Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and is formed by a series of mountainous massifs, hills and narrow highlands. The coasts are jagged and rocky, interspersed with marvelous beaches of very fine sand and countless inlets. The seaside landscapes, especially on the Costa Smeralda, are among the most beautiful in the world. Numerous small, enchanting islets are scattered in front of the coasts.
Cities: Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia, ruled by a special statute. Other important cities are Sassari, Nuoro and Oristano.
Art: Very ancient and peculiar remains of the prehistoric and protohistoric eras are the megalithic "Tombs of the Giants"; the "domus dejanas" (houses of the witches), tombs dug into the rock; and the "nuraghi". The nuraghi, truncated cone towers in huge stone and fortified dwellings of the earliest inhabitants, number about 7,000 and can be found all over the island. Phoenician and Roman remains have come to light at Tharros and Nora; there are Roman relics at Porto Torres and Cagliari. The Gothic-Catalonian style thrived in the island under the rule of the Spanish House of Aragon.
Museums: The National Archaeologic Museum of Cagliari is the most important museum in the island: prehistoric tombs, megalithic temples and tombs, the famous small bronzes and a documentation of the Punic and Roman periods. In Sanna, we can visit the archaeologic and ethnographic sections of the Sanna Museum and the Pinacoteca. In Nuoro, the Regional Museum of the Costume is interesting. The Antiquarium Alborense of Oristano Houses paintings of the sixteenth-century Sardinian masters and an archaeologic section.
To be visited: The Costa Smeralda and the island of the Maddalena (Bocche di Bonifacio); the islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, near Cagliari. Tourists should not omit a visit to the archaeologic excavations of Tharros and to the cork-oak woods, at the foot of the Gennargentu.