain on the west, Italian Peninsula on the east, North Africa on the south and France on the North, makes this destination easily reachable, by one of numerous flights connections so as by several ferry boats.
Sardinia, with its archipelagos and small islands extending 270 km from north to south, and about 145 kms from west to east, covers an area of 24100 square kilometres (10000 sq mi about).
The island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date from the Palaeozoic Era (up to 500 million years old).
Full of mountains, forests, plains, largely uninhabited areas, rivers, rocky shores and long sandy beaches, the variety of its ecosystems, the island has been described metaphorically by many, as a micro–continent. In modern times many travelers and writers have extolled its beauty, remained untouched at least until the contemporary age, as well as on a landscape that is home to the remains of the mysterious Nuragic Civilization.
MAP OF SARDINIA
Sardinia has been, since the dawn of civilization, a mooring frequented by those who sailed in the western Mediterranean Sea area, in search of new lands and commercial opportunities. The Sardinia history has been able to take advantage of its insularity – that drove the evolution of Nuragic Civilization – and of its strategic position that has allowed the island to become a major commercial and cultural crossroads in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the historical and cultural heritage of Sardinia are abundant testimonies of indigenous cultures but also the influence and presence of ancient major colonialonizations.
There are at least three major different historic periods, among many in the history of Sardinia, that have deeply marked, more than others, the history of the Island. They are:
- The Nuragic Period;
- The Giudicati Period;
- The Kingdom of Sardinia Period
Sardinia is the cradle of Nuragic Civilization, that lived in the island from 2000 B.C up to the 2nd century A.C. The main signs left by this misterious civilization are the biggest megalithic structuresnamed Nuraghe, present in Mediterranean Sea only in Sardinia. There are more than 7000 thousand Nuraghe throughout the island, and other maybe 7000 more ones which are waiting to be digged to discover their sectrets. All Nuraghe are an intangible heritage by UNESCO.
The history of the island, the oldest in Europe, is very complex and ethnically complex. Speaking of culture of this Island presupposes inevitably to talk about several cultures of Sardinia, not just one. Cultures which divide and multiply in a variety of arts, musics, dances, traditions, cuisines. Indeed, depending on the area or region which we wish to talk about, Sardinia, or Sardinias, always change, km after km, from north to south, from east to west and the center.
This kaleidoscopic and cromatic characteristic of the island is visible and tangible just visiting it.
Traveling far and wide across this land, you would observe that also the nature appears to have adjusted to this anthropological, social and cultural plurality, offering territories, landscapes and views completely different.
This is the reason why Sardinia is often defined as a continent; just because, despite this earth can’t boast the geographical sizes, typical of a real continent, it still contains the features of it: different climates which characterize areas made of plains, plateaus and high mountains, alternating with valleys full of rivers, dry areas and deserts, rugged rocky coasts, fjords, bays and long sandy beaches, forests, swamps and important waterways rich in flora and fauna, often indigenous and unique.
For a excelent cooking, is necessary to count of autentic and genuine products.
Sardinia is the first region in Italy in terms of production in agriculture, animal breeding and fishing.
Over 300 hectares of the territory of the island are dedicated to growing vegetables, vegetable, fruit, as well as the extensive production of oil and wine.
Many are the national and international awards and designations that Sardinia can boast, more than many other regions in Italy, and mainly of them regarding a huge range of cheeses (Pecorino and Caprino), of excellent quality and unique in the world; wines, especially those indigenous, some of which trace their origins to the nuragic period (2000-1600 years BC), as: Bovale, Cagnulari, Vermentino and Cannonau, the latter often used outside of Sardinia to produce other wines, as for example, the French Bordeaux, made using Cannonau.
Livestock farming in the island meets over 60% of the demand of Italy, especially for the production of milk and its derivatives, as well as delicious meats, especially pork, sheep and lamb. Not everyone knows, that many of the cheeses, especially sheep, are produced in other Italian regions by using the milk made in Sardinia. It is estimated that in Sardinia there are about 4 or 5 sheeps per inhabitant, for a total of about 5 million sheep, that guarantee a quantity of milk sufficient to meet the national demand.
The meat certainly holds an important role in the Sardinian cuisine, and the most used are those of lamb, sheep, veal, wild boar, often roasted, grilled, or boiled and stewed.
Much wisdom, famous and universally recognized, is expressed in cooking the pork (Porcheddu in Sardinian, or Porcetto in Italian). Here as nowhere else you can taste the pork so tasty and suckling as in Sardinia.
You can not visit the island without tasting this delicacy!
As for fishing, besides the traditional fishing the Mediterranean Sea offers, above all: sea bass, sea bream, tuna, swordfish, croaker, snapper, lobster, sea urchins, is the production of a real excellence, represented by the Bottarga. The Bottarga is obtained from drying the mullet roe. Part of this production often goes to meet the demand of the rest of Italy and abroad, especially the Far East, as Japan, where the Bottarga is widely appreciated, together with the tuna, used for the famous sushi.
Another excellence of Sardinia cooking and that deserves special mention is the Bread.
In the island there are nearly 400 kinds of bread, many of them very ancient, like the bread Carasau, inevitable on the tables of the Sardinians and in any restaurant in Sardinia. Almost every village or town of Sardinia has its own type of bread, with its own specific name.
In Sardinia there is a type of bread for each event, occasion and celebration, such as the daily bread (Civraxiu), wedding bread (Corona des Isposos), the bread of the major holidays, made in many shapes and textures, such as Easter bread (Coccoi), New Year bread (Candelariu) and Assumption Day bread (Cocca), the bread of transhumance (Carasau), used mainly by shepherds; bread for the church (Cozzula), bread for soups and pastas (Zichi, Cugoni) as well as many other ones, always different in form or consistency, sometimes painted for the special celebrations (Pane Pintadu or Pintau), and so on, bread for the birth, for the period of the deceased, the bread of carnival period.. impossibile to name all of them here.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
In a society like today, hyper, in the era of globalization world, the memory of own origins and of the popular traditions is of primary importance in order to maintain its own identity. Sardinia, a very ancient land, which has its origins in the distant past, is very attached to their traditions, pagan and religious. There is no week or month of the year when there is a party in any part of the island. Sardinia also boasts its own official language, the language more deeply rooted in Latin, among the Romance languages known.
The holidays always mark the life of the island communities and in modern times, especially with the re-evaluation of many smaller festivals are linked to the desire (and the need) to reaffirm its unique cultural identity.
In Sardinia, go to parties is to immerse yourself in an ancient culture to discover sounds and harmonies unknown, rhythmic dances with rich traditional costumes, poetry competitions outside of time, the wild horse races, parades of folklore – on foot or horseback – with precious and colorful clothes of the past.
Often the festivities last for several days and involve the whole community; many times, for the occasion, are prepared special sweets and organized banquets with traditional dishes in which everyone can participate. Local festivals, the best known are:
|Faradda di Li Candareri (UNESCO in 2013)||August in Sassari|
|Cavalcata Sarda (Sardinian Cavalcade)||May in Sassari|
|Sagra di Sant’Efisio||May in Cagliarii|
|La Sagra del Redentore (feast of the Redeemer)||August in Nuoro|
|S’Ardia (reckless party with horses)||July in Sedilo, Pozzomaggiore and Illorai|
|Sa Sartiglia (amazing horses racings, very acrobatic, arcaic and traditional)||February in Oristano|
|San Gavino||May in Porto Torres|
|San Michele||September in Algheroi|
|Festa del Rimedio (Feast of Remedy)||in Ozieri|
|San Simplicio||May in Olbiai|
|Carnival||February in Tempio, Barbagia and Ogliastra|
|Lunissanti and Riti della Settimana Santa (Easter Week Celebrations)||during Easter week in Castelsardo, Sassari and other parts on the island|
PLACES TO VISIT
Breathtaking sceneries, history and ancient traditions – make the North of Sardinia, among the most fascinating of Italy, with its paradisiac white and sandy beaches and crystal clear sea waters, a cuisine of strong flavors an d an ancient wine culture, various popular touristic destinations and important archaeological sites dating back to the Nuragic Age (3500-4000 years ago). These are the common traits throughout this territory.
Sassari, in the northwest, is the most populated city with its 127.734* inhabitants, but the Northern of Sardinia also boasts many other medieval towns and boroughs, among the most beautiful in Italy, and often topped with ancient castles dating from the twelfth century, as Castelsardo, Alghero, Bosa, Osilo, Burgos, all of absolute and undeniable charm, which deserve a visit. Do not miss Alghero, important tourist town in Sardinia, full of beaches and natural sites among the most attractive in Europe, as the “Grotte di Nettuno” (Neptune’s Grottos); Stintino, a small fishing village, famous for the presence of the beach “La Pelosa”, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The north of Sardinia is often remembered also for the presence of the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) and its main tourism destination of Porto Cervo. The presence of a wide variety of luxury hotels, frequented by sheikhs, nobles, wealthy industrialists, actors and celebrities of the international jet set, make Costa Smeralda one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. The North of Sardinia also boasts the presence of two national parks: the National Park of Asinara Island (uninhabited and rich of flora and fauna unique in the world) and the National Park of La Maddalena (paradise of boaters) , as well as several regional parks and protected marine reserves. The northern Sardinia offers also other territories of absolute interest, from the plains rich pastures, to the long beaches of the Asinara Gulf enriched by sandy dunes systems and large forests of Mediterranean pine.
The rich green hills of the areas of Romangia, Anglona, Gallura and Barbagia are rich of vineyards and olive trees, from which are produced fantastic wines and oils of absolute value, such as the famed Vermentino di Gallura and Cannonoau, Cagnulari the finest and most prestigious known wines in Sardinia and the Bosana’s Extra Virgin Oil, an exceptional product for elegance and finesse.
The northern Sardinia also boasts prestigious products of livestock breeding, like the rich cheeses and savory meats. The north of the island is also important for the presence of “The Nuraghi’s Valley”, a vast plain in the area of Goceano, with over 30 Nuraghi, including Nuraghe Santu Antine (all Nuraghi, more than 7000 throughout the island, are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site), among the most complex and intact in Sardinia, along with other important Nuraghi as Nuraghe Orrioli or “Su Nuraxi” of Barumini, in Southern of Sardinia. A special mention deserves the area of Barbagia, with its preserved cultural and natural treasures, and its interisting boroughs of Orgosolo, Oliena, Dorgali and its fantastic wild coasts, close to the village of Calagonone.
BEST MEDITERRANEAN DESTINATION FOR AWESOME TRAVEL AND LUXURY HOLIDAYS
The Coast of Sardinia is perhaps the most picturesque in Europe. Sardinia is known throughout the world for its unique beauty and nature, thousands of stunning bays and crystal clear water with an incredible play of colors, from green to turquoise and blue. Maybe this explains the fact that many important people and the world’s elite choose to spend their holidays on the island, specially in the north, in the area of the famous Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast). The main centers of Porto Cervo, Poltu Quatu, Liscia di Vacca, Porto Rotondo, Baja Sardinia offer the opportunity for luxury vacations , various activities, night life and shopping. It is the center of the famous excusive resorts and one of the favourite places for luxury holidays.