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Ital y Regions
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About the Region


Italy holds the distinction of having the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea: the largest being Sicilia and the second being the lesser recognized island of Sardegna. Often forgotten by others because of its obscure location from the main peninsula, much of the island is wildlife area and primeval landscape filled with rocks, trees and the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The history of Sardinia dates back many thousand centuries; in fact the first sure traces of human presence date back to 100,000 B.C., although it was only much later, around 6,000 B.C. that the first permanent settlements were founded. These are some of the world’s earliest settlement findings.


This culture takes its name from its most typical monument, the "nuraghe", and an impressive tower building, in the shape of a cone, built with large boulders. Over the centuries, this fortified structure became gradually more elaborate, with the addition of curtain walls and turrets, thus requiring a more articulate floor plan.

The Phoenicians who, in the 8th century B.C. founded the first permanent settlements, selecting coastal areas with natural harbors, the best locations for trading and commercial centers. A period of Carthaginian domination ensued from 500 to 238 B.C. The Romans came in 238 B.C. spreading their domination also in the inland areas, where the local people were more fiercely independent. To that end they established a strong, efficient administration, well served by a network of roads, of which some sections remain and which has in the main been followed by the modern highway system.

Torre di Bari

The decadence of the Roman Empire had strong repercussions on the island, leading to the abandonment of agricultural land and of many coastal settlements, coupled to a reduction in the population. Sardinia, abandoned to its own resources and defenseless, was occupied and raided by the Vandals from Africa for about 80 years (476 - 530 A.D. Later, after their defeat by the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, the island passed under the rule of Byzantium. In the 9th century A.D., when the Arabs were completing their conquest of the Mediterranean, North-Africa, Spain, and part of France and Sicily, the coastal areas of Sardinia were subject to their raids and incursions.

The lack of interest or guidance from distant Byzantium led the Sardinian people to take charge of their own destiny: as a result, Sardinia was divided into the four "Giudicato" (Judgeships) of Arborea, Cagliari, Gallura and Torres, each of which had an autonomous government, presided over by a "Giudice" (Judge), and with an administrative and military organization.

Through various events, in the 13th century Sardegna lost their independence to the mainland Italy powers of Pisa and Genoa. Only the Giudicato of Arborea retained its autonomy until 1478, when the crown of Aragona finally conquered the whole island, which already in 1297 had been allotted to it as a feudal holding by Pope Bonifacio VIII, together with Corsica.

The new "Regnum Sardiniae" was later to rank among the overseas domains of the Spanish Crown until the early XVIII Century. Judgeships survived until the brief spell of Austrian domination in1708 to 1718. With the "Treaty of London" the Regnum Sardiniae was awarded to the Savoy, princes of Piedmont. Thus, the Kingdom of Sardinia was founded. Sardegna retained a degree of autonomy by Statute until 1847, when it was definitely joined to Piedmont under a single government. After the wars of Independence, when the Unity of Italy was achieved, the Kingdom of Sardinia became the kingdom of Italy (1861).

Today Sardegna is an "Autonomous Region" of the Italian Republic and as such, it is regulated by the Special Statute (1948) As far as local administration is concerned, Sardegna is divided into 4 provinces: Cagliari, which is also the capital city of the region, Sassari, Nuoro and Oristano. These provinces include in all 377 communities and have a total population of 1,660,000 (About 40% of the population of Sicilia), most of which are located on the coastal areas.

Sardinia is a complex and many-faceted island, which in its culture, landscape and art preserves the traces of its long history, an original, deeply marked heritage, which today is gradually being rediscovered and appreciated in all its richness. Despite the simple lifestyle of the people of Sardegna it has become the newest hotspot in long list of Italian beach resorts. In fact the Costa Smeralda, since its development in the 1950’s is now geared for the worlds elite, heads of major businesses, millionaires, royalty and major celebrities go to enjoy the tranquil beaches and happening nightlife. The beaches are now strictly controlled in order to maintain their appearance.

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