|— Autonomous region of Italy —|
|• President||Ugo Cappellacci (PDL)|
|• Total||24,090 km2 (9,300 sq mi)|
|• Density||68/km2 ( 180/sq mi)|
|• Official languages||Italian, Sardinian, Sassarese, Gallurese, Catalan Algherese, Tabarchino|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|GDP/ Nominal||€33.2 billion (2008)|
|GDP per capita||€19,700 (2008)|
Sardinia (pron.: //, Italian: Sardegna [sarˈdeɲɲa], Sardinian: Sardinnya [sarˈdinja]) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and an autonomous region of Italy. The nearest land masses are (clockwise from north) the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Balearic Islands.
The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard, romanised as sardus (feminine sarda); that the name had a religious connotation is suggested from its use also as the adjective for the ancient Sardinian mythological hero-god Sardus Pater "Sardinian Father" (misunderstood by many modern Sardinians/Italians as being "Father Sardus"), as well as being the stem of the adjective "sardonic". Sardinia was called Ichnusa (the Latinised form of the Greek Hyknousa, Υκνούσσα), Sandalion (Σανδάλιον in Greek, meaning sandal), Sardinia and Sardo by the ancient Greeks and the Romans.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 23,821 km². It is situated between 38° 51' and 41° 15' latitude north and 8° 8' and 9° 50' east longitude. To the west of Sardinia is the Sea of Sardinia, a unit of the Mediterranean Sea; to Sardinia's east is the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is also an element of the Mediterranean Sea.
The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 km long) are generally high and rocky, with long, relatively straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, rias, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast.
The island has an ancient geoformation and, unlike Sicily and the mainland of Italy, is not earthquake-prone. Its rocks date from the Palaeozoic Era (up to 500 million years old). Due to long erosion processes the island's highlands, formed of granite, schist, trachyte, basalt (called "jaras" or "gollei"), sandstone and dolomite limestone (called tonneri or "heels"), average at between 300 to 1,000 metres. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora (1,834 m), part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Other mountain chains are Monte Limbara (1,362 m) in the northeast, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano (1,259 m) running crosswise for 40 km (25 mi) towards the north, the Monte Albo (1057 metres), the Sette Fratelli Range in the southeast, and the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas (1236 metres). The island's ranges and plateaux are separated by wide alluvial valleys and flatlands, the main ones being the Campidano in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari and the Nurra in the northwest.
Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 km (94 mi) long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas (115 km) and the Flumendosa (127 km). There are 54 artificial lakes and dams which supply water and electricity. The main ones are Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Lago di Baratz. A number of large, shallow, salt-water lagoons and pools are located along the 1,850 km (1,150 mi) of the coastline.
The island has a Mediterranean climate along the coasts, plains and low hills and a continental climate on the interior plateaus, valleys and mountain ranges. During the year there are approximately 135 days of sunshine, with a major concentration of rainfall in the winter and autumn, some heavy showers in the spring and snowfalls in the highlands. The average temperature is between 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F). The Mistral from the northwest is the dominant wind on and off throughout the year, though it is most prevalent in winter and spring. It can blow quite strongly, but it is usually dry and cool and makes for a sailor's paradise.
The sea at Stintino
Porto Giunco in Villasimius
Gennargentu in spring, the main massif of the island
Lake Coghinas in the Monte Acuto region
Budelli island in the Archipelago of La Maddalena
Perda e' Liana, a characteristic limestone "heel" in Ogliastra
Lequarci Waterfalls in Ulassai
Tuerredda Beach in Teulada
Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient bodies of land in Europe. The island was populated in waves of emigration from the Paleolithic period until recent times.
The first people to settle in northern Sardinia probably came from the Italian mainland via Corsica, particularly from Etruria (present-day Tuscany), while those who populated the central region of the island around the salt lakes of Cabras and St Giusta may have arrived from the Iberian Peninsula by way of the Balearic Islands. The settlements founded around the Gulf of Cagliari seem to be of various origins. In the middle Neolithic period, the Ozieri culture, probably of Aegean origin, flourished in the island.
During the early bronze age, the so-called Beaker folk, coming from the Continent, appeared in Sardinia. These new people settled predominantly on the west coast where the most part of the sites attributed to the Bell Beaker culture had been found.
Evidence of trade with Aegean (Eastern Mediterranean) centres is present in the period 1600 BC onwards; for example fine ceramic products from Cydonia have been recovered in Sardinia. As time passed, the different Sardinian peoples appear to have become united in customs, yet remained divided politically as various small, tribal groupings, at times banding together, and at others waging war against each other. Habitations consisted of round thatched stone huts, similar to those of present-day shepherds shelters (pinnette).
Nuragic civilization 
From about 1500 BC onwards, villages were built around the round tower-fortresses called nuraghi, which were often reinforced and enlarged with battlements. The boundaries of tribal territories were guarded by smaller lookout nuraghi erected on strategic hills commanding a view of other territories.
The Nuragic civilization was linked with other contemporaneous megalithic civilization of the western Mediterranean such as the Talaiotic culture of the Balearic islands and the Torrean civilization of southern Corsica.
Ancient history 
Circa 1000 BC the Phoenicians began visiting Sardinia with increasing frequency, presumably initially needing safe over-night and/or all-weather anchorages along their trade routes from the coast of modern-day Lebanon as far afield as the African and European Atlantic coasts and beyond, including Britain. The most common ports of call were Caralis, Nora, Bithia, Sulcis, Tharros, Bosa and Olbia. These soon became important colonies, inhabited by Phoenician traders and their families who traded overseas and with the old Sardinians.
While the Phoenicians stuck to the coastline, their relationship with the Sardinians was peaceful. However, after a few hundred years of habitation, they began expanding inward. They took over valuable natural resources such as silver and lead mines, and established a military presence in the form of a fortress on Monte Sira in 650 BC. The Sardinians resented these intrusions, and in 509 BC they mounted a series of attacks against Phoenician settlements. The Phoenician settlers called upon Carthage for help, and when it arrived they successfully took control of part of the southern part of the island.
In 238 BC the Carthaginians, as a result of their defeat by the Romans in the first Punic War, surrendered Sardinia to Rome. Sardinia became a Roman province, and the existing coastal cities were enlarged and embellished, while Coloniae such as Turris Lybissonis and Feronia were founded. These were populated by Roman immigrants. The Roman military occupation brought the Nuragic civilization to an end. Roman domination of Sardinia lasted 694 years, during which it was an important source of grain for the capital. Latin came to be the dominant spoken language of Sardinia during this period, though Roman culture was slower to take hold, and Roman rule was often contested by the inhabitants of Sardinia's mountainous central regions.
Vandal conquest 
The east Germanic tribe of the Vandals conquered Sardinia in 456. Their rule lasted for 78 years up to 534, when the Byzantines guided by Cyrillus conquered the island. It is known that the Vandal government continued the forms of the existing Roman Imperial structure. The governor of Sardinia continued to be called the praeses and apparently continued to manage military, judicial, and civil governmental functions via imperial procedures. (This continuity was not novel to Sardinia; like the Visigoths, the Vandals generally maintained the pretense of the empire, nominally acknowledging Constantinople and declaring themselves its deputies.) The only Vandal governor of Sardinia about whom there is substantial record is the last, Godas, a Visigoth noble. In AD 530 a coup d'état in Carthage removed King Hilderic, a convert to Nicene Christianity, in favor of his cousin Gelimer, an Arian Christian like most of his kingdom. Godas was sent to take charge and ensure the loyalty of Sardinia. He did the exact opposite, declaring the island's independence from Carthage and opening negotiations with Emperor Justinian I, who had declared war on Hilderic's behalf. In AD 533 Gelimer sent the bulk of his army to Sardinia to subdue Godas, with the catastrophic result that the Vandal Kingdom was overwhelmed when Justinian's own army under Belisarius arrived in their absence. The Vandal Kingdom conquered, Sardinia was returned to Byzantine rule.
Byzantine era 
In AD 533 Sardinia returned to the rule of the Roman Empire (in this period sometimes referred to as the Byzantine Empire) when the Vandals were defeated by the armies of Justinian I under the General Belisarius in the Battle of Tricamarum. This Roman victory over the Vandals in North Africa returned Sardinia to the Roman fold for the next 300 years.
Under Byzantine rule, the island was divided into districts called merèie, which were governed by a judge residing in Caralis (Cagliari) and garrisoned by an army stationed in Forum Traiani today known as Fordongianus under the command of a dux. During this time, Christianity took deeper root on the island, supplanting the Paganism which had survived into the early Medieval era in the culturally conservative hinterlands. Along with lay Christianity, the followers of monastic figures such as St. Basil became established in Sardinia. While Christianity penetrated the majority of the population, the region of Barbagia remained largely pagan. In Barbagia towards the end of the 6th century, a short-lived independent principality established itself, returning to the local traditional religions. One of its princes, the last pagan prince, was Ospitone, who conducted raids upon the neighbouring Christian communities controlled by the Byzantine Dux Zabarda. He was later reprimanded by Pope Gregory I within a letter for "Dum enim Barbaricini omnes ut insensata animalia vivant, deum verum nesciant, ligna autem et lapides adorent" (living, all like irrational animals, ignorant of the true God and worshiping wood and stone). In AD 594. Ospitone was then convinced by Gregory the Great, and likely the circumstances of his conflict with Zabarda, to convert to Christianity after receiving the papal letter. His followers, however, were not immediately convinced and ostracised their prince for a short time before they themselves converted.
Exactly when and how Byzantine rule ended in Sardinia is not known. Direct central control was maintained at least through c. AD 650, after which local legates were empowered in the face of the rebellion of Gregory the Patrician, Exarch of Africa and the First Invasion of the Umayyad conquest of North Africa. There is some evidence that senior Byzantine administration in the Exarchate of Africa retreated to Cagliari following the final fall of Carthage to the Arabs in AD 697. The loss of imperial control in Africa led to escalating Moorish and Berber raids on the island, the first of which is document in AD 705, forcing increased military self-reliance in the province. Communication with the central government became daunting if not impossible during and after the Muslim conquest of Sicily of AD 827 and AD 902. A letter by Pope Nicholas I as early as 864 mentions the "Sardinian judges", without reference to the empire and a letter by Pope John VIII (reigned AD 872 – AD 882) refers to them as principes ("princes"). By the time of ‘’De Administrando Imperio’’, completed in 952, the Byzantine authorities no longer listed Sardinia as an imperial province, suggesting they considered it lost.
Whether this final transformation from imperial civil servant to independent sovereign resulted from imperial abandonment or local assertion, by the 10th century, the ‘’Giudici’’ (Latin iudices, literally meaning "judges", a Byzantine administrative title) had emerged as the autonomous rulers of Sardinia. The title of iudice changed with the language and local understanding of the position, becoming the Sardinian giudice, essentially sovereign, while giudicato, literally judgeship, came to mean both "state" and "palace" or "capital".
Medieval history 
Having escaped the barbarian conquests and mass settlement that reshaped the rest of Western Europe, Early medieval Sardinian political institutions evolved from the millennium old Roman imperial structures with relatively little Germanic influence. Examples are seen within naming conventions and the form of government. Sardinians called their leaders Giudici, derived from the Byzantine magistrate title of iuidici (judici, literally “judge”, or “magistrate”), though they were the equivalent of the equally new sovereign titles “duke”, and “king”. Although the Giudicati were hereditary lordships, the old Roman/Byzantine imperial notion that separated personal title or honor from the state still obtained, so the Giudicato (“judgeship”, essentially, a kingdom) was not regarded as the personal property of the monarch as was common in later European feudalism. Like the imperial systems, the new order also preserved "semi-democratic" forms, with national assemblies called corona de logu. Each Giudicato saw to its own defense, maintained its own laws and administration, and looked after its own foreign and trading affairs.
In the 10th century there were five known Giudicati on Sardinia, but, the annexation of the Giudicato of Agugliastra by the Giudicato of Cagliari sometime in the 10th or 11th century stabilized the number at four, where it would remain until the Aragonese invasion of the 14th century. The history of the four Giudicati would be defined by the contest for influence between the rival rising sea powers of Genoa and Pisa, and later the ambitions of the Kingdom of Aragon.
The Giudicato of Cagliari was allied to the Republic of Genoa. It was brought to an end in 1258 when its capital, St Igia, was stormed and destroyed by an alliance of Sardinian and Pisan forces. The territory then briefly became a colony of Pisa.
The Giudicato of Logudoro (sometimes called Torres) was also allied to the Republic of Genoa and came to an end in 1259 on the death of the judikessa (queen) Adelasia. The territory was divided up between the Doria family of Genoa and the Basserra family of Arborea, while the city of Sassari became an autonomous city-republic (Comune).
The Giudicato of Arborea had a longer life compared to the other kingdoms. It lasted some 520 years and had Oristano as its capital. The kingdom was called Arborea after its coat of arms, which featured a green uprooted tree on a white field. The history of Arborea is entwined with the attempt to unify the island against their relatives and former allies Aragonese.
The first king of Arborea to actively pursue the plan to unite Sardinia under the rule of Arborea was Barisone the First. He managed to be crowned King of Sardinia by the Holy Roman Empire Emperor Frederick "Barbarossa" the First in 1164. However, in order to obtain the title of King of Sardinia, Barisone the First had taken out a loan from the Republic of Genoa that he was unable to pay back. For this reason, he was imprisoned by the Republic of Genoa and was detained for 7 years. Barisone never succeeded in uniting Sardinia under his rule because of his financial problems.
In 1297, Pope Boniface VIII established on his own initiative (motu proprio) a hypothetical regnum Sardiniae et Corsicae ("Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica") in order to settle the War of the Vespers diplomatically. This had broken out in 1282 between the Angevins and Aragonese over the possession of Sicily. Ignoring the claims of the indigenous states, the Pope offered this newly created crown to James II, the King of Aragon, promising him support should he wish to conquer Pisan Sardinia in exchange for Sicily.
In 1324, following a military campaign which lasted a year or so, the Aragonese occupied the Pisan territories of Cagliari and Gallura along with the allied city of Sassari, naming them "The Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica".
During this period the Giudicato of Arborea promulgated the legal code of the kingdom in the Carta de Logu (English: Charter of the Land). The Carta de Logu was originally compiled by Mariano IV of Arborea, and was amended and updated by Mariano's daughter, Queen Eleanor of Arborea. The legal code was written in Sardinian and established a whole range of citizens' rights. Among the revolutionary concepts in this Carta de Logu was the right of women to refuse marriage and to own property. In terms of civil liberties, the code made provincial 14th century Sardinia one of the most developed societies in all of Europe.
In the Carta de Logu it is clear that the Arborean saw themselves as the legitimate rulers of Sardinia: citation needed][
In 1353 Peter IV of Aragon, following Aragonese custom, granted a parliament to the kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, which was followed in due course by some degree of self-government under a viceroy and judicial independence. This parliament, however, had some very limited powers. It consisted of high-ranking military commanders, the clergy and the nobility. The kingdom of Aragon also introduced the feudal system into the areas of Sardinia ruled by it.
The Sardinian kingdoms never adopted feudalism, and the Kingdom of Arborea maintained its parliament called the "Corona de Logu". In this parliament, apart from the nobles and military commanders, also sat the representatives of each township and village. The Corona de Logu exercised some control over the king: under the rule of the "bannus consensus" the king could be deposed or even killed if he did not follow the rules of the kingdom.
From 1365 to 1409 the Arborean giudici Mariano IV, Ugone III, Mariano V (assisted by his mother Eleonora, the famous giudicessa regent), and Guglielmo III (the French grandson of Eleonora) succeeded in occupying all of Sardinia except the heavily fortified towns of the Castle of Cagliari (today simply Cagliari) and Alghero, which for years were the only Aragonese dominions in Sardinia. The Giudicato of Arborea and its monarchs  the feudal system that the Kingdom of Aragon introduced in its domains.
In 1409 Martin I of Sicily, king of Sicily and heir to the crown of Aragon, defeated the Sardinians at the Battle of Sanluri (Italian: Battaglia di Sanluri, Sardinian: Sa battalla de Seddori). The battle was fought by about 20,000 Sardinians, Genoese and French knights, enrolled from their kingdom at a time when the population of Sardinia had been greatly depleted by the plague. Despite the Sardinian army outnumbering the Aragonese army, they were defeated. It is estimated that about 5,000 soldiers were killed in the battle. A field near Sanluri is still known today as S'Occidroxiu: the massacre place.
The kingdom of Arborea went down permanently in 1420, when his rights were sold by the last king for 100,000 gold florins, and after some of its most notable men switched sides in exchange for privileges. For example, Leonardo Cubello, with some claim to the crown being from a family related to the Kings of Arborea, was granted the title of Marquis of Oristano and feudal rights on a territory that partly overlapped with the original extension of the Kingdom of Arborea in exchange for his subjection to the King of Aragon.
The successes of the Kingdom of Aragon were marred by the death of the heir to the Aragon crown, Martin I of Sicily, who died in Cagliari (where he is buried) of malaria contracted during the military campaign against the Kingdom of Arborea. Consequently the Crown of Aragon passed to a different dynasty, the Trastámaras, to Ferdinand I of Aragon and his descendants through the Compromise of Caspe in 1412.
The conquest of Sardinia by the Kingdom of Aragon meant the introduction of the feudal system throughout Sardinia. Thus Sardinia is probably the only European country where feudalism was introduced in the transition period from the Medieval to the Modern Era, at a time when feudalism had already been abandoned by many other European countries.
Modern history 
In 1479, as a result of the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, the "Kingdom of Sardinia" (which was separated from Corsica) became Spanish, with the state symbol of the Four Moors. Following the failure of the military ventures against the Muslims of Tunis (1535) and Algiers (1541), Charles V of Spain, in order to defend his Mediterranean territories from pirate raids by the African Berbers, fortified the Sardinian shores with a system of coastal lookout towers.
The Kingdom of Sardinia remained Spanish for approximately 400 years, from 1323 to 1720, assimilating a number of Spanish traditions, customs and linguistic expressions, nowadays vividly portrayed in the folklore parades of Saint Efisio in Cagliari (May 1), the Cavalcade on Sassari (last but one Sunday in May), and the Redeemer in Nuoro (August 28).
Many famines have been reported in Sardinia. According to Stephen L. Dyson and Robert J. Rowland, "The Jesuits of Cagliari recorded years during the late 16th century "of such hunger and so sterile that the majority of the people could sustain life only with wild ferns and other weeds" ... During the terrible famine of 1680, some 80,000 people, out of a total population of 250,000, are said to have died, and entire villages were devastated..."
In 1708, as a consequence of the Spanish War of Succession, the rule of the Kingdom of Sardinia passed into the hands of the Austrians who occupied the island. In 1717 Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, minister of Philip V of Spain, reoccupied Sardinia. In 1718, with the Treaty of London, Sardinia was handed over to the House of Savoy.
In 1793 Sardinians defeated twice the French invaders. In February 23, 1793, Domenico Millelire, in command of the Sardinian fleet, defeated near the Maddalena archipelago the fleets of the French Republic, which was included with the rank of lieutenant, the young and future Emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte. Millelire become the first Gold Medal of Military Valor of the Italian Armed Forces. In the same month, Sardinians stopped the attempted french landing on the beach of Quartu Sant'Elena, near the Capital of Cagliari. Because of these successes, the representatives of nobility and clergy (Stamenti) formulated five requests addressed to the King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia, but they got a refusal. Because of this discontent, on 28 April 1794, during an uprising in Cagliari, two Piedmontese officials were killed. That was the start of a revolt (called the "Moti rivoluzionari sardi" or "Vespri sardi") all over the island, which culminated in the expulsion of the officers for a few days from the Capital Cagliari. On 28 December 1795 in Sassari insurgents demonstrating against feudalism, mainly from the region of Logudoro, occupied the city. On 13 February 1796, in order to prevent the spread of the revolt, the viceroy Filippo Vivalda gave to the Sardinian magistrate Giovanni Maria Angioy the role of Alternos, which meant a substitute of the viceroy himself. Angioy moved from Cagliari to Sassari, and during his journey almost all the villages joined the uprising, demanding an end to feudalism, but he had lost all popular support he fled to Paris and sought support for a French invasion of the island.
In 1799, as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars in Italy, the Dukes of Savoy left Turin and took refuge in Cagliari for some fifteen years. In 1847 the Sardinian parliaments (Stamenti) spontaneously renounced their state autonomy and formed a union with Piedmont in order to have a single parliament, a single magistracy and a single government in Turin.
During the First World War the Sardinian soldiers of the Brigata Sassari distinguished themselves, several being decorated with gold medals and other honours. It was the first and only Italian military unit constituted mainly from Sardinian soldiers. The Sardinian writer Grazia Deledda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926.
During the Fascist period, and implementation of the policy of autarky, several swamps were reclaimed around the island and agrarian communities founded. The main communities were in the area of Oristano, where the village of Mussolinia (now called Arborea) was located, and in the area adjacent the city of Alghero, within the region of Nurra, Fertilia was founded. Also established during that time was the city of Carbonia, which became the main centre of mining activity. Works to dry the numerous waste lands and the reprise of mining activities favored the arrival of settlers and immigrants, at first from Veneto, and after World War II Istrian Italians and Dalmatian Italians from territories lost to Yugoslavia.
The oppression by the fascist regime of its opponents within the region was ruthless. Antonio Gramsci, one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party, was arrested and died in prison. Michele Schirru was executed on May 29, 1931, after a failed assassination plot against Benito Mussolini.
Post World War II period 
In 1946 by popular referendum Italy became a republic, with Sardinia administered since 1948 by special statute of autonomy. By 1951, malaria was successfully eliminated by the ERLAAS, Anti-malaric Regional Authority, and the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, which facilitated the commencement of the Sardinian tourist boom, mainly focused on beach holidays and luxury tourism.
With the increase in tourism, coal decreased in importance but Sardinia followed the Italian economic miracle. However, in the early 1960s an industrialisation effort was commenced, the so-called Piani di Rinascita (rebirth plans), with the initiation of major infrastructure projects on the island. These included the construction of new dams and roads, reforestation, agricultural zones on reclaimed marshland, and large industrial complexes (primarily oil refineries and related petrochemical operations). With the creation of petrochemical industries, thousands of ex-farmers became industrial workers. Nevertheless, the 1973 oil crisis caused the termination of employment for thousands of workers employed in the petrochemical industries, which aggravated the emigration already present in the 1950s and 1960s. In the same years were created many military bases in the island, like Decimomannu Air Base and Salto di Quirra, due to the growing international tension in the Cold War.
In 1970s the economic crisis, unemployment aggravated the crime rate, with increasing kidnappings and political subversion, and ended only in the 1990s. Communist groups flourished, the most famous being Barbagia Rossa, which perpetrated several terrorist actions between the 1970s and the early 1980s.
In 1983 a militant of an autonomist-independentist party, the Sardinian Action Party (Partito Sardo d'Azione), was elected president of the regional parliament, and in the 1980s several independentist movements were born; in the 1990s some of them became political parties. In 1999 the local languages (Sardinian, Sassarese, Gallurese, Algherese and Tabarchino) received official status together with Italian. The 35th G8 summit summit was planned by Prodi II Cabinet to be held in Sardinia, on the island of La Maddalena, in July 2009. However in April 2009, the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, decided, without convoking the Italian parliament or consulting the Sardinian governor of his own party, to move the summit, even though the works were almost completed, to L'Aquila, provoking heavy protests.
Today Sardinia is phasing in as an EU region, with a diversified economy focused on tourism and the tertiary sector. The economic efforts of the last twenty years have reduced the handicap of insularity, especially in the fields of low-cost air travel and advanced information technology. For example, the CRS4 (Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia) developed the second European website and 1st in Italy in 1991  and webmail in 1995. CRS4 allowed several telecommunication companies and internet service providers based on the island to flourish, such as Videonline in 1994, Tiscali in 1998 and Andala Umts in 1999.
According to the ISTAT census 2001 the literacy rate in Sardinia among people below 64 years old is 99.5%. Total literacy rate (including people over 65) is 98.2%. Illiteracy rate among males below 65 years old is 0.24%, while among women is 0.25%, the number of women that annually graduate at secondary high schools and universities is higher of about 10-20% than men.
Taken as a whole, Sardinia's economic conditions are such that the island is in the best position among Italian regions located south of Rome. The greatest economic development had taken place inland, in the provinces of Cagliari and Sassari, characterized by a certain amount of enterprise. According to Eurostat, the 2007 GDP was €33,823.2 million, resulting in a €20,627 GDP per capita, in 2009.
The Sardinian economy is constrained due to high costs of transportation of goods and electricity, which is double compared to the continental Italian regions, and triple compared to the EU average. Sardinia is the only Italian region that produces a surplus of electricity, which supply power to the region, and does not import power from abroad, whereas the problem the region had encountered was insufficient transmission links as it is an island situated over 100 km from the mainland. In 2009 the new submarine power cable Sapei entered into operation, it links the Fiume Santo Power Station, in Sardinia, to the converter stations in Latina, in the Italian peninsula, the SACOI is another submarine power cable that links Sardinia to Italy, crossing Corsica, from 1965. The under construction submarine gas pipeline GALSI, will link Algeria to Sardinia and further Italy.
The per capita income in Sardinia is the highest of Southern Italy, with 16,540 euros per person. The most populated provincial chief towns have higher incomes: in Cagliari the income per capita is 27,545 €, in Sassari 24,006 €, in Oristano 23,887 €, in Nuoro is 23,316 € and in Olbia is 20.827 €.
The unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2008 was 8.6%, by the 2012 the unemployment rate increased to 14,6%. The rise in unemployment was due to the global financial crisis that hit Sardinian exports, mainly focused on refined oil, chemical products, and also mining and metallurgical products.
There are chances for Sardinia to become a tax haven, from June 2013, the whole island territory could be free by custom duties, vat and excise taxes on fuel, the town of Porto Scuso is become the first free trade zone from February 2013.
Economic Sectors 
This table shows the sectors of the Sardinian economy in 2006:
|Economic activity||GDP (mil. €)||% sector
|Agriculture, farming, fishing||1.006,4||3.09%||1.84%|
|Commerce, hotels and restaurants, transport, services and (tele)communications||6,506.8||19.97%||20.54%|
|Financial activity and real estate||6,660.8||20.45%||24.17%|
|Other economic activities related to services||8,544.1||26.23%||18.97%|
|VAT and other forms of taxes||4,211.8||12.93%||10.76%|
|GDP of Sardinia||32,579.1|
The soil of Sardinia is exploited to 60% for breeding, 20% for agriculture and the rest is occupied by closed forests, urban areas and areas that are not exploitable. Sicily practically has percentages reversed and, with the same extension, almost three times the inhabitants of Sardinia. Sardinia is home to nearly 4 million sheep, almost half of the entire Italian assets and that makes the island one of the areas of the world with the highest density of sheep along with some parts of UK and New Zealand (135 sheeps every square kilometer versus 129 in UK and 116 in New Zealand). The soils of Sardinia are largely underpowered, shallow and therefore not very productive for agriculture. Sardinia has been for thousands of years specializing in sheep breeding, and, to a lesser extent, goats and cattle that is less productive of agriculture in relation to land use. It is probably in breeding and cattle ownership the economic base of the early proto-historic and monumental Sardinian civilization from Neolithic to the Iron Age. Even agriculture has played a very important role in the economic history of the island, especially in the great plain of Campidano, particularly suitable for wheat farming. The Sardinian soils, even those plains are slightly permeable, with aquifers of lacking and sometimes brackish water and very small natural reserves. Water scarcity was the first problem that was faced for the modernization of the sector, with the construction of a great barrier system of dams, which today contains nearly 2 billion cubic meters of water. The Sardinian agriculture is now linked to specific products such as cheese, wine, olive oil, artichoke, tomato for a growing product export. The reclamations have helped to extend the crops and to introduce other ones such as vegetables and fruit, next to the historical ones, olive and grapes that are present in the hilly areas. The Campidano plain, the largest lowland Sardinian produces oats, barley and durum, of which is one of the most important Italian producers. Among the vegetables, as well as artichokes, has a certain weight the production of oranges, and, before the reform of the sugar sector from the European Union, the cultivation of sugar beet. In the forests there is the cork oak, which grows naturally; Sardinia produces about 80% of Italian cork. In fresh food, as well as artichokes, the production of tomatoes (including Camoni tomato) and citrus fruit are of a certain weight. For centuries-old tradition, the percentage of workers with primary activities is high and the breeding is a very important source of income. In addition to meat, Sardinia produces a wide variety of cheese, considering that half of the sheep milk produced in Italy is produced in Sardinia, and is largely worked by the cooperatives of the shepherds and small industries. Sardinia also produces most of the pecorino romano, a non-original product of the island, much of which is traditionally addressed to the Italian overseas communities. Sardinia boasts a centuries-old tradition of horse breeding since the Aragonese domination, whose cavalry drew from equine heritage of the island to strengthen their own army or to make a gift to the other sovereigns of Europe. In Sardinia, in the plateau of the Giara of Gesturi, lives a subspecies of semi-wild horse. There is little fishing (and no real maritime tradition), but The cork district, in the northern part of the Gallura region, around Calangianus and Tempio Pausania, is composed of 130 companies and has become the driver of Sardinian economic development. Every year in Sardinia 200,000 quintals of cork are carved, and 40% of the end products are exported. Fishing along the coasts is also an important activity on the island. Portoscuso tunas are exported worldwide, but primarily to Japan.
Industry and handicraft 
The once prosperous mining industry is still active though restricted to coal (Carbonia, Bacu Abis), antimony (Villasalto), gold (Furtei), bauxite (Olmedo) and lead and zinc (Iglesiente, Nurra). The granite extraction represents one of the most flourishing industries in the northern part of the island. The Gallura granite district is composed of 260 companies that work in 60 quarries, where 75% of the Italian granite is extracted. The principal industries are chemicals (Porto Torres, Cagliari, Villacidro, Ottana), petrochemicals (Porto Torres, Sarroch), metalworking (Porto Scuso, Porto Vesme, Villacidro), cement (Cagliari), pharmaceutical (Sassari), shipbuilding (Arbatax, Olbia, Porto Torres), oil rig construction (Arbatax) and food (sugar refineries at Villasor and Oristano, dairy at Arborea, Macomer and Thiesi, fish factory at Olbia). Plans related to industrial conversion are is in progress in the main industrial sites, like in Porto Torres, where seven research centres are developing the transformation from traditional fossil fuel related industry to an integrated production chain from vegetable oil using oleaginous seeds to bio-plastics.
Craft industries include rugs, jewelry, textile, lacework, basket making and coral.
The Sardinian economy is today focused on the overdeveloped tertiary sector (67.8% of employment), with commerce, services, information technology, public administration and especially on tourism, which represents the main industry of the island with 2,721 active companies and 189,239 rooms. In 2008 there were 2,363,496 arrivals (up 1.4% on 2007). In the same year, the airports of the island registered 11,896,674 passengers (up 1.24% on 2007).
Sardinia has three international airports (Alghero Airport, Olbia - Costa Smeralda Airport, and Cagliari-Elmas Airport) connected with the principal Italian cities and many European destinations, mainly in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Spain, and Germany, and two regional airports (Oristano-Fenosu Airport and Tortolì Airport). Internal air connections between Sardinian airports are limited to a daily Cagliari-Olbia flight, and Tortolì-Olbia flight. Sardinian citizens benefit from special sales on plane tickets, and several low-cost air companies operate on the island. Meridiana Fly is an airline based in the airport of Olbia; it was founded as Alisarda in 1963 by the Aga Khan, Prince Karim al-Hussayni.
The development of Meridiana airlines followed the development of the resort village of Porto Cervo in the north east part of the island, a well known vacation spot among billionaires and movie stars worldwide.
The ferry companies operating on the island are Tirrenia di Navigazione, Moby Lines, Corsica Ferries, Grandi Navi Veloci, SNAV, SNCM and CMN; they link the Sardinian seaports of Porto Torres, Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Arbatax, Santa Teresa Gallura, Palau and Cagliari with Civitavecchia, Genoa, Livorno, Naples, Palermo, Trapani, Piombino in Italy, Marseille, Toulon, Bonifacio, Propriano and Ajaccio in France, and Barcelona in Spain. A regional ferry company, the Saremar, links the main island to the islands of La Maddalena and San Pietro, and from 2011, also the port of Olbia with Civitavecchia, and Porto Torres with Savona.
Sardinia is the only Italian region without motorways, but the road network is well developed, with a system of "superstrade" (dual carriageways), that connect the principal towns and the transport infrastructures; the speed limit is 90/110 km/h. The principal road is the SS131 "Carlo Felice", linking the north with the south of the island, crossing the most populated regions of Sassari and Cagliari; it is part of European route E25. The SS 131 d.c.n links Oristano with Olbia, crossing the hinterland Nuoro region. Other roads designed for high-capacity traffic link Sassari with Alghero, Sassari with Tempio Pausania, Sassari - Olbia, Cagliari - Tortolì, Cagliari - Iglesias, Nuoro - Lanusei. A work in progress is converting the main routes to highway standards, with the elimination of all intersections. The secondary inland and mountain roads are generally narrow with many hairpin turns, so the speed limits are very low.
Public transport buses reach every town and village at least once a day; however, due to the low density of population, the smallest territories are reachable only by car. The Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti (Arst) is the public regional bus transport agency.
The Sardinian railway system was developed in the 19th century, by the English engineer Lord Benjamin Piercy. Trains connect the whole island, and there are two different railway operators. Trenitalia is the largest, connecting the largest towns, the main ports, and also the Italian peninsula through the use of train ferries. This network is the most modern on the island, running primarily diesel locomotives such as the Alstom "Minuetto" and, from 2013, eight tilting trains such as the Spanish CAF ATR 365, specifically designed for the Sardinian railway network. The second operator is ARST Gestione FdS, best known as Ferrovie della Sardegna (Sardinian Railways), running on narrow-gauge track, and they are generally very slow, except the electrified tram-trains, operating in the metropolitan areas of Sassari and Cagliari. Many tourists catch the trenino verde, which runs through the wildest parts of the island. It is slow but allows the traveller to have scenic views impossible to see from the main road.
Sardinia has become Europe’s first region to fully adopt the new Digital Terrestrial Television broadcasting standard. From the 1 November 2008 TV channels are broadcast only in digital.
On the island are headquartered some telecommunication companies and internet service providers, such as Tiscali and the Skylogic Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Skylogic Teleport), a ground station controlled by satellite provider Eutelsat.
|Source: ISTAT 2001|
With a population density of 69/km2, slightly more than a third of the national average, Sardinia is the fourth least populated region in Italy. The population distribution is anomalous compared to that of other Italian regions lying on the sea. In fact, contrary to the general trend, urban settlement has not taken place primarily along the coast but towards the centre of the island. Historical reasons for this include repeated Saracen raids during the Middle Ages (making the coast unsafe), widespread pastoral activities inland, and the swampy nature of the coastal plains (reclaimed only in the 20th century). The situation has been reversed with the expansion of seaside tourism; today all Sardinia's major urban centres are located near the coasts, while the island's interior is very sparsely populated.
It is the Italian region with the lowest total fertility rate (1.087 births per woman), and the region with the second-lowest birth rate; these factors, together with the high level of urbanization of population, allow the preservation of the greater part of the natural environment. However, the population has increased in recent years due to immigration, mainly from Eastern Europe (esp. Romania), Africa and China.
At the end of 2010 there were 37,853 foreign national residents, forming 2.3% of the total Sardinian population. The most represented nationalities were :
- Romania 9,899
- Morocco 4,420
- China 2,872
- Senegal 2,787
- Ukraine 1,952
- Germany 1,479
- Philippines 1,368
- Poland 1,174
- France 756
- Pakistan 695
Average life expectancy is 81 years (85 for women and 78 for men). Sardinia shares with the Japanese island of Okinawa the highest rate of centenarians in the world (22 centenarians/100,000 inhabitants).
Main cities and towns 
|1st||Cagliari||Province of Cagliari||157,780 (370,000 metropolitan area)||1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)||71,920|
|2nd||Sassari||Province of Sassari||130,656 (275,000 metropolitan area)||240/km2 (620/sq mi)||55,325|
|3rd||Quartu Sant'Elena||Province of Cagliari||71,254||740/km2 (1,900/sq mi)||28,534|
|4th||Olbia||Province of Olbia-Tempio||56,231||150/km2 (390/sq mi)||25,253|
|5th||Alghero||Province of Sassari||43,831||200/km2 (510/sq mi)||20,339|
|6th||Nuoro||Province of Nuoro||36,672||190/km2 (490/sq mi)||14,306|
|7th||Oristano||Province of Oristano||32,453||380/km2 (990/sq mi)||12,812|
|8th||Carbonia||Province of Carbonia-Iglesias||30,081||200/km2 (530/sq mi)||11,950|
|9th||Selargius||Province of Cagliari||29,169||1,089/km2||11,243|
|10th||Iglesias||Province of Carbonia-Iglesias||27,493||132/km2||11,452|
The 20 most common surnames in the Sardinia region are:
Government and politics 
Sardinia is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, along with Valle d'Aosta, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Sicily. Its statute, which is a constitutional law, gives the region the right to create its own laws in a wide number of domains and to carry out regional administrative functions.
The regional administration is constituted by three authorities:
- the Regional Council (legislative power)
- the Regional Junta (executive power)
- the President (chief of executive power)
Administrative divisions 
Until 2005, Sardinia had been divided into four provinces: Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano and Sassari. In 2005 the Regional Council decided to create four new provinces becoming operative with the provincial elections for the Presidents and the Councils held in 2006. The four additional provinces are as follows: Carbonia-Iglesias, Medio Campidano, Ogliastra, Olbia-Tempio. A popular referendum, in 2012, has supported the abolition of the provinces and the halving of the members of regional council.
|Province||Area (km²)||Population||Density (inh./km²)|
|Province of Cagliari||4,570||559,416||122.4|
|Province of Carbonia-Iglesias||1,495||130,538||87.3|
|Province of Medio Campidano||1,516||103,107||68.0|
|Province of Nuoro||3,934||161,453||41.0|
|Province of Ogliastra||1,854||58,088||31.3|
|Province of Olbia-Tempio||3,399||153,886||45.2|
|Province of Oristano||3,040||167,357||55.0|
|Province of Sassari||4,282||336,374||78.5|
Sardinia is one of two Italian regions, with Veneto, where the local Statute uses the term popolo (people) for the inhabitants. The Statute of Sardinia is adopted with a constitutional law, although in Veneto this was not through a constitutional law, and in both cases has no recognized legal meaning of any differences with other Italian citizens.
Alongside Italian (Italiano), the official language throughout Italy, Sardinian (Sardu) is the most widely spoken language on the island. Sardinian is a distinct branch of the Romance language family, and not an Italian dialect. The language has been influenced by Catalan, Spanish and indigenous Nuragic. While it has been significantly supplanted by Italian for official purposes, in 2006 the regional administration has approved the use of Limba Sarda Comuna in official documents. As a literary language, it is gaining importance, despite heated debate about the lack of standard orthography and controversial proposed solutions to this problem. The two most widely spoken forms of the Sardinian language are Campidanese (Sardu Campidanesu), spoken throughout the southern half of the island, and Logudorese (Sardu Logudoresu), from the northern-central region, extending almost to the suburbs of Sassari.
The Sassarese (Sassaresu) and Gallurese (Gadduresu) varieties are often termed Corso-Sardinian dialects. Spoken in the extreme north of Sardinia, they are sometimes considered as independent languages or to be part of Corsican rather than Sardinian.
In Sardinia there are examples of language islands: Algherese (Alguerés) is a variant of Catalan spoken in the city of Alghero; on the islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, located in the extreme south west of Sardinia, the local population speaks a variant of Ligurian called Tabarchino (Tabarchin); fewer and fewer people speak Venetian, Friulian and Istriot in Arborea and Fertilia, having been populated in the 1920s and 1930s by families who mainly came from north-eastern Italy, and from Istria and Dalmatia immediately after the IIWW.
World Heritage Sites 
Sardinia is home to one of the oldest forms of vocal polyphony, generally known as cantu a tenore. In 2005, Unesco classed the canto a tenore among intangible world heritage. Several famous musicians have found it irresistible, including Frank Zappa, Ornette Coleman, and Peter Gabriel. The latter travelled to the town of Bitti in the central mountainous region and recorded the now world-famous Tenores di Bitti CD on his Real World label. The guttural sounds produced in this form make a remarkable sound, similar to Tuvan throat singing. Another polyphonic style of singing, more like the Corsican paghjella and liturgic in nature, is found in Sardinia and is known as cantu a cuncordu.
Another unique instrument is the launeddas. Three reed-canes (two of them glued together with beeswax) produce distinctive harmonies, which have their roots many thousands of years ago, as demonstrated by the bronzette from Ittiri, of a man playing the three reed canes, dated to 2000 BC.
Beyond this, the tradition of cantu a chiterra (guitar songs) has its origins in town squares, when artists would compete against one another. The most famous singer of this genre are Maria Carta and Elena Ledda.
Sardinian culture is alive and well, and young people are actively involved in their own music and dancing. In 2004, BBC presenter Andy Kershaw travelled to the island with Sardinian music specialist Pablo Farba and interviewed many artists. His programme can be heard on BBC Radio 3. Sardinia has produced a number of notable jazz musicians such as Antonello Salis, Marcello Melis, and Paolo Fresu.
Rock lobster, scampi, bottarga, squid, tuna, sardines and other seafood figure in Sardinian cuisine, though meat, dairy products, grains and vegetables constitute the most basic elements of the traditional diet.
Suckling pig and wild boar are roasted on the spit or boiled in stews of beans and vegetables, thickened with bread. Herbs such as mint and myrtle are used. Much Sardinian bread is made dry, which keeps longer than high-moisture breads. Those are baked as well, including civraxiu, coccoi pinatus, a highly decorative bread and pistoccu made with flour and water only, originally meant for herders, but often served at home with tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and a strong cheese.
Sardinia boasts the highest consumption of beer per capita in Italy, 60 liters per person per year, almost double the national average. The Province of Nuoro has the highest consumption with an average of 100 liters per capita. The discovery of jars containing hops, in some archeological archaeological sites, evidence that beer was produced since the copper age.
Cagliari is home to Cagliari Calcio, which was founded in 1920 and plays in the Serie A, the Italian top division. It won the Italian Championship after the 1969/70 season, becoming the first club in Southern Italy to achieve such a result. Home matches are played at the Stadio Sant' Elia, named after the area where it is located, with a capacity of 23,486. It was built in 1970 and refurbished before the Italia '90 football World Cup.
Sassari is home to Dinamo Basket Sassari, the only Sardinian professional basketball club playing in the Italiana serie A (Lega A), the highest level club competition in Italian professional basketball. It was founded in 1960, and is also known as Dinamo Banco di Sardegna thanks to a long sponsorship deal with the Sardinian bank. Since its promotion in Lega A in 2010, it has been enjoying the support of fans from Sassari and all over Sardinia with full-house matches on every game played at home.
Auto Racing 
Cagliari hosted a Formula 3000 race in 2002 and 2003 on a 2.414-km street circuit around Sant'Elia stadium. In 2003, Renault F1's Jarno Trulli and former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi did a spectacular exhibition. At the Grand Prix BMW-F1 driver Robert Kubica took part in a F3 car, as did BMW WTCC Augusto Farfus, GP2's Fairuz Fauzy and Vitaly Petrov. Since 2004 Olbia has hosted the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, a rally competition in the FIA World Rally Championship schedule. The rally is held on narrow, twisty, sandy and bumpy mountainous roads around the glamorous town of Porto Cervo.
Water Sports 
Cagliari hosts regular international regattas, such RC44 championship, Farr 40 World championship and Audi MedCup; all series which boast current America's Cup contenders like BMW Oracle Racing, Mascalzone Latino and Emirates Team New Zealand as contenders. Part of the Louis Vuitton Trophy was held in the Maddalena archipelago in 2010.
Porto Pollo, north of Palau, is a bay often used by windsurfers and kitesurfers. The bay is divided by a thin tongue of land that separates it in an area for advanced and beginning/intermediate windsurfers. There is also a restricted area for kitesurfers. Many Italian freestyle surfers come to Porto Pollo for training and 2007 saw the finale of the freestyle pro kids Europe 2007 contest. Because of a Venturi effect between Sardinia and Corsica, western wind accelerates between the islands and creates the wind that makes Porto Pollo popular among windsurfing enthusiasts. In 2005, Aglientu, hosted the Kitesurf World Cup in the Vignola's beach.
Winter sports 
Traditional Sports 
Sa Istrumpa, also known as Sardinian Wrestling, is a traditional Sardinian sport, officially recognized by the Italian National Olympic Committee (C.O.N.I.) and International Federation of Celtic Wrestling (I.F.C.W.).
Sardinia also boasts a fine darts tradition, which many believe originated in the Sassari region of the country towards the end of the 15th century. In those days, the darts were carved from Beech (Fagus) wood and the flights were feathers drawn from the indigenous pollo sultano, a bird famed for its spectacular violet-blue plumage.
The island has some environmental laws. Following an enormous reforestation plan it has become the Italian region with the largest forest extension, with 1,213,250 hectares of woods.
The Regional Landscape Plan prohibits new building activities on the coast (except in urban centers), next to forests, lakes or other environmental or cultural sites and the Coastal conservation agency ensures the protection of natural areas on the Sardinian coast.
Renewable energies have increased noticeably in recent years, mainly wind power, favoured by the windy climate, but also solar power (Carlo Rubbia, Nobelist in physics, is creating an experimental solar thermal energy central) and biofuel, based on Jatropha oil and Colza oil. 467.10 megawatts of wind power capacity were installed on the island at 2008.
Sardinia is home to a wide variety of rare or uncommon animals, such as several species of mammals, many of them belonging to an own subspecies: the Mediterranean Monk Seal, the Sarcidano horse, the Giara horse, the Albino Donkey, the Sardinian Wild Cat (Felis Lybica Sarda), the Mouflon, the Sardinian Long-eared Bat, the Sardinian Deer, the Fallow Deer, the Sardinian fox (Vulpes vulpes ichnusae), the Sardinian Hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus), the wild boar (Sus scrofa meridionalis), the Edible dormouse and the European pine marten.
Rare amphibias, found only on the island, are the Sardinian brook salamander, the Brown Cave Salamander, the Imperial Cave Salamander, the Monte Albo Cave Salamander, the Supramonte Cave Salamander and the Sarrabus Cave Salamander (Speleomantes sarrabusensis); the Sardinian Tree Frog instead is found also in Corsica and in Tuscan Archipelago. Among the reptiles worthy of note is the Bedriaga's Rock Lizard, the Tyrrhenian Wall Lizard and the Fitzinger's Algyroides endemic species of Sardinia and Corsica. The island is inhabited by terrestrial tortoises and sea turtles like the Hermann's tortoise, the Spur-thighed tortoise, the Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata sarda), the Nabeul tortoise, the Loggerhead sea turtle and the Green sea turtle.
Sardinia has four endemic subspecies of birds found nowhere else in the world: its Great Spotted Woodpecker (ssp harterti), Great Tit (ssp ecki), Common Chaffinch (ssp sarda), and Eurasian Jay (ssp ichnusae). It also shares a further 10 endemic subspecies of bird with Corsica. In some cases Sardinia is a delimited part of the species range. For example, the subspecies of Hooded Crow, Corvus cornix ssp cornix occurs in Sardinia and Corsica, but no further south.
Birds of prey found are the Griffon Vulture, the Common Buzzard, the Golden Eagle, the Long-eared Owl, the Western Marsh Harrier, the Peregrine Falcon, the European Honey Buzzard, the Sardinian Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis arrigonii), the Bonelli's Eagle and the Eleonora's Falcon, whose name comes from Eleonor of Arborea, national heroine of Sardinia, expert in falconry.
The hundreds of lagoons and coastal lakes that dot the island are home for many species of wading birds, such as the Greater Flamingo.
The island has also long been used for grazing flocks of indigenous Sardinian sheep. The Sardinian Anglo-Arab is a horse breed that was established in Sardinia, where it has been selectively bred for more than one hundred years.
Natural parks and reserves 
- 1. Asinara National Park;
- 2. Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park;
- 3. Gennargentu National Park.
Ten regional parks:
- 4. Parco del Limbara
- 5. Parco del Marghine e Goceano
- 6. Parco del Sinis - Montiferru
- 7. Parco di Monte Arci
- 8. Parco della Giara di Gesturi
- 9. Parco di Monte Linas - Oridda - Marganai
- 10. Parco dei Sette Fratelli - Monte Genas
- 11. Parco del Sulcis
- Parco naturale regionale di Porto Conte
- Parco regionale Molentargius - Saline
Northern Sardinian Coasts are included in the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, a Marine Protected Area, that covers a surface of approximately 84,000 km², aimed at the protection of marine mammals, .
See also 
- Legge Regionale 15 ottobre 1997, n. 26, Regione Sardegna, 1997
- "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT 2011". Demo.istat.it. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- EUROPA - Press Releases - Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London
- C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Balearic Sea. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
- IL CLIMA DELLA SARDEGNA - Raimondi et al., 1995
- "History & Travel Guide of South Sardinia".
- Nuraghes in Logudorese Sardinian, nuraxis in Campidanese Sardinian, plurals of nuraghe and nuraxi respectively.
- SardiniaPoint.it - Interview with Giovanni Ugas, archaeologist and professor of the University of Cagliari (Italian)
- Duncan Garwood (1 May 2009). Sardinia. Lonely Planet. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-74104-819-3. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- The Vandals by Andy Merrills and Richard Miles, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2010, p. 136.  Retrieved 12 October 2010
- Province of Cagliari, Province of the Sun
- Sardinia and the Sardes by Charles Edwardes, R. Bentley and Son, London, 1889, p. 249.
- Sardinia and the Sardes by Charles Edwardes, R. Bentley and Son, London, 1889, p. 248.
- P. Grierson & L.Travaini, Medieval European Coinage, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 287.
- Salvatore Consentino, Byzantine Sardinia between East and West, Millennium – Berlin, New York (2004) Pages 329–367
- "provinciadelsole.it". provinciadelsole.it. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- Birocchi, I. and Mattone A. La carta de logu d'Arborea nella storia del diritto medievale e moderno. Laterza: 2004.
- "Sardinia, Italy, Drive - National Geographic Traveler". Traveler.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Dyson, Stephen L; Rowland, Robert J (2007). Archaeology and history in Sardinia from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages: shepherds, sailors & conquerors. Philadelphia: UPenn Museum of Archaeology, 2007. p. 136. ISBN 1-934536-02-4.
- "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800". Robert Davis (2004). p.45. ISBN 1-4039-4551-9.
- "Sardinia, a political laboratory". GNOSIS, Italian Intelligence Magazine.
- Soru: un incontro con Rubbia, così nacque il web in Sardegna «Internet per l' Isola è l' occasione di lasciarsi alle spalle il sottosviluppo, per primi abbiamo capito il concetto di rete, di villaggio globale»
- http://www.edscuola.it/archivio/statistiche/analfabetismo_01.pdf Analfabetismo Italia - Censimento 2001
- SARDEGNA STATISTICHE Analfabeti Numero di persone che hanno dichiarato di non saper leggere né scrivere
- Diplomati per sesso - Rapporto tra il numero di diplomati e la popolazione con età 19 anni, moltiplicato per 100 e ripartito per sesso
- Laureati per sesso - Rapporto tra il numero di laureati e la popolazione con età 25 anni, moltiplicato per 100 e ripartito per sesso
- SARDEGNA STATISTICHE Iscritti all' Università
- "Income per capita of italian regions in 2010 (in italian language)".
- Cagliari, cresce il reddito pro capite E' al 13° posto nella classifica nazionale (In italian)
- Crollo del lavoro in Sardegna Il tasso di disoccupazione è al 14,6% (december 1st 2012)
- "Sardegna: zona franca, al via i gruppi lavoro in Regione - - Libero Quotidiano". Liberoquotidiano.it. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "La regione più economica? La Sardegna, che dal 30 giugno diventerà zona franca". Studenti.it. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Sardegna diventerà zona franca: addio all'Iva?". News.supermoney.eu. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- redazione di DGMag (2013-02-25). "La Sardegna Diventa Zona Franca, Bufala O Realtà?". Dgmag.it. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
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- Massimiliano Venusti; Antonio Cossu. L'arte casearia in Anglona tra storia e attualità (PDF) in www.sardegnaagricoltura.it. ERSAT
- Sardegna Agricoltura. Razze equine in www.sardegnaagricoltura.it. Regione Sardegna
- matrica: green chemicals
- A new age for the Italian chemical industry
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- Fly to Tortolì from Olbia
- CERDEÑA REGIONAL TRAIN
- "Digitale Terrestre Parte in Sardegna lo switch-off" (in Italian). NonSoloCinema. 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- "L'Isola al centro del Mediterraneo per le telecomunicazioni satellitari (in italian language)".
- ISTAT Numero medio di figli per donna per regione 2002-2005
- ISTAT Tassi generici di natalità, mortalità e nuzialità per regione 2002-2005
- Rapporto Istat - La popolazione straniera residente in Italia al 31º dicembre 2010
- ISTAT Speranza di vita alla nascita per sesso e regione 2002-2005
- "Ethnologue report for Sardinian". Ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- UNESCO, 2008
- Piras, 457, 460.
- http://lanuovasardegna.gelocal.it/regione/2008/11/15/news/birra-una-passione-tutta-sarda-1.3308962 | Birra, una passione tutta sarda
- http://www.massmarket.it/birra.htm | L'evoluzione dei consumi e lo scenario competitivo
- http://www.sardegna-media-time.com/index.php/notizie/cibo/532-la-birra-dei-shardana-perche-i-sardi-bevono-cosi-tanta-birra | La birra dei Shardana - perchè i sardi bevono così tanta birra?
- http://www.bruncuspina.it/ Bruncu Spina - Neve e Sci in Sardegna
- "International Federation of Celtic wrestling". Celtic-wrestling.tripod.com. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Sardegna prima per superficie forestale e assorbimento di Co2. May 2007 . 
- "''Sardinia: A natural lab for renewable energy'', Sardegna Rocerche" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- http://www.giann.net/?p=420 Avanza l’energia eolica in Italia: dal Sud [e isole] l’88% della potenza prodotta
- "''Hooded Crow: Corvus cornix'', GlobalTwitcher.com, ed, N. Stromberg". Globaltwitcher.com. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Cretan Beaches, "Eleonora's falcon", Retrieved 20 July 2012
- "Brochure_8pp_297x210_100444". Issuu.com. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- "Alberghieturismo.it". Alberghieturismo.it. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- "Parks - What's on offer - Sardinia Tourism". Sardegnaturismo.it. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Parco Geominerario Storico e Ambientale della Sardegna
- UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription data for Su Nuraxi di Barumini (2008) "Su Nuraxi di Barumini - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Whc.unesco.org. 1997-12-07. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- Further reading
- Tennant, Robert. Sardinia and Its Resources (2010)
- Insight Guide Sardinia by Nick Bruno (2010)
- Tracey Heatherington. Wild Sardinia: Indigeneity and the Global Dreamtimes of Environmentalism (2010) 314 pages;Examines the clash between conservation efforts and traditional commons; focuses on resistance in the town of Orgosolo to Gennargentu National Park.
- Sardinia (Eyewitness Travel Guide) by Fabrizio Arditio (2009) excerpt and text search
- Sardinia (Regional Guide) by Duncan Garwood (2009) excerpt and text search
- Sardinia in Five Senses by Charming Italy Publishers (2008)
- The Rough Guide to Sardinia (Rough Guide Travel Guides) by Robert Andrews (2007) excerpt and text search
- Dyson, Stephen L. and Robert J. Rowland, ed. Archaeology and History in Sardinia from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages: Shepherds, Sailors, and Conquerors (2007)
- Sardinia: The Undefeated Island by Mary Delane (1968)
- Sardinia, Ancient Peoples and Places by Margaret Guido (1963)
- Sardinia Side Show by Amelie Posse Brazdova (1930)
- The Island of Sardinia by John Warre Tyndale vol I (1849) From Google books
- The Island of Sardinia by John Warre Tyndale vol II (1849) From Google books
- The Island of Sardinia by John Warre Tyndale vol III (1849) From Google books
- Sketch of the present state of the island of Sardinia by William Henry Smyth (1928) From Google books
- DH Lawrence Sea and Sardinia (1921)
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- Official Sardinia Tourism website in English
- Official regional website in Italian
- Digital Library of Sardinia Autonomous Region
- Dyson, S., R. Talbert, T. Elliott, S. Gillies. "Places: 472014 (Sardinia Ins.)". Pleiades. Retrieved March 8, 2012.