Place:Sardegna, Italy

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NameSardegna
Alt namesSardinia
Sardegnasource: Wikipedia
Sardenyasource: Wikipedia
Sardignasource: Wikipedia
Sardiniensource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-156
Sardinnasource: Wikipedia
Sardinniasource: Wikipedia
TypeRegion
Coordinates40.0°N 9.0°E
Located inItaly     (1861 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Sardinia ( ;  ; or  ; ; ; ; ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus). It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.

Sardinia is politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna (Autonomous Region of Sardinia), and enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy granted by a specific Statute. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city, with Cagliari being the region's capital and also its largest city. Sardinia's indigenous language and the other minority languages (Sassarese, Corsican Gallurese, Algherese Catalan and Ligurian Tabarchino) spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy "equal dignity" with Italian.

Due to the variety of its ecosystems, which include mountains, woods, plains, largely uninhabited territories, streams, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been defined metaphorically as a micro-continent. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have exalted its beauty, remained untouched until the contemporary age and immersed in a landscape that houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prehistory

Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient bodies of land in Europe. The island was populated in various waves of immigration from prehistory until recent times.

The first people to settle in Sardinia during the Upper Paleolithic and the Mesolithic came from Continental Europe; the Paleolithic colonization of the island is demonstrated by the evidences in Oliena's Corbeddu Cave; in the Mesolithic some populations, particularly from present-day Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, managed to move to northern Sardinia via Corsica.[1] The Neolithic Revolution was introduced in the 6th millennium BC by the Cardial culture coming from the Italian Peninsula. In the mid-Neolithic period, the Ozieri culture, probably of Aegean origin, flourished on the island spreading the hypogeum tombs known as domus de Janas, while the Arzachena culture of Gallura built the first megaliths: circular tombs. In the early 3rd millennium BC, the metallurgy of copper and silver began to develop.

During the late Chalcolithic, the so-called Beaker culture, coming from various parts of Continental Europe, appeared in Sardinia. These new people predominantly settled on the west coast, where the majority of the sites attributed to them had been found. The Beaker culture was followed in the early Bronze Age by the Bonnanaro culture which showed both reminiscences of the Beaker and influences by the Polada culture.

As time passed, the different Sardinian populations appear to have become united in customs, yet remained politically divided into various small, tribal groupings, at times banding together, and at others waging war against each other. Habitations consisted of round thatched stone huts.


Nuragic civilization

From about 1500 BC onwards, villages were built around round tower-fortresses called nuraghi (singular form "Nuraghe", usually pluralized in English as "Nuraghes"). These towers were often reinforced and enlarged with battlements. Tribal boundaries were guarded by smaller lookout Nuraghes erected on strategic hills commanding a view of other territories.

Today, some 7,000 Nuraghes dot the Sardinian landscape. While initially these Nuraghes had a relatively simple structure, with time they became extremely complex and monumental (see for example Nuraghe Santu Antine, Su Nuraxi, or Nuraghe Arrubiu). The scale, complexity and territorial spread of these buildings attest to the level of wealth accumulated by the Nuragic people, their advances in technology and the complexity of their society, which was able to coordinate large numbers of people with different roles for the purpose of building the monumental Nuraghes.

The Nuraghes are not the only Nuragic buildings that survive, as there are several sacred wells around Sardinia and other buildings that had religious purposes such as the Giants' grave (monumental collective tombs) and collections of religious buildings that probably served as destinations for pilgrimage and mass religious rites (e.g. Su Romanzesu near Bitti).

Sardinia was at the time at the centre of several commercial routes and it was an important provider of raw materials such as copper and lead, which were pivotal for the manufacture of the time. By controlling the extraction of these raw materials and by commercing them with other countries, the Nuragic civilisation was able to accumulate wealth and reach a level of sophistication that is not only reflected in the complexity of its surviving buildings, but also in its artworks (e.g. the votive bronze statuettes found across Sardinia or the statues of Mont'e Prama).

According to some scholars, the Nuragic people(s) are identifiable with the Sherden, a tribe of the "Sea Peoples".

The Nuragic civilization was linked with other contemporaneous megalithic civilization of the western Mediterranean, such as the Talaiotic culture of the Balearic Islands and the Torrean civilization of South Corsica. Evidence of trade with the other civilizations of the time is attested by several artefacts (e.g. pots), coming from as far as Cyprus, Crete, Mainland Greece, Spain and Italy, that have been found in Nuragic sites, bearing witness to the scope of commercial relations between the Nuragic people and other peoples in Europe and beyond.

Ancient history

Around the 9th century BC the Phoenicians began visiting Sardinia with increasing frequency, presumably initially needing safe overnight and all-weather anchorages along their trade routes from the coast of modern-day Lebanon as far afield as the African and European Atlantic coasts and beyond. The most common ports of call were Caralis, Nora, Bithia, Sulci, and Tharros. Claudian, a 4th-century Latin poet, in his poem De bello Gildonico, stated that Caralis was founded by people from Tyre, probably in the same time of the foundation of Carthage, in the 9th or 8th century BC.

In the 6th century BC, after the conquest of western Sicily, the Carthaginians planned to annex Sardinia. A first invasion attempt led by Malco was foiled by the victorious Nuraghic resistance. However, from 510 BC, the southern and west-central part of the island was invaded a second time and came under Carthaginian rule.


In 238 BC, taking advantage of Carthage having to face a rebellion of her mercenaries (the Mercenary War) after the First Punic War (264–241 BC), the Romans annexed Corsica and Sardinia from the Carthaginians. The two islands became the province of Corsica and Sardinia. They were not given a provincial governor until 227 BC. The Romans faced many rebellions, and it took them many years to pacify both islands. The existing coastal cities were enlarged and embellished, and Roman colonies such as Turris Lybissonis and Feronia were founded. These were populated by Roman immigrants. The Roman military occupation brought the Nuragic civilization to an end, except for the mountainous interior of the island, which the Romans called Barbaria, meaning "Barbarian land". Roman rule in Sardinia lasted 694 years, during which time the province was an important source of grain for the capital. Latin came to be the dominant spoken language during this period, though Roman culture was slower to take hold, and Roman rule was often contested by the Sardinian tribes from the mountainous regions.

Vandal conquest

The east Germanic tribe of the Vandals conquered Sardinia in 456. Their rule lasted for 78 years up to 534, when 400 eastern Roman troops led by Cyril, one of the officers of the foederati, retook the island. It is known that the Vandal government continued the forms of the existing Roman Imperial structure. The governor of Sardinia continued to be called the praeses and apparently continued to manage military, judicial, and civil governmental functions via imperial procedures. The only Vandal governor of Sardinia about whom there is substantial record is the last, Godas, a Visigoth noble. In AD 530, a coup d'état in Carthage removed King Hilderic, a convert to Nicene Christianity, in favor of his cousin Gelimer, an Arian Christian like most of the élite in his kingdom. Godas was sent to take charge and ensure the loyalty of Sardinia. He did the exact opposite, declaring the island's independence from Carthage and opening negotiations with Emperor Justinian I, who had declared war on Hilderic's behalf. In AD 533 Gelimer sent the bulk of his army and navy (120 vessels and 5,000 men) to Sardinia to subdue Godas, with the catastrophic result that the Vandal Kingdom was overwhelmed when Justinian's own army under Belisarius arrived at Carthage in their absence. The Vandal Kingdom ended and Sardinia was returned to Roman rule.

Byzantine era and the rise of the Judicates

In 533, Sardinia returned to the rule of the Byzantine Empire when the Vandals were defeated by the armies of Justinian I under the General Belisarius in the Battle of Tricamarum, in their African kingdom; Belisarius sent his general Cyril to Sardinia to retake the island. Sardinia remained in Byzantine hands for the next 300 years aside from a short period in which it was invaded by the Ostrogoths in 551.

Under Byzantine rule, the island was divided into districts called mereíai (μερείαι) in Byzantine Greek, which were governed by a judge residing in Caralis and garrisoned by an army stationed in Forum Traiani (today Fordongianus) under the command of a dux. During this time, Christianity took deeper root on the island, supplanting the Paganism which had survived into the early Middle Ages in the culturally conservative hinterlands. Along with lay Christianity, the followers of monastic figures such as Basil of Caesarea became established in Sardinia. While Christianity penetrated the majority of the population, the region of Barbagia remained largely pagan and, probably, partially non-Latin speaking. They re-established a short-lived independent domain with Sardinian-heathen lay and religious traditions, one of its kings being Hospito. Pope Gregory I wrote a letter to Hospito defining him "Dux Barbaricinorum" and, being Christian, the leader and best of his people. In this unique letter about Hospito, the Pope prompts him to convert his people who "living all like irrational animals, ignore the true God and worship wood and stone" (Barbaricini omnes, ut insensata animalia vivant, Deum verum nesciant, ligna autem et lapides adorent).


The dates and circumstances of the end of Byzantine rule in Sardinia are not known. Direct central control was maintained at least through c. 650, after which local legates were empowered in the face of the rebellion of Gregory the Patrician, Exarch of Africa and the first invasion of the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb. There is some evidence that senior Byzantine administration in the Exarchate of Africa retreated to Caralis following the final fall of Carthage to the Arabs in 697. The loss of imperial control in Africa led to escalating raids by Moors and Berbers on the island, the first of which is documented in 705, forcing increased military self-reliance in the province. Communication with the central government became daunting if not impossible during and after the Muslim conquest of Sicily between 827 and 902. A letter by Pope Nicholas I as early as 864 mentions the "Sardinian judges", without reference to the empire and a letter by Pope John VIII (reigned 872–882) refers to them as principes ("princes"). By the time of De Administrando Imperio, completed in 952, the Byzantine authorities no longer listed Sardinia as an imperial province, suggesting they considered it lost.[2] In all likelihood a local noble family, the Lacon-Gunale, acceded to the power of Archon, still identifying themselves as vassals of the Byzantines, but de facto independent as communications with Constantinople were very difficult. We know only two names of those rulers, Salusios (Σαλούσιος) and the protospatharios Turcoturios (Tουρκοτούριος) from two inscriptions), who probably reigned between the 10th and the 11th century. These rulers were still closely linked to the Byzantines, both for a pact of ancient vassalage, and from the ideological point of view, with the use of the Byzantine Greek language (in a Romance country), and the use of art of Byzantine inspiration.


In the early 11th century, an attempt to conquer the island was made by the Moors based in the Iberian Peninsula. The only records of that war are from Pisan and Genoese chronicles. The Christians won, but after that, the previous Sardinian kingdom was totally undermined and divided into four small states: Cagliari (Calari), Arborea (Arbaree), Gallura, Torres or Logudoro.

Whether this final transformation from imperial civil servant to independent sovereign bodies resulted from imperial abandonment or local assertion, by the 10th century, the so-called "Judges" ( / , a Byzantine administrative title) had emerged as the autonomous rulers of Sardinia. The title of iudice changed with the language and local understanding of the position, becoming the Sardinian judike, essentially a king or sovereign, while Judicate came to mean "State". A letter by Mieszko I of Poland to Pope John XV proves that the Judicates were known even in Poland (see Dagome iudex), and that they played an important role in Medieval Europe.

Early medieval Sardinian political institutions evolved from the millennium-old Roman imperial structures with relatively little Germanic influence.

Although the Judicates were hereditary lordships, the old Byzantine imperial notion that personal title or honor was separate from the state still remained, so the Judicate was not regarded as the personal property of the monarch as was common in later European feudalism. Like the imperial systems, the new order also preserved "semi-democratic" forms, with national assemblies called the Crown of the Realm. Each Judicate saw to its own defense, maintained its own laws and administration, and looked after its own foreign and trading affairs.

The history of the four Judicates would be defined by the contest for influence between the rival rising sea powers of Genoa and Pisa, and later the ambitions of the Kingdom of Aragon.

The Judicate of Cagliari (or Pluminos), during the regency of Torchitorio V of Cagliari and his successor, William III, was allied with the Republic of Genoa. Because of this it was brought to an end in 1258, when its capital, Santa Igia, was stormed and destroyed by an alliance of Sardinian and Pisan forces. The territory then was divided between the Republic of Pisa, the Della Gherardesca family from Italy, and the Sardinian Judicates of Arborea and Gallura. Pisa maintained the control over the fortress of Castel di Cagliari founded by Pisan merchants in 1216/1217 east of Santa Igia; in the south-west the count Ugolino della Gherardesca promoted the birth of the town of Villa di Chiesa (today Iglesias) to exploit the nearby rich silver deposits.

The Judicate of Logudoro (also called Torres) was also allied to the Republic of Genoa and came to an end in 1259 after the death of the judikessa (queen) Adelasia. The territory was divided up between the Doria and Malaspina families of Genoa and the Bas-Serra family of Arborea, while the city of Sassari became a small republic, along the lines of the Italian city-states (comuni), confederated firstly with Pisa and then with Genoa.

The Judicate of Gallura ended in the year 1288, when the last giudice, Nino Visconti (a friend of Dante Alighieri), was driven out by the Pisans, who occupied the territory.

The Judicate of Arborea, having Oristano as its capital, had the longest life compared to the other kingdoms. Its later history is entwined with the attempt to unify the island into a single Sardinian state (Republica sardisca "Sardinian Republic" in Sardinian, Nació sarda or sardesca "Sardinian Nation" in Catalan) against their relatives and former Aragonese allies.

Aragonese period

In 1297, Pope Boniface VIII established on his own initiative (motu proprio) a hypothetical regnum Sardiniae et Corsicae ("Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica") in order to settle the War of the Sicilian Vespers diplomatically. This had broken out in 1282 between the Capetian House of Anjou and Catalans over the possession of Sicily. Despite the existence of the indigenous states, the Pope offered this newly created crown to James II of Aragon, promising him support should he wish to conquer Pisan Sardinia in exchange for Sicily.


In 1324, in alliance with the Kingdom of Arborea and following a military campaign that lasted a year or so, the Aragon Crown Prince Alfonso led a Catalan army that occupied the Pisan territories of Cagliari and Gallura along with the allied city of Sassari, naming them "The Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica". The kingdom was to remain a dominion of the Crown of Aragon (under the Kings of Spain) until the Treaty of Utrecht.

During this period, the Judicate of Arborea promulgated the legal code of the kingdom in the Carta de Logu ('Charter of the Land'). The Carta de Logu was originally compiled by Marianus IV of Arborea, and was amended and updated by Mariano's daughter, Female Judge (judikessa or juighissa) Eleanor of Arborea. The legal code was written in Sardinian and established a whole range of citizens' rights. Among the revolutionary concepts in this Carta de Logu was the right of women to refuse marriage and to own property. In terms of civil liberties, the code made provincial 14th century Sardinia one of the most developed societies in all of Europe.

In 1353, Peter IV of Aragon, following Aragonese customs, granted a parliament to the kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, which was followed by some degree of self-government under a viceroy and judicial independence. This parliament, however, had limited powers. It consisted of high-ranking military commanders, the clergy and the nobility. The kingdom of Aragon also introduced the feudal system into the areas of Sardinia that it ruled.

The Sardinian Judicates never adopted feudalism, and Arborea maintained its parliament, called the Corona de Logu "Crown of the Realm". In this parliament, apart from the nobles and military commanders, also sat the representatives of each township and village. The Corona de Logu exercised some control over the king: under the rule of the bannus consensus the king could be deposed or even executed if he did not follow the rules of the kingdom.

Broken the alliance with the Crown of Aragon, from 1353 to 1409, the Arborean giudici Marianus IV, Hugh III and Brancaleone Doria (husband of Eleanor of Arborea), succeeded in occupying all of Sardinia except the heavily fortified towns of the Castle of Cagliari and Alghero, which for years remained as the only Aragonese dominions in Sardinia (Sardinian-Catalan War).

In 1409, Martin I of Sicily, king of Sicily and heir to the crown of Aragon, defeated the Sardinians at the Battle of Sanluri. The battle was fought by about 20,000 Sardinian, Genoese and French knights, enrolled from their kingdom at a time when the population of Sardinia had been greatly depleted by the plague. Despite the Sardinian army outnumbering the Aragonese army, they were defeated.

The Judicate of Arborea disappeared in 1420, when its rights were sold by the last king for 100,000 gold florins, and after some of its most notable men switched sides in exchange for privileges. For example, Leonardo Cubello, with some claim to the crown being from a family related to the Kings of Arborea, was granted the title of Marquis of Oristano and feudal rights on a territory that partly overlapped with the original extension of the Kingdom of Arborea in exchange for his subjection to the Aragonese monarchs.

The conquest of Sardinia by the Kingdom of Aragon meant the introduction of the feudal system throughout Sardinia. Thus Sardinia is probably the only European country where feudalism was introduced in the transition period from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, at a time when feudalism had already been abandoned by many other European countries.

Spanish period

In 1469, the heir to Sardinia, Ferdinand II of Aragon, married Isabel of Castile, and the "Kingdom of Sardinia" (which was separated from Corsica) was to be inherited by their Habsburg grandson, Charles I of Spain, with the state symbol of the Four Moors. The successors of Charles I of Spain, in order to defend their Mediterranean territories from raids of the Barbary pirates, fortified the Sardinian shores with a system of coastal lookout towers, allowing the gradual resettlement of some coastal areas.

The Kingdom of Sardinia remained Aragonese-Spanish for about 400 years, from 1323 to 1708, assimilating a number of Spanish traditions, customs and linguistic expressions, nowadays vividly portrayed in the folklore parades of Saint Efisio in Cagliari (1 May), the Cavalcade on Sassari (last but one Sunday in May), and the Redeemer in Nuoro (28 August). To this day Catalan is still spoken in the north-western city of Alghero (l'Alguer).

Many famines have been reported in Sardinia. According to Stephen L. Dyson and Robert J. Rowland, "The Jesuits of Cagliari recorded years during the late 16th century "of such hunger and so sterile that the majority of the people could sustain life only with wild ferns and other weeds" ... During the terrible famine of 1680, some 80,000 people, out of a total population of 250,000, are said to have died, and entire villages were devastated ... "

Savoyard period

In 1708, as a consequence of the Spanish War of Succession, the rule of the Kingdom of Sardinia passed from King Philip V of Spain into the hands of the Austrians, who occupied the island. The Treaty of Utrecht granted Sardinia to the Austrians, but in 1717, Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, minister of Philip V of Spain, reoccupied Sardinia.

In 1718, with the Treaty of London, Sardinia was handed over to the House of Savoy, that would impose the Italian language on the island in 1760.


In 1793, Sardinians repelled the French Expédition de Sardaigne during the French Revolutionary Wars. On 23 February 1793, Domenico Millelire, commanding the Sardinian fleet, defeated the fleets of the French Republic near the Maddalena archipelago, of which then-lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte was a leader. Millelire became the first recipient of the Gold Medal of Military Valor of the Italian Armed Forces. In the same month, Sardinians stopped the attempted French landing on the beach of Quartu Sant'Elena, near the Capital of Cagliari. Because of these successes, the representatives of the nobility and clergy (Stamenti) formulated five requests addressed to the King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia, but these were rejected, Because of this discontent, on 28 April 1794, during an uprising in Cagliari, two Savoyard officials were killed. That was the start of a revolt (called the "Sardinian Vespers") in the island, which culminated on 28 April 1794 (commemorated today as sa die de sa Sardigna) with the expulsion or even execution of the Piedmontese officers for a few days from the Capital Cagliari.

On 28 December 1795 Sassari insurgents demonstrating against feudalism, mainly from the region of Logudoro, occupied the city. On 13 February 1796, in order to prevent the spread of the revolt, the viceroy Filippo Vivalda gave the Sardinian magistrate Giovanni Maria Angioy the role of Alternos, which meant a substitute of the viceroy himself. Angioy moved from Cagliari to Sassari, and during his journey almost all the villages joined the uprising, demanding an end to feudalism and aiming to declare the island to be an independent republic, but once he was outnumbered by loyalist forces he fled to Paris and sought support for a French annexation of the island.

In 1798 the islet near Sardinia was attacked by the Tunisians and over 900 inhabitants were taken away as slaves. The final Muslim attack on the island was on Sant'Antioco on 16 October 1815, over a millennium since the first.

In 1799, as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars in Italy, the Savoy royal family left Turin and took refuge in Cagliari for some fifteen years. In 1847, the Sardinian parliaments (Stamenti), in order to get the Piedmontese liberal reforms they could not afford due to their separated legal system, renounced their state autonomy and agreed to form a union with Piedmont, Savoy, Nice and Liguria in order to have a single parliament, a single magistracy and a single government in Turin; this move aggravated the island's peripheral condition and most of the pro-union supporters, including its leader Giovanni Siotto Pintor, would later regret it.


In 1820, the Savoyards imposed the "Enclosures Act" (Editto delle Chiudende) on the island, aimed at turning the land's traditional collective ownership, a cultural and economic cornerstone of Sardinia since the Nuragic times, to private property. This gave rise to many abuses, as the reform favoured the landholders while excluding the poor Sardinian farmers and shepherds, who witnessed the abolition of the communal rights and the sale of the land. Many local rebellions like the Nuorese Su Connottu ("The Already Known" in Sardinian) riot in 1868, all repressed by the King's army, resulted in an attempt to return to the past and reaffirm the right to use the once common land. However the common lands (called ademprivios) were never completely abolished, and they are still present in large number to this day (500,000 hectares of common lands were counted in 1956, of which 345,000 constituted by woods).

In 1848, the confederation of states powered by the Savoyard kings of Sardinia became a unitarian and constitutional state and moved to the Italian Wars of Independence for the Unification of Italy, that were led for thirteen years. In 1861, being Italy united by a debated war campaign, the parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia decided by law to change its name and the title of its king to Kingdom of Italy and King of Italy. Most Sardinian forests were cut down at this time, in order to provide the Piedmontese with raw materials, like wood, used to make railway sleepers on the mainland. The extension of the primary natural forests, praised by every traveller visiting Sardinia, would in fact be reduced to 1/5 of their original number, being little more than 100.000 hectares at the end of the century.

During the First World War, the Sardinian soldiers of the Brigata Sassari distinguished themselves. It was the first and only regional military unit in Italy, since the people enrolled were only Sardinians. The brigade suffered heavy losses and earned four Gold Medals of Military Valor. Sardinia lost more young people than any other Italian region on the front, with 138 casualties per 1000 soldiers compared to the Italian average of 100 casualties.

During the Fascist period, with the implementation of the policy of autarky, several swamps around the island were reclaimed and agrarian communities founded. The main communities were the village of Mussolinia (now called Arborea), populated by farmers from Veneto and Friuli, in the area of Oristano and Fertilia, populated at first by settlers from the Ferrara area, followed, after World War II, by a notable number of Istrian Italians and Dalmatian Italians hailing from territories lost to Yugoslavia, in the area adjacent the city of Alghero, within the region of Nurra . Also established during that time (1938) was the city of Carbonia, which became the main centre of coal mining activity, that attracted thousand of workers from the rest of the Island and the Italian mainland. The Sardinian writer Grazia Deledda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926.


During the Second World War, Sardinia was an important air and naval base and was heavily bombed by the Allies, especially the city of Cagliari. German troops left the island on 8 September 1943, a few days after the Armistice of Cassibile, and retired to Corsica without fighting and bloodshed, after a bilateral agreement between the general Antonio Basso (Commander of the Armed Forces of Sardinia) and the German Karl Hans Lungerhausen, general of the 90th Panzergrenadier Division.

Post-Second World War period

In 1946, by popular referendum, Italy became a republic, with Sardinia being administered since 1948 by a special statute of autonomy. By 1951, malaria was successfully eliminated by the ERLAAS, Anti-malaric Regional Authority, and the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, which facilitated the commencement of the Sardinian tourist boom. With the increase in tourism, coal decreased in importance but Sardinia followed the Italian economic miracle.

In the early 1960s, an industrialisation effort was commenced, the so-called Piani di Rinascita (rebirth plans), with the initiation of major infrastructure projects on the island. These included the construction of new dams and roads, reforestation, agricultural zones on reclaimed marshland, and large industrial complexes (primarily oil refineries and related petrochemical operations). With the creation of petrochemical industries, thousands of ex-farmers became industrial workers. The 1973 oil crisis caused the termination of employment for thousands of workers employed in the petrochemical industries, which aggravated the emigration already present in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sardinia faced the creation of military bases on the island, like Decimomannu Air Base and Salto di Quirra (the biggest scientific military base in Europe) in the same decades. Even now, around 60% of all Italian and NATO military installations in Italy are on Sardinia, whose area is less than one-tenth of all the Italian territory and whose population is little more than the 2.5%; furthermore, they comprise over 35.000 hectares used for experimental weapons testing, where 80% of the military explosives in Italy are used.

Sardinian nationalism and local protest movements became stronger in the 1970s, and a number of bandits (anonima sarda) started a long series of kidnappings, which ended only in the 1990s. This also gave rise to various militant groups that blended separatist and communist ideas, the most famous being Barbagia Rossa and the Sardinian Armed Movement, which perpetrated several bombings and terrorist actions between the 1970s and the 1980s. In the span of just two years (1987–1988), 224 bombing attacks were reported.


In 1983 a prominent activist of a separatist party, the Sardinian Action Party (Partidu Sardu – Partito Sardo d'Azione), was elected president of the regional parliament, and in the 1980s several other movements calling for independence from Italy were born; in the 1990s some of them became political parties, even if in a rather disjointed manner. It was not until 1999 that the island's languages (Sardinian, Sassarese, Gallurese, Algherese and Tabarchino) were recognised, even if just formally, together with Italian. The 35th G8 summit was planned by Prodi II Cabinet to be held in Sardinia, on the island of La Maddalena, in July 2009; however, in April 2009, the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, decided, without convoking the Italian parliament or consulting the Sardinian governor of his own party, to move the summit, even though the works were almost completed, to L'Aquila, provoking heavy protests.

Today Sardinia is phasing in as an EU region, with a diversified economy focused on tourism and the tertiary sector. The economic efforts of the last twenty years have reduced the handicap of insularity, especially in the fields of low-cost air travel and advanced information technology. For example, the CRS4 (Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia) developed the second European website and 1st in Italy in 1991 and webmail in 1995. CRS4 allowed several telecommunication companies and internet service providers based on the island to flourish, such as Videonline in 1994, Tiscali in 1998 and Andala Umts in 1999.

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