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Last updated : Nov 2007
Sardinia - TravelPuppy.com
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean. Much of Sardinia away from the coasts is an almost lunar landscape of crags and chasms and is largely uninhabited. Muc of the coastline is jagged and rocky, interspersed with marvellous beaches of very fine sand. Recently there has been much investment in tourist infrastructure, particularly in the northern area known as the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), which has become a favourite retreat of Italian celebrities, and on the west coast near Alghero. This is the only region in Italy without any motorways. The Sardinian language is closer to Latin than modern Italian is.


The capital stands in a marshy valley in the south of the island. It was founded by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded by the Romans, who knew it as Carales. Today it is a busy commercial port and site of most of the island’s heavy industry.


The only other towns of any size are Sassari, in the northwest near the resort area of Alghero, Nuoro, an agricultural town on the edge of the central massif, a good base from which to explore the interior, and Olbia, a fishing port and car-ferry terminus on the edge of the Costa Smeralda.

There are numerous Bronze Age remains throughout the islands, the best known being the nuraghi a circular (sometimes conical) stone dwellings. The largest collection of these may be found at Su Nuraxi, about 80km (50 miles) north of Cagliari.