44 Facts About Sardinia


Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, and one of the 20 regions of Italy.

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Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient bodies of land in Europe.

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At the time, Sardinia was at the centre of several commercial routes and it was an important provider of raw materials such as copper and lead, which were pivotal for the manufacture of the time.

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Around the 9th century BC the Phoenicians began visiting Sardinia with increasing frequency, presumably initially needing safe overnight and all-weather anchorages along their trade routes from the coast of modern-day Lebanon as far afield as the African and European Atlantic coasts and beyond.

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Roman rule in Sardinia lasted 694 years, during which time the province was an important source of grain for the capital.

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The governor of Sardinia continued to be called the praeses and apparently continued to manage military, judicial, and civil governmental functions via imperial procedures.

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Sardinia did the exact opposite, declaring the island's independence from Carthage and opening negotiations with Emperor Justinian I, who had declared war on Hilderic's behalf.

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In 533, Sardinia returned to the rule of the Byzantine Empire when the Vandals were defeated by the armies of Justinian I under the General Belisarius in the Battle of Tricamarum, in their African kingdom; Belisarius sent his general Cyril to Sardinia to retake the island.

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Sardinia remained in Byzantine hands for the next 300 years aside from a short period in which it was invaded by the Ostrogoths in 551.

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Some modern references state that Sardinia came under Aghlabid control around 810 or after the beginning of the conquest of Sicily in 827.

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Kingdom of Sardinia remained Aragonese-Spanish for about 400 years, from 1323 to 1708, assimilating a number of Spanish traditions, customs and linguistic expressions, nowadays vividly portrayed in the folklore parades of Saint Efisio in Cagliari, the Cavalcade on Sassari, and the Redeemer in Nuoro .

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In 1708, as a consequence of the Spanish War of Succession, the rule of the Kingdom of Sardinia passed from King Philip V of Spain into the hands of the Austrians, who occupied the island.

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In 1718, with the Treaty of London, Sardinia was eventually handed over to the House of Savoy; this Alpine dynasty would go on to introduce the Italian language on the island forty years later in 1760, thereby starting a process of Italianization amongst the islanders.

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In 1798, the islet near Sardinia was attacked by the Tunisians and over 900 inhabitants were taken away as slaves.

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In 1861, being Italy united by a debated war campaign, the parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia decided by law to change its name and the title of its king to Kingdom of Italy and King of Italy.

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Sardinia lost more young people than any other Italian region on the front, with 138 casualties per 1000 soldiers compared to the Italian average of 100 casualties.

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In 1946, by popular referendum, Italy became a republic, with Sardinia being administered since 1948 by a special statute of autonomy.

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Sardinia faced the creation of military bases on the island, like Decimomannu Air Base and Salto di Quirra in the same decades.

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Today Sardinia is phasing in as an EU region, with a diversified economy focused on tourism and the tertiary sector.

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Sardinia has the 2nd highest rate of school drop-out in Italy.

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Sardinia has two public universities: the University of Sassari and the University of Cagliari, founded in the 16th and 17th century.

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Sardinia's economy is in the best position among Italian regions located south of Rome.

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Sardinia is the only Italian region that produces a surplus of electricity, and exports electricity to Corsica and the Italian mainland: in 2009, the new submarine power cable Sapei entered into operation.

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Sardinia is home to nearly four million sheep, almost half of the entire Italian assets and that makes the island one of the areas of the world with the highest density of sheep along with some parts of the United Kingdom and New Zealand .

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Sardinia has been for thousands of years specializing in sheep breeding, and, to a lesser extent, goats and cattle that is less productive of agriculture in relation to land use.

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Sardinia is the 5th Italian region for rice production, the main paddy fields are located in the Arborea Plain.

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Sardinia produces most of the pecorino romano, a non-original product of the island, much of which is traditionally addressed to the Italian overseas communities.

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In Sardinia is located the DASS, a consortium of companies, research centers and universities focused on aerospace industry and research.

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Sardinia is involved in the industrial production of the AIRPod, an innovative car powered by compressed air, with the first factory being built in Bolotana.

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Today Sardinia is the second Italian region, after Lombardy, for investments in startups .

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Sardinia is the Italian region with the highest e-intensity index after the Aosta Valley and the region with the highest internet performances, such as fastest broadband connection in Italy.

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Sardinia is the Italian region with the highest percentage of 4G LTE users.

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Sardinia has become Europe's first region to fully adopt the new Digital Terrestrial Television broadcasting standard.

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Sardinia has three international airports connected with the principal Italian cities and many European destinations, mainly in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Spain and Germany, and two regional airports .

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Since 2016, Sardinia is divided into four provinces and the metropolitan city of Cagliari.

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Sardinia is the only autonomous region in Italy where its special Statute uses the term popolo to refer to its inhabitants.

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Sardinia is home to one of the oldest forms of vocal polyphony, generally known as cantu a tenore.

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Sardinia has produced a number of notable jazz musicians such as Antonello Salis, Marcello Melis, and Paolo Fresu.

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Since 2004 Sardinia has hosted the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, a rally competition in the FIA World Rally Championship schedule.

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Sardinia is well known for scuba diving and snorkeling activities due to the many underwater caves and caverns located in Alghero and Cala Gonone, Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio limestone cliffs, and many sunken shipwrecks.

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Sardinia is one of the regions in Italy which are most affected by forest fires during the summer.

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Sardinia has four endemic subspecies of birds found nowhere else in the world: its great spotted woodpecker, great tit, common chaffinch, and Eurasian jay .

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In some cases Sardinia is a delimited part of the species range.

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Conversely, Sardinia lacks many species common on the European continent, such as the viper, wolf, bear and marmot.

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