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Sardinia

Sardinia is an island gem found in the Mediterranean Sea. In recent years it has become one of the most exclusive and luxurious holiday destinations. With the vibrant turquoise sea, incredible rock formations, beautiful nature and panoramic mountain views, it’s no wonder Sardinia is an in demand vacation spot.

 

Map of Villas in Sardinia

Introducing

The Terrain

Sardinia is the second largest island in in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s located just off the western coast of Italy and its southern tip faces Africa. The coasts of Sardinia are steep and feature granite rock formations. There are long stretches of coastline interspersed with deep bays, inlets and a few smaller islands just off the coast. You’ll find mountains and valleys as well as natural rivers and streams that lead into the ocean. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora which is 1,259 meters high.

 

Untouched by Tourism

Although Sardinia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination many areas remain untouched. Traditional villages and hamlets are spread out throughout the island that preserve the islands rich heritage. Naturally beauty, tasteful modern luxury and preserved history all come together to make Sardinia a sought after destination.

 

History and Culture

Geologically Ancient

Geologically, Sardinia is one of the oldest bodies of land in all of Europe. Waves of emigration have populated the island since the Paleolithic period. During the Mesolithic period, the first people to populate the island were from present-day Tuscany. During the mid-Neolithic period the Ozieri culture was most prominent on the island. In the early Bronze Age the Beaker culture began to dominate the island and new settlers from mainland Europe came to Sardinia. They settled mainly on the west coast but the majority of their architecture and culture has been diminished.

 

Nuragic Civilization

In 1500 BC, villages began being built around round tower-fortresses called nuraghi. Today these 7,000 nuraghi are an iconic landmark of Sardinia. They were often used as lookout towers in times of battle and are a representation of how technologically advanced the Nuragic people were for their time.

There are also numerous sacred wells that have survived the Nuragic era, and some buildings that served religious purposes. One of these famous buildings is the Giants’ grave which is a collection of tombs that served as destinations for pilgrimage. During the Nuragic civilization, Sardinia became an important center for several commercial routes. It also provided copper and lead which were vital for manufacturing at the time. With the exports of these materials, the Nuragic civilization was able to reach a level of wealth and sophistication that was virtually unheard of the time. It is reflected today in the complexity of surviving buildings and many artworks.

 

Ancient & Medieval History

Around 1000 BC the Phoenicians came to Sardinia and began to take it over. They maintained a peaceful relationship with the Nuragic civilization by staying on the coastline, but as time went on they began to expand inward. This eventually lead to the takeover of valuable natural resources, which were silver and lead mines at the time, and the Phoenicians also developed a military.

Roman immigrants began to populate Sardinia after Sardinia and Corsica were surrendered to Rome after the First Punic War. The Roman military occupation eventually ended the Nuragic civilization. Roman rule of Sardinia lasted 694 years although it was often challenged by the native inhabitants of Sardinias mountainous regions.

Early medieval Sardinian political institutions developed from the old imperial Roman structures. From the 10th century onward there were a series of Giudicato rulers who established “semi-democratic” national assemblies. This helped to shape the political structure of Sardinia today.

 

Modern History

In 1946 Italy became a republic and Sardinia has been administered since 1948 by a special statute of autonomy. As tourism began to increase in the 1950’s, Sardinia followed what is called the “Italian economic miracle.” This was a phrase often used by historians, economists and the media to describe the long period of consistent economic growth that Italy had between the Second World War and the late 1960s. Since this time Sardinia has continued to grow and prosper and gain popularity.

Things to do

‘Cap d’Any a l’Alguer’ (New Year’s Eve) in Alghero

It’s hard to top a New Year’s Eve spent in Sardinia. The city squares feature live music and stage performers. There is also a spectacular firework show over the harbor followed by firecrackers in the streets. Everything is festive and restaurants and bars quickly fill to capacity. You can celebrate the new year all night long because most bars are open until at least 6 am!

 

End of February ‘Sa Sartiglia’ in Oristano

This is the most fabulous Carnival in all of Sardinia. One of the highlights is an equestrian game in which brave horsemen fight one another in a tournament. The purpose is to select the figure of Su Componidori, which is the horseman that will wear the mask of a mysterious God that will pierce the star.

 

The Artichoke Festival

On the second Sunday each march The Artichoke Festival takes places in Uri. Here you can sample a wide array of artichoke based recipes while enjoying cultural and sports events. This event always draws thousands of people and continues to grow in size each year.

 

‘Cavaicata Sarda’

This event takes place in the last Sunday in May and features a procession of 3,000 horse riders. Each rider is dressed in an ornately designed traditional costume. Horse riding events are also a big part of this unique day.

 

Places to see

Neptune Caves

These popular caves of Sardinia are dedicated to the sea God Neptune. You can get there by taking the scenic ferry ride and then conquering a 600 step staircase. The view is very worth the climb…you’ll see some of the most stunning views over the sea after exploring the caves.

 

Murales of Orgosolo and Mamoiada

These two famous sites can be visited together, as they are located next to one another in the heart of the island. There are about 150 beautiful murales in Orgosolo and Mamoiada is famous for its traditional carnival masks.

 

Bastion of Saint Remy

Located in the ancient district of Castello, this is considered one of the symbols of the island. From the Umberto terrace you can get one of the most incredible views of the city and port.

 

Su Gorroppu Gorge

This is the deepest canyon in Sardinia and also one of the deepest in all of Europe. The gorge is the spot to go to be in harmony with nature. You can also walk the lands of centenaries which is considered to be magical. It is said that if you walk on this land you live a long and prosperous life, so why not give it a try!

 

 

 

The Nuraghi

Sardinia is the place to go if you want to see some of the most impressive archeology in the world. The Nuraghi are one of the most prominent symbols of Sardinia, dating back a thousand year in history. These megalithic monuments are spread all throughout the island (there are 7,000 total), but Barumini is the most popular one.

 

9 Villas in Sardinia