5 things the world should know about Sardinia

Updated on Apr 11, 2017 by Kevin Sunch

Blog > 5 things the world should know about Sardinia

This list will allow you to look deeply into Sardinian culture; you will realize that this island has a lot to offer and it’s not only about ‘sea & sun'.

Kevin is our latest Sardinian intern, growing up in Alghero and bringing with him plenty of expertise and insider tips about Sardinia.

Sardinia is well-known for its amazing beaches and fantastic landscapes, but the majority of people, Italians included, don’t know about some unique things in this region. Here you can find a special list, our best-chosen five emblems, that absolutely represents or should represent this island all over the world.

 

1. Nuraghi

Have you ever heard about Nuraghi? Several visitors don’t know about it both before arrival and when they get back home, despite these monuments being the symbol of the island. You ought to know that Sardinia is dotted with more than 7,000 Nuraghi (singular "Nuraghe"), extremely ancient stone buildings, dating back to 2,000 B.C. and related to one of the most mystical human societies: the Nuragic civilization. Nowadays, we still have several theories about the main function of these old buildings; some experts state that they had military functions, others sustain the religious hypothesis, still others believe in the astronomy perspective; perhaps the truth is in the middle. Either way, you should take a visit to one of the thousands of Sardinian Nuraghi during your holiday on the island. We suggest visiting the complex of "Su Nuraxi" in Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

 

2. Mirto

Let’s move now onto gastronomy, showcasing a typical liquor: Mirto (known as myrtle, in English). The myrtle is an evergreen shrub, peculiar of the Mediterranean macchia that is in all Southern Europe regions. What is unique in this region is the “Mirto liquor” that comes from the namesake berry; in fact, this strong drink (30-32% alcohol content) can be found only here and recently in Corsica as well, due to imports from Sardinians immigrating to their cousin island. You will find this typical digestif in each restaurant, which is always served after desserts. There are two types of this liquor - red, when it derives from the berry, and white, when produced from its leaves - locals usually prefer the red one.

 

3. Language

Did you know that Sardinia has its own language…more specifically, languages? This place is unique also from a linguistic perspective. From north to south you will hear different parlances, some of them are real languages, others mere dialects. Co-official with Italian but completely different from it, Sardinian is spoken especially in the hinterland and the south; this idiom diversifies from village to village. Throughout the region, you won’t hear only lingua sarda though; the north speaks different Corsican dialects, considering its proximity to the French island. Remaining in the north, precisely in Alghero, Catalan language is spoken because of the Catalan domination between XV and XVIII centuries. At last, in the two islands of San Pietro and Sant’Antioco (south-west), people speak a Genoese dialect, as a result of immigrations from Genoese citizens.

 

4. Monte d'Accoddi Ziggurat

Ziggurats, typical ancient structures built in the old Mesopotamia, are similar to Egyptian pyramids. These monuments can only be found in Iraq, Syria…and Sardinia! In fact, on the island you can visit the only European ziggurat, called “Monte d’Accoddi”, located in the countryside of Sassari (north-west). It dates back to the IV millennium B.C. and it is undoubtedly one of the oldest monuments all over Italy (just think that the Colosseum “only” comes from 80 A.D). If you are a lover of archaeology or simply a curious traveller, you must visit this unique site.

Image credit: Cristiano Cani

 

5. Longevity

Throughout the world there are five specific places where the longest-living people are. These environments have been selected by two international demographers for the journal “Experimental Gerontology”. These so-called “Blue Zones” are: Okinawa island (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California) and finally, guess which…Sardinia - especially in its central hinterlands. This significant recognition has to do with good habits and diet, including, putting family first, drinking goat’s milk, celebrating elders, having one or two glasses of red wine daily and taking walks. This is the reason why a lot of Italians settle here for their retirement…you could consider it, too.

 

Looking forward to experiencing the real Sardinian culture? Have a look at our accommodation page and book your perfect holiday with us.

 

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