Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily. It is administered as a region of Italy. It covers 24,090 sq km (9,300 sq mi) and has a population of 1.7 million people. Its capital and biggest city is Cagliari.
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Geography of Sardinia
Among the landmasses close to Sardinia include the French island of Corsica to the north, the Spanish Balearic Islands to the west, mainland Italy to the northeast and Tunisia to the south.
Sardinia has a 1,849-km coastline. It has long stretches of coastline, interrupted by headlands. The highest peak on Sardinia is the 1,834-m Punta La Marmora. Its largest river is the 151-km (93.83 mi) river Tirso.
Etymology of Sardinia
The name Sardinia is said to have been derived from that of an ancient local deity, Sardus Pater. From the name Sardinia we got the English word "sardonic".
History of Sardinia
Human presence in Sardinia has been traced to the Palaeolithic period, though permanent settlements date from much later, in the Neolithic Age, which is around 6,000 BC. The island was visited by Phoenicians around 1000 BC. By then, the island was already inhabited by early Sardinians. They resented the arrival of the Phoenicians, and in 509 BC mounted a series of attacks on the Phoenician villages. The Phoenicians got help from the Carthaginians who defeated the Sardinians and took control of almost the whole island.
In 238 BC the Carthaginians were in turn defeated by the Romans, who promptly turned Sardinia into a Roman province. The Romans ruled Sardinia for 694 years when it was taken over by King Geiseric of the Vandals. The Vandal rule over Sardinia lasted less than a century, and not much is known of this period. Sardinia came under the Byzantine Empire in AD 533. Not much is known when it ended, probably around the 8th century, and was replaced by Sardinian kingdoms called Giudicato. Sardinia eventually joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.
Languages of Sardinia
Along with standard Italian, the people of Sardinia also speak several different dialects of the Sardinian language. In addition, Corsican is also spoken in Gallura, Catalan is spoken in Alghero and Ligurian in the San Pietro Island.
The Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG) is about 6 km west of central Cagliari. It receives flights from many destinations in Western Europe, with numerous flights from Milan and Rome.