Sardinia is one Italy’s most beautiful, and at the same time underrated regions, but is seemingly going through a period of rejuvenation and renewed interest with the advent of the internet, and the digital world’s new burgeoning love affair with all things Italian.
But where exactly is Sardinia located, and what is it about the place and people that make it such an attractive and interesting place?
Where Is Sardinia?
Sardinia is one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean sea, located off the southern tip of Italy’s coastline – second only to Sicily in terms of size.
While a region within Italy, Sardinia very much governs itself, and has a degree of domestic autonomy – an honor that was bestowed upon it by the Italian government as a means of preserving the originality and flair that the island has in spades.
How Large Is Sardinia?
Generally speaking, Sardinia has a landmass of around 9300 square miles – meaning it is not enormous – at least not on the same level as other regions of Italy – however, this is more than made up by character and culture.
Is Sardinia Like Italy?
Of course, there are similarities between Sardinia and mainland Italy – such as the language, food, climate, and landscapes – however, by and large, Sardinians consider themselves just that, Sardinian, and the unique nature of the island very much reflects this fact.
Is Sardinia Expensive?
While the mainland has a reputation for being an expensive place to live – at least for tourists and those looking to emigrate – Sardinia is actually one of the cheapest regions in the country.
This makes it a perfect place for prospective tourists and immigrants to look at if they are considering making Italy their permanent home.
It is also in a period of investment and widespread development, with a lot of money and sponsorship flooding the island and making it a hotbed of change and progress.
Top 10 Interesting Facts About Sardinia
To best portray the originality and intrigue that the island and its people have to offer, we have put together a list of the top 10 most interesting facts about Sardinia and its inhabitants.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. An Island Of Rich History
One of the most impressive things about Sardinia is the long and varied history that the island has experienced – with the land itself being inhabited since the Paleolithic times, a period that spanned from around 2.6 million years ago to around 12,000 years ago (see more about what makes Sardinia great here).
This makes it one of the longest populated land masses on Earth, with the most notable people being the ancient indigenous Nuragic people which flourished around the 18th century BC.
As such there are now thousands of historical landmarks and sites on the island of Sardinia, making it a site of incredible interest for archaeologists and history buffs from all around the world.
2. An Impressive Coastline
Sardinia also has a very impressive coastline, and very much dominates a large portion of the Italian coastline from the outside perspective.
These beaches tend to be rocky and atmospheric, providing scenic, isolated locations for people to hike, swim, explore, and of course relax.
This is one reason why Sardinia remains such a popular tourist destination for Italians and foreigners alike, and you can find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world all in one beautiful place.
3. An Island Of Centenarians
We have all heard of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and Sardinia is living proof of that – with one of the largest concentrations of centenarians in the world.
The average life expectancy for Sardinians is well over a minimum of 81 years old, meaning that it is statistically one of the healthiest places in the world.
It is also a society that, perhaps unsurprisingly, cherishes and respects their elderly population – celebrating them as a source of wisdom and experience, and very much setting an example that the rest of the world could do with paying attention to.
4. An Island With No Highways
Sardinia is also the only region in Italy without highways or motorways – meaning that peaceful driving on countryside roads is the norm, and something very much celebrated on the island.
As you can imagine, Sardinia observes a slower, more laid back way of life, and this is very much reflected in the transit options that are available for locals and tourists.
It is also an important part of preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Sardinia – after all, who would want to ruin this beautiful island with miles of gray asphalt?
5. The People Are Welcoming
When it comes to the Sardinian people themselves, they are certainly unique and – as most people are – contradictory in their renowned traits.
However, their most prominent trait is their welcoming nature, and if you show respect they will treat locals and tourists alike as if they were old friends.
This makes it a continually popular place for visitors to come to, and while the people are dedicated to preserving the nature of the land they were born to, they are always pleased to see visitors.
6. Sardinians Can Be Stubborn
However, Sardinians can also be stubborn – and this is something that can be reflected in every aspect of their lives.
You might think it is hard to refuse a meal from your mother, but you have never experienced this within the Sardinian context. It’s simple, you will be eating, and there is nothing you can do about it!
This also translates to arguments and debates, and many newcomers have been bested by the serious, no nonsense debating style of the Sardinian people. Argue with them at your own peril!
7. They Are Reserved And Private
While welcoming and friendly, they are also known for being reserved, and for keeping their business private – as it should be.
This means that, by and large, they might not be the life and soul of the party – at least not when compared to their Italian counterparts.
But don’t let them fool you, despite their reserved natures, they still have a lot to offer, and they are more than capable of having a good time in their own way – and on their own terms!
8. The Sardinian Sense Of Humor
Sardinians are also widely known for their sharp wit, and their dry sense of humor – something you will undoubtedly witness on your travels in the region.
Don’t be surprised if you hear laughter and experience pranks while you are there – but remember, every culture has limits to their humor.
When it comes to the Sardinians, they do not joke about family, culture, and their traditions, so as a tourist it might be advised to not get carried away, and to keep things clean – at least where family is concerned.
9. Sardinian Silence Is Golden
Along with being reserved, they are also known for being relatively quiet and retiring people – in fact quietness is considered a virtue on the island of Sardinia (if you’re thinking of retiring to this beautiful area, read here).
This is a peaceful place, and the people are equally peaceful, and in many ways this only adds to the beauty and allure of the island as a whole.
The world is far too busy and loud these days, and we could all learn a thing or two from Sardinia and its inhabitants.
They are also not especially talkative as a people, and enjoy keeping their personal lives private.
However, they are more than happy to have a casual conversation with a few glasses of wine – just remember to keep things loose and chilled.
10. An Island Of Straight Talkers
Last on this list, but by no means least, Sardinians are also known to be straight talkers.
This means they have absolutely no problem with telling you the truth of the situation – even when that truth is not something you necessarily want to hear!
This trait most probably comes from the fact that they are a people of few words – meaning that every word has to count when they do indeed communicate.
But don’t be offended, they are not trying to be rude or to offend you – they just have a different way of communicating, and if we are all honest, wouldn’t we all prefer a little straight talking and truthfulness in our own lives?
And there you have it, everything you need to know about Sardinia, and the countless things that make the people so special and unique.
It’s true that Sardinia is one of the most breathtaking places on Earth, with beautiful scenery, varying landscapes, and numerous activities and sites to keep anyone entertained and happy.
As such, it is perhaps no surprise that the people themselves have so much to offer in the way of interest and intrigue.
So if you are looking for your next vacation spot, then why not give Sardinia a try? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!