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Sardinia

201 bytes removed, 16:06, 30 October 2012
By boat
==Understand==
Sardinia, with its quintessential Mediterranean beauty, is mainly loved for swimming, boating, windsurfing, hiking, climbing, and camping, with coastal areas tending to become over touristed especially in the warmest month, August. The inner life of the island away from the tourist spots takes longer to appreciate and requires you to peel away the layers of apparent Italianization. After all, the ancient Nuragic civilization of Sardinia of ca. 1500 BC, whose stone monuments still dot the land, predates even the Etruscan civilization in mainland Italy by several hundred years. The island's key attraction of natural beauty is under considerable threat from the ecological damage from livestock, farming, and mass tourism without adequate infrastructure. It is also affected by negative aspects of the Italian 'way of life' such as an uncontrolled use of strong chemicals and sprays, and the prevalent idea that public land is nobody's land, i.e. everybody’s rubbish tip. In general, there seem to be no public funds available for municipal restoration, conservation, and maintenance projects, and too little public awareness of the need for comprehensive, multilayered environmental protections and conservation efforts. Enjoy it while it lasts!
[[Image:Sardinia_PhysGeo_2.png|thumb|350px|Physical Geography of Sardinia]]
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| janprecip = 5.353| febprecip = 5.252| marprecip = 4.545| aprprecip = 3.535| mayprecip = 2.727| junprecip = 1.010| julprecip = 0.3| augprecip = 1.010| sepprecip = 2.929| octprecip = 5.757| novprecip = 5.656| decprecip = 5.555
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With the fall of the Roman Empire, heavy raiding of the coastal areas by pirates forced the population to the hinterland; Sassari for instance was founded by refugees from Porto Torres. The four Kingdoms (''Giudicati'' of Calaris (Cagliari), Arborea (Oristano), Torres (Sassari) e Gallura (Olbia-Tempio Pausania)) sprang forth during the Middle Ages, but were rapidly colonized (except for the Oristano area) by Pisa and Genoa; in particular the Pisans (the famous Conte Ugolino della Gherardesca of Dante's ''Inferno'' and his family) held between 1200 and 1350 the southernmost part of the island, deriving a large income out of the silver mines near Iglesias, which they themselves founded. Spain then seized the whole of Sardinia by the end of the 14th century, and for nearly 400 years the island remained basically out of mainstream European history.
With the rise of the House of Savoy, the constitution of the Sardinia-Piedmont realm was the starting point for the unification of all of Italy. When this was achieved, Sardinia was once again left to its own devices, except for the exploitation of its large mineral resources. Fascism saw important work (in particular the reduction of marshy areas), and in 1948, given the unique socio-political context of the island, Sardinia received the status of autonomous region which it still retains to the present day. With the end of the exploitation of the mines, but with the fast growth of the tourist industry (especially in the Costa Smeralda ("Emerald Coast") area), Sardinia is slowly converting itself into a popular tourist destination, while traditional cattlestock-herding (in particular sheep) is still a frequent sight.
==Talk=Language= == Along with standard [[Italian phrasebook|Italian]], Sardinians speak one of the dialects of '''Sardinian language''' (similar to Latin, but with some deep Semitic influence). And in the [[Gallura]] they speak Corsican, In [[Alghero]] they also speak [[Catalan phrasebook|Catalan]], while in the San Pietro Island they speak a Genoese dialectLigurian. Sardinians generally speak Italian when addressing people they do not know, even other Sardinians, as the four main dialects are rather different. With Outside of the exception of touristic areas, cities English is not widely spokeneven among the young, and even among in the cities only by the young; you might have better luck with French, especially with 50+ year-old people in the larger townscities, but do not expect anything but Italian and Sardinian elsewhere.
==Respect==
Sardinians are generally a quiet and reserved people, especially those of the interior, quite far from the archetype of the outgoing Mediterranean. They are typically more conservative in outlook than mainland Italians (whom Sardinians call ''Continentali'', continent dwellers).
==Get in==
There are ferry services to Cagliari (south coast), Porto Torres (north coast), and Olbia, Golfo Aranci and Arbatax (east coast).
Have a look at Ferriesonline [http://www.traghettionline.net] or iTraghetti [http://www.itraghetti.com] or you can also compare prices on Traghettiper-Sardegna [http://www.traghettiper-sardegna.it], or the state-owned ferry service Tirrenia [http://www.tirrenia.it] (year-round service) and the private companies Moby Lines [http://www.mobylines.com], Sardinia Ferries [http://www.corsica-ferries.co.uk/], Grimaldi [http://www.gnv.it], Snav [http://www.snav.it].
Daily ferries link Northern Sardinia with [[Corsica]] (it is possible to take a day trip to [[Bonifacio]], Corsica) from Santa Teresa di Gallura.
===By car===
While it is possible to get around Sardinia by bus and train, doing so may well limit how fast you travel and where you go. If you can, [http://amigoautos.it hire a car]. It is well worth the outlay, and it will allow you to visit some of the more remote and enchanting places and areas. You may find many companies offering car hire like Hertz and Avis. If you like to save money you can also try brokers like [http://www.carrentalinsardinia.com/ carrentalinsardinia.com].
Consult the article on [[Italy]] for general information about speed limits, urban areas, police forces, etc. What follows is specific to Sardinia.
===By sailboat===
Sailing is one of the best way ways to see Sardinia. Most charters offers offer many solutions options from bareboat to crewed and cabin charter, with all the type various types of the boatsbeing available.
===By train===
Regular trains from the edge of [[Alghero]] to [[Sassari]] and from [[Sassari]] to [[Cagliari]], although buses are usually quicker. Change at '''Macomer''' for trains or buses to [[Nuoro]]. Less frequent trains on this and other routes. Both Trenitalia and Ferrovie della Sardegna operate trains in the Island.
In the summer period, twice a week, there's a small train that travels from Sassari to Tempio and back. It runs especially for tourists and is highly recommended. The train in is called "trenino verde" and you can find info here [http://www.treninoverde.com]
===By bicycle===
At many places it is possible to rent a bike quite cheaply, for as little as 9 euros per 24 hours. Compared to the scarce local bus connections a bicycle provides great flexibility for local exploration. With high quality roads and great scenery the bike is very pleasant to ride.
 
===By Yacht===
 
Silver Star Yachting is a charter company with many kinds of Motor Yachts or Sailboats available in Sardinia to charter. [[http://www.silverstaryachting.com]]
== Do ==
==Sleep==
<!-- Don't add hotel listings here, list them in the regional and city articles of Sardinia!-->
While you can find most major hotel chains in Sardinia, the better way to really enjoy a stay in the island is to find a local hotel, [http://www.holidaycagliari.com bed and breakfast] or an [http://www.bluesardiniaholidays.com holiday apartment]. Another often cheaper option that adds many 'out of town' locations is to rent a small cabin in a camping village or a room in an 'agriturismo' farm or rural cottage. Most accommodations are located near the coast, but also internal regions offer great opportunities.
==Eat==
* '''Vermentino di Sardegna''' is light wine with a strong minerally taste.
==Stay Healthyhealthy==
Sardinia is part of the Mediterranean area and shares its specific hazards. A few basic precautions are generally enough to stay out of trouble, especially during summer and autumn.
Sardinia is scarcely sparsely populated, in particular the interior; help is not always easily found, and there remain large patches of land where mobile-phone coverage is inexistent non-existent (e.g. at the bottom of sheltered valleys). Terrain, despite the lack of high elevations, is generally rugged and steep; this, in combination with heat and lack of water, can quickly lead to disaster. Beware!
Summer is everywhere hot, and the sun quite strong; the usual precautions to avoid heatstroke and sunburns apply. From May to September, water scarcity in the country is a serious problem. Always take a lot of water with you (especially so when hiking), even if you plan a short trip; bringing along fresh watery fruit (such as peaches) is also helpful. While tap water is generally (but not always) safe, it is recommended to buy bottled mineral water; remember that sweating implies loss of water ''and'' of mineral salts.
Autumn is generally fine, but can become very unpleasant because of the heavy rainstorms and hilly topography, creating possibilities for land- and mud- slides; always check the weather before planning a trip, even with your car. Winter and spring are generally safer, with pleasantly mild weather (especially during the day) and abundance of water; but remember that to higher elevations corresponds an increasingly colder weather and larger precipitation. Much of Sardinia (especially the Western part) is very windy from September to April; all drivers, and in particular those with campers, must exercise caution.
'''Consult specialized texts for expert advice'''.
==Stay Safesafe==
Sardinia has a very low criminal rate; even kidnapping, which targeted wealthy (and at times not so wealthy) individuals until the mid 1980's 1980s, has completely disappeared. Some areas of Sardinia (in particular the beautiful Orgosolo area in the Nuoro province) have a longstanding reputation of family feuds; apart from the fact that foreigners were almost never involved in such disputes, these belong now mostly to the past.
Beware that some urban areas (in particular the Sant'Elia district near the football stadium and the Is Mirionis San Michele district, both in Cagliari) are unsafe.
Be wary of game hunters during the September-February period; check with locals, hotel employees, and the website of the Sardinian Region [http://www.regione.sardegna.it/] for legal hunting dates. Do not hike in the wilderness during these days! There are protected areas (It. Oasi di protezione della fauna) but even these are regularly raided by poachers, especially during the night.
From April/May to September , fires plague Sardinia as the rest of the Mediterranean area; some are spontaneous wildfires, but most are criminal. Observe the usual precautions. It is generally forbidden to start domestic fires in forests. Check with local authorities; Sardinia is an autonomous region and Italian laws might be superseded by local provisions.
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