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Map of Farm houses in Sardinia


 

Information on Sardinia


Population:

1.637.705 abitanti

Surface:

24.090

Boundaries:

In the north with the island of Corsica (France), in the east with the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the south and in the west with the Mediterranean Sea.

Agriculture:

Agriculture in Sardinia has never been particularly economically developed, but recently the island has begun to increaseoutput with the cultiation of vegetables, especially artichokes, olves fruit and cereals. The main source of agricultural income is, however, sheep breeding and rearing and has been a feature of this land since ancient times; the sheep provide wool and milk; cheese is the most important dairy product especially the Pecorino Sardo. The rearing of beef cattle and pig breeding is developing gradually. The production of seasalt and cork is a feature of the region.

Landscapes:

This marvellous Italian region has few mountains. Gennargentu, the highest one, has an altitude of 1.834 metres while the others, little more tham 1.000 metres, seem to have an almost horizontal profile when seen from a distance; in effect, mountains without true peaks. Geographically, Sardinia is mostly upland plain the rivers in the region are of torrent-like natuer and not one of them is very long. The longest is the Tirso (150 kms) which runs much further than any of the other island water-courses. The coastline stretches for about 1850 m and is, for the most part high and rocky; it also has small creeks which make up for the lock of bays or gulfs. There are only five of these: Cagliari, Orosei, Asinara, Oristano and Palmas. The most important plains sweep down to the sea; the largest, the Campidano, extends from coast to coast crossing the island obliquely. Except for the hilly areas, sardinia enjoys a Mediterranean climate with a mainly winter rainfall. Topography: Mountains 13,6% Hill 67,9% Plain 18,5%

Industry:

Like Sicily, Sardinia' s most developed industries are those of potrochemicals, situated in the centres of Cagliari and Port Torres. Other factories work in metallurgy, food products, mechanical engineering, paper making and cement. At one time mineral extraction was important but these days is almost non existent. Although not well developed, the handicraft industry is worth mentioning; it is based mainly on the production of carpets and lace; unfortunately, it is not possible to create an adeguate system for the export of these goods. The services sector consists mainly on commerce and tourism; although the former has made some progress during the last ten years it is still having difficulty in "finding it' s feet", but the latter continues to grow steadily especially in the seaside resorts.

Cities:

Cagliari, the principal city, lies in the most internal part of the bay of the same name. The economy of the city is based mainly on industry (metallurgy, mechanical engineering and petrochemicals), commerce and to a very small extent, agriculture (artichokes and the winegrape). Cagliari's most important buildings are the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Castello (St. Mary of the Castle), the church of the Santi Cosma e Damiano (Sts. Cosma and Damian) and the towers of the Elephant and San Pancrazio (St. Pancras); there are some interesting archeological ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre and, carved from the rock, some cisterns from the Punic era. Nuoro, another Sardinian city, stands inthe high basin of the Rio de Locoe (River Locoe) on a ridge at the foot of the Mount Ortobene, with a view of the Supramonte mountain range. The main economic sources of this provincial capital are the rearing of sheep and goats, with the consequent production of cheese, the cultivation of cereals, fruit and olives and small industries which produce alimentary products and clothes. The church of Nostra Signora della Solitudine (Our Lady of Solitude) stands in a wonderful panoramic position. Sassari, a smaller city, lies on a lower tableland near the Bay of Asinara; it has neither much industrial development nor much in the way of agriculture; the city' s economy is firmly based on the mining of zinc, coal and lead. The most important buildings in Sassari are the medieval Duomo and the church of Santa Maria di Betlemme (St. Mary of Bethlem). Lastly, we must mention Oristano, situated in the northern Campidoglio (Capitol) province, on the left bank of the river Tirso. The city has a reasonably active commerce, industrial production and agrarian cultivation. The most interesting buildings are the Duomo, the church of St. Francis and St. Christopher' s Tower. Touristic resorts: All the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), Alghero, Muravera and villages on the Bay of Asinara are well-known seaside resorts. Cagliari and Nuoro have interesting architecture as tourist attractions.

Characters:

A famous personage of sardinian origin is Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), a politician in the early years of the 20th century and then, in 1922, a member of Moscow International Communist Party. When he returned to Italy in 1924 he was elected secretary of the Communist Party and held this post until 1926. Besides being a great politician Gramsci was also a "thinking man" who wrote the following literary works: "The Risorgimento", "Notes on Machiavelli, on politic and on the modern state", "Youthful writings", "The construction of the Communist Party" and " Letters from prison" which is the most important and most well-known. Another notable sardinian name is that of Grazia Deledda (1871-1986), a very great writer. She was the author of literature of the calibre of "Canne al vento" (Strans in the wind), "Colombi e sparvieri" (Doves and hawks) and "Il segreto dell' uomo solitario" (The lonely man' s secret). She also wrote a collection of novels called "Chiaroscuro". In 1926 she received the Nobel Prize for literature. Grazia Deledda wrote her books describing life as being a mystery in a fable like and enchanted world, but without pain.

History:

There is evidence that the early Phoenician peoples were already living on this Italian island in the 7th century BC; this rule, which brought great commercial and military benefits to the region, lasted about three centuries. Then followed the romans who allowed the building of grandiose public works and the indigenous people enjoyed a life of absolute commercial prosperity. At the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 176 AD, Sardinia came first under the domination of the Vandals and then under that of the Byzantines who cared nothing for the welfare of the people and they had to endure oppressive taxation. However, in the 11th century, the Byzantines abbandoned the island and the Sardinians grasped this opportunity to divided their region into four "giudicati" (justiced) called Arborea, Gallura, Torres and Cagliari and a judge was appointed nominal "head" of each one. This self-government lasted until the 14th century when the Pisan Maritime Republic took control of almost all the Sardinian territory; however the Pisans did not stay long because they were immediately defeated by the Spanish from Aragon. Then in 1479, when Aragon and Castille united to form the Kingdom of Spain, Sardinia became a part of Spain. Then, in 17113, Sardinia passed to the Austrians and later come under the rule of the House of Savoy, the of which was Vittorio Amedeo II who assumed the title of Kingdom of Sardinia. During this period, however, the Italian region was able to enjoy the benefits to both social and political reform. In 1861 Sardinia became part of the new Kingdom of Italy and has been an Autonomous Region since 1948.

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