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 Tourist Info > Italy > Sardinia



This 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. In recent years, there has been much investment in tourist infrastructure, particularly in the northern area known as the Costa Smeralda and on the west coast near Alghero. This is the only region in Italy without motorways. The Sardinian language is closer to Latin than is modern Italian.

, the capital, stands in a marshy valley at the south of the island. It was founded by the Phoenicians and subsequently expanded by the Romans, who knew it as Carales. It is today 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 around 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 – circular (sometimes conical) stone dwellings. The largest collection of these may be found at Su Nuraxi, about 80km (50 miles) north of Cagliari.

Beach resorts
include: Santa Margherita di Pula, Alghero, Santa Teresa, Porto Cervo, Capo Boi and the island of La Maddalena.

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