''...Rozle has a great knowledge of the area and we finished the trip with a much deeper understanding of the whole Balkan area...''
Location: The island of Sardinia lies in the central Mediterranean Sea, 184 kilometers north of the African coast, 208 kilometers west of the Italian port city of Civitavecchia, and separated from Corsica to the north by the 11-kilometer-wide Straits of Bonifacio.
Border Countries: Island; no international borders
Area: 24,090 sq km (slightly smaller than New Hampshire)
Capital City: Cagliari (population 149.880)
Religions: Roman Catholic
Government type: Sardinia is one of the five Italian autonomous regions
Coastline: 1,849 km
Highest point: Punta La Marmora 1,834 m
Roadways: : 18,000 km
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National currency: Macedonian Denar
International dialing number: +389
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Visa: For visitors from most countries (EU, USA, etc) a visa is not needed. Only a valid passport is required
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.
The island consists primarily of mountainous Plateaus, rising gradually from the west and forming the Gennargentu Range in east-central Sardinia, with its highest peak, Punta La Marmora, at 1,834 meters; the eastern plateaus plunge dramatically into the sea.
Italian, Sardinian, Sassarese, Gallurese, Catalan Algherese, Tabarchino
Our primitive forebears may have been wandering around Sardinia as long as 400,000 years ago. Their Bronze Age descendants, known as the nuraghic peoples, long dominated the interior of the island, even after the arrival of Phoenician traders around 850 BC, subsequently to be replaced by the Carthaginians and Romans. The latter eventually took control of much of the island and the indigenous people faded into history. The departure of the Romans and the ensuing chaos left Sardinia at the mercy of Vandal raiders, Byzantine occupiers and Arab corsairs. Four giudicati (kingdoms) emerged in the Middle Ages but, by the 13th century, the Pisans and Genoese were battling for control. They were eventually toppled in 1323 by the Catalano-Aragonese from northern Spain who stayed put some 50 years. Eleonora d’Arborea (1340–1404) battled against them heroically and remains justifiably revered as Sardinia’s very own Joan of Arc. Sardinia became a Spanish territory after the unification of the Spanish kingdoms in 1479 and, still today, there is a tangible Hispanic feel to towns such as Alghero. In the ensuing centuries, Sardinia suffered as Spain’s power crumbled and, in 1720, the Italian Savoy kingdom took possession of the island. After Italian unity in 1861, Sardinia found itself under the disinterested boot of Rome. In 1943, during WWII, Cagliari was heavily bombed by the Allies. On a brighter note, one of the most important postwar successes was the elimination of malaria in the 1950s, which allowed the development of coastal tourism that today forms a pillar of Sardinia’s economy, although the impact of the Decreto Soru is causing some in the tourism industry to worry. In June 2004, Renato Soru, founder of Italy’s largest internet company, Tiscali, beat Mauro Pili, then-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s protégé, by a wide margin to become president of the island. A central-left politician, Soru’s successful campaign was based on the revitalization of the island’s economy and environmental issues, including his pledge to close the American nuclear submarine base on the Arcipelago di La Maddalena. A timetable for withdrawal has since been confirmed by the Italian Defense Ministry and US authorities.
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. Sardinia is going to become a tax haven, from June 2013, the whole island territory will 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.
The Flag of the Quattro Mori, four Black moors is the official flag of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Italy, and the historical flag and coat of arms of the Kingdom of Sardinia. The flag is of medieval origin, and is composed by the St. George Cross and four heads of blindfold Black moors perhaps representing St. Victor of Marseilles or St. Maurice, often represented in heraldry and in sculpture as "Moors". It is historically linked to the flag of the Spanish region of Aragon and that of the neighboring island of Corsica.