IT-143686 196 - ая открытка

Country: Italy

Distance: 2,040 km

Travel time:  12 days

On postcard: Sardinia

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus). It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are (clockwise from north) theFrench island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.

The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[], romanised as sardus (feminine sarda); that the name had a religious connotation is suggested from its use also as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater "Sardinian Father" (misunderstood by many modern Sardinians/Italians as being "Father Sardus"), as well as being the stem of the adjective "sardonic". Sardinia was called Ichnusa (the Latinised form of the Greek Hyknousa), Sandalion, Sardinia and Sardo by the ancient Greeks and the Romans.


Sardinia (in spanish and italian: Cerdeña) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. To the west of Sardinia is the Balearic Sea, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea; to Sardinia's east is the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is also an element of the Mediterranean Sea.

The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 km long) are generally high and rocky, with long, relatively straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, rias, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast.

The island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and the mainland of Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date from the Palaeozoic Era(up to 500 million years old). Due to long erosion processes the island's highlands, formed of granite, schist, trachyte, basalt (called "jaras" or "gollei"), sandstone and dolomite limestone (called tonneri or "heels"), average at between 300 to 1,000 metres. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora (1,834 m), part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara (1,362 m) in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano (1,259 m) running crosswise for 40 km (24.85 mi) towards the north, the Monte Albo (1057 metres), the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, and the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas (1236 metres) in the southwest. The island's ranges and plateaux are separated by wide alluvial valleys and flatlands, the main ones being the Campidano in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliariand the Nurra in the northwest.

Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 km (93.83 mi) long, which flows into theSea of Sardinia, the Coghinas (115 km) and the Flumendosa (127 km). There are 54 artificial lakes and dams which supply water and electricity. The main ones are Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, shallow, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km (1,149.54 mi) of the coastline.

The island has a typical Mediterranean climate. During the year there are approximately 300 days of sunshine, with a major concentration of rainfall in the winter and autumn, some heavy showers in the spring and snowfalls in the highlands. The average temperature is between 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F). The Mistral from the northwest is the dominant wind on and off throughout the year, though it is most prevalent in winter and spring. It can blow quite strongly, but it is usually dry and cool and makes for a sailor's paradise.


The Sardinian language is widely spoken on the island, as well as Standard Italian, the national language of Italy. Sardinian is a distinct branch of the Romance language family, and not a dialect of Italian. The language has been influenced by Catalan, Spanish and indigenous Nuragic elements with some roots from Phoenician and Etruscan. While it has been significantly supplanted by Italian for official purposes, in 2006 the regional administration has approved the use of Limba Sarda Comuna in official documents. As a literary language, it is gaining importance, despite heated debate about the lack of standard orthography and controversial proposed solutions to this problem.

The two most widely spoken forms of the Sardinian languages are Campidanese spoken throughout the southern half of the island, and Logudorese (Logudoro), from the central region, extending almost to Sassari.

The Sassarese and Gallurese varieties are often termed Corso-Sardinian dialects. Spoken in the extreme north of Sardinia (shown as light and bright green on the map), they are sometimes considered as independent languages or to be part of the Corsican language rather than Sardinian.

Alguerès is a variant of the Catalan language spoken in the city of Alghero (shown as light blue on the map).

On the islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, located in the south west of Sardinia, the local population speaks a variant of Ligurian calledTabarchìn (shown as pink on the map). Venetian and Friulian are spoken in Arborea and Fertilia. In Fertilia the Istriot language is spoken too.



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