Sardegna

An autonomous region of Italy and the second largest island in the Mediterranean, South of Corsica.

1. The Land

The Island has varied climates. In areas near the coasts and hills, the climate is Mediterranean and turns continental as one travels inland. Summers are usually hot near the coast. During the winter and spring, the island experiences the Mistral wind from the northwest.

2. The Soil

Near the coast, the soils are mostly clay and sandy. Inland, the soil varies from schist, dolomite limestone, granite, basalt and obsidian.

3. The Produce

Sardinia is rich in its own food and wine culture. The wines are made from a variety of indigenous and French grapes such as Vermentino (Rolle), Cannonau (Grenache), Carignano, Monica, Vernaccia and Malvasia. Some signature dishes to try would be spaghetti ai ricci (sea urchin) and bottarga (dried fish eggs). Other produce to look out for would be tuna from Carloforte, Pecorino Sardo Cheese, Casu Marzu (cheese containing live insect larvae) and Porcheddu (suckling pig roasted on the spit). Sardinian Nougat, which is very different from the Australian ones as it is softer, and soft Amaretto cookies are worth searching for.

Did you know?

- The capital of Sardinia is Cagliari, which is at the southernmost part of the island.

- You can find pink flamingos in ponds around Cagliari, particularly in Molentargius Park and Santa Gilla.

- The island exchanged hands many times under the rule of the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Roman Empire, the Vandals (an east Germanic tribe), the Byzantine Empire, the Spanish Empire and the House of Savoy.

- When driving inland, one can notice structures that look like ancient tower-fortresses constructed from 1500 BC onwards called Nuraghi. There are about 7,000 Nuraghes on the island.

- It has been discovered that it was the Sardinians, not the Phoenicians who were the first to grow vines. The oldest vines in the western Mediterranean are located in Sardinia, belonging to the Vernaccia and Malvasia cultivar.

- Sardinia has the world’s highest documented percentage of people who have passed the century threshold.