The island of Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, located in the western part of the Mediterranean sea. It is between Europe and the north of Africa.
With an area of 24,100 square kilometres, its the third-largest region of Italy after Sicily and Piedmont, and the second-largest island in the Meditteranean after Sicily.
Sardinia belongs to Italy, although many Sardinians would prefer to be entirely independent. The autonomous relationship with the rest of Italy allows the island to make some political decisions independently.
Some Sardinia activists would rather see Sardinia become the 27th Canton of Switzerland.
Sardinia is known as Sardegna in Italian, Sardinien in German, Sardaigne in French, Cerdeña in Spanish, and Sardigna in Sardo (The language of Sardinia.)
Looking at the map of Europe, you will find Sardinia in the Mediterranean sea. The same distance away from the mainland of Italy, and the North of Africa.
The smaller island just above Sardinia is Corsica which belongs to France.
Where Is Sardinia In Comparison To The Italian Mainland And Africa?
Sardinia lies 200 km (120 miles) west of the Italian mainland and again roughly 200 km (120 miles) north from the North African coast.
The French island of Corsica, which shares some historical similarities with Sardinia, is to the north, just 13 km (8 miles) away. The Strait of Bonifacio separates the two islands.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily.
Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, is only 220 kilometers south of Cagliari, which makes it closer than the eternal city of Rome. For centuries Sardinia has been isolated between Europe and Africa.
Looking west from Sardinia, are the Spanish Balearic Islands, and the cities of Barcelona and Valencia.
Here are the coordinates of Sardinia: 40.1209° N, 9.0129° (just in case you need them)
How Big Is Sardinia?
The population is around 1,630,000, while the area of the island is 24,090 km² ( 9,301 mi²), this equates to about 69 people per square kilometer (the average in the whole of Italy is 201 people per square kilometer.)
The amount of space in Sardinia means that traffic is a rare feature of daily life. The landscape appears rugged but untouched.
Neighboring Sicily is only a fraction larger in area than Sardinia but has more than three times as many people.
Sardinia comes with 1849 km of beautiful coastline (the longest coastline of any Italian region), which attracts tourists from around the world. Home to some of the best beaches in Europe.
What Is The Capital Of Sardinia?
Sardinia’s capital and largest city Cagliari is located in the south of Sardinia, a port town facing out towards the north of Africa. Cagliari is known as the city of lights and is home to one out of every seven Sardinians.
Cagliari is known for its hilltop Castle, a walled medieval quarter, that stands high above the city. The city brings many tourists to the island.
Cagliari Elmas Airport is located just outside the city, and it serves half of the incoming air travelers to Sardinia. There are also frequent ferry connections from Cagliari to the Italian mainland.
Sassari and Olbia are the next largest cities in Sardinia. They are both in the north of Sardinia.
Sassari is close to Alghero Fertilia Airport. Olbia has its airport named Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, as it is also the gateway to the famous Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the north-east of Sardinia.
What Language Is Spoken In Sardinia?
Italian is the primary language in Sardinia today, although the rich Sardinian language, Sardo, is still widely spoken by 78% of the population.
The Sardo dialect changes from region to region. In older times Sardinians could even notice the difference in the dialect of the next town. This shows how isolated many generations of Sardinians lived without modern transport links.
In the city of Alghero, Catalan is still widely spoken. It’s known as the last bastion of the Catalan language in Italy. The Spanish influence is all around the city, including the architecture and the flag.
Let’s Not Confuse Sardinia With Sicily
Many people confuse Sardinia with Sicily which is located 300 km (180 miles) south-east of Sardinia, the island of Sicily meets the toe of the Italian boot, in the south of the country.
Sardinia is an introvert when compared to its extroverted sibling Sicily. Sardinia is a very humble island, filled with endless beauty, and unanswered mysteries.
Both Sardinia and Sicily are part of Italy, and both are popular holiday destinations for Italians and international travelers searching for beautiful beaches, delicious food and wine, charming towns, archaeological sites, and warm sunshine.
Fortunately, there is almost no Mafia activity in Sardinia, compared to the Sicily, and other regions of Italy. However, they are known to holds investment in Sardinia real estate.
Sardinia remains underrated from what I can tell. Coming to Sardinia is like stepping foot on an island outside of time, with an atmosphere like no other place.
The People Of Sardinia
This mysterious island has kept to itself through the centuries. The Sardinian people have held on tightly to their deep-rooted culture, as empires across the Mediterranean have risen and fallen.
The people of Sardinia are very kind and humble. Family comes first in Sardinia, and the villages and towns of Sardinia are very tightknit, sharing common values and traditions.
The Sardinian calendar is packed with festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
Sardinia is even known as a Blue Zone, meaning that the people of Sardinia, on average, live longer than the rest of us.
It’s believed the long life comes from a combination of lifestyle factors, such as the importance of family, inclusion, and reverence to the elderly, a healthy diet (locally sourced food), and a connection to nature.
D H Lawrence, had this to say about Sardinia: “Sardinia is out of time and history.”
The writer also articulated the contrasts between the Italian mainland and Sardinia. He could feel the ancient traditions and aspects of Sardinia that echo through the landscape, even today.
Now you know where Sardinia is located and some information about this island, feel free to explore my blog to learn more about this beautiful and mysterious island.