Sardinia is an island in every sense of the word; its culture is of native origin, it lies a long way from the mainland and it still astonishes the visitor by the violent natural contrasts between its bare, rocky coasts and its gentle rolling inland plateaux, and by the variety of cultures found there.
The prehistoric period is more a living fact, and has more evidence above ground than in most places, mingling, in a way which is sometimes fascinating, with modern life.
The most notable feature of this is the building fever which has taken the islanders since Sardinia was opened up to tourists, and which has attacked a society still for the most part patriarchal. The original inhabitants had a lively and original taste in building which is found in the famous nuraghs, and were no mean sculptors, as can be seen from the quantity of, local bronzes. The Greek world hardly touched Sardinia, and in the great carve-up of the Mediterranean in classical times it fell under the domination of the Phoenicians, then of the Carthaginians.
Rome then assimilated it and left its mark, more notable here than in many parts of the Italian mainland. It was fought for by Genoa and Pisa during the Middle Ages, while developing autonomous forms of government, such as the a giudicato > unusual among medieval political institutions.
The Aragonese held it until the 18° century, when it became part of the territory of the Kingdom of Sardinia, from which the modern state of Italy grew.