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Sardinia Panorama Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily). The area of Sardinia is 9,300 sq. miles. The island lies between Italy, Spain, and Tunisia, south of Corsica; it is one of the autonomous regions with special statute under the Italian Constitution.

At the beginning of the nuragic age circa 1500 BC the island was first called Hyknusa (Latinized Ichnusa) by the Mycenaeans probably meaning island (nusa) of the Hyksos, the people who had just been expelled by Ahmose I of Egypt circa 1540 BC. Sandalyon was its second name, probably due to its shape, recalling a footprint. Last and present name has been Sardinia, for the Shardana (whose invasion of Egypt was defeated by Ramesses III circa 1180 BC).

Ports, Airports and Internal Road Network

Off-island communications are mainly guaranteed by the system of ports and harbours; there are five main ports which receive 16% of the whole national traffic. With this volume of traffic, Sardinia is in the third position amongst the regions of Italy for the volume of goods in transit.

The most important ports, with regard to passenger traffic, are to be found in the north of the island. Olbia is the most important, followed by La Maddalena, Porto Torres and Cagliari.

The main port for goods in transit is Sarroch (in the Cagliari Industrial Area), which handles 61% of all traffic, consisting almost exclusively of petroleum products. It is the fifth in importance for the movement of goods in the national context. It is followed, in order of decreasing importance, by Porto Torres, (petroleum and chemical products), Olbia (machinery, minerals and agricultural products) and the industrial ports of Oristano, Arbatax and Portovesme. Finally, in 1997 the port in the Industrial Area of Cagliari, known as Channel Port, will become operational.

Air traffic relies on three airports : Cagliari-Elmas (48% of overall traffic), Olbia-Costa Smeralda (31%) and Alghero-Fertilia (21%).

There are moreover two fourth level airports situated at Oristano in the central-west area of Sardinia and Tortolì in the central-east area.

The internal road network is based on a main arterial road linking the south to the north of the island, the Carlo Felice highway (S.S. 131). Other important roads are the S.S. 130 linking Cagliari to the mining and industrial basin of the Sulcis area, the Sassari-Olbia roads (S.S. 131, 597 and 199) and the state roads 125 Orientale Sarda and 195 Sulcitana.

The railroad network stretches at the present time over 1,000 kms and is undergoing a phase of significant reconstruction.

The railroad system links into the national and European network through the port of Golfo Aranci where there is a railroad staging point. To this port, situated in the north of the island, we must add, at some time in the future, that situated within the Cagliari Channel Port.

Sardinia ViewHistory of Sardinia. Sardinia's history is very ancient. In 1979 human remains were found that were dated to 150,000 BC. In 2004, in a cave in Logudoro, a human phalanx was found that was dated to ~250,000 BC.

In Prehistory Sardinia's inhabitants developed a trade in obsidian, a stone used for the production of the first tools, and this activity brought Sardinians into contact with most of the Mediterranean people. Desiccated grapes, recently found in several locations, were DNA tested and proved to be the oldest grapes in the world, dating back to 1200 BC. The Cannonau wine is made with these grapes and may qualify as the mother of all the European wines.

From Neolithic times until the Roman Empire, the Nuragic civilisation took shape on the island. Still today, more than 9,000 Nuraghe survive. It is speculated that, among others, the Shardana people landed in Sardinia coming from the eastern Mediterranean. Shardana had joined the Shekelesh and others to form the coalition of the Sea Peoples, but were defeated by Ramesses III around 1180 BC in Egypt. Shardana and Shekelesh were also called by the Egyptians as the "people from the faraway islands", implying that Shardana were already residents of Sardinia at the time of the Egyptian expedition. This assertion holds some truth; in fact most of the tombe dei giganti have a tombstone shaped like a ship vertically dug into the ground, bearing witness to their sea traveling activities. According to some linguistic studies, the town of Sardis (in Lydia) would have been their starting point from which they would have reached the Tyrrhenian Sea, dividing into what were to become the Sardinians and the Etruscans.

Part of the information regarding the history, the art, the traditions and the events about the city of Sardinia on this page is drawn from respecting the GNU Free Documentation License.