April said, “Join us in Sardinia for a few days after our tour in Sicily ends.” We agreed it would be fun to go to Sardinia, so, sure. In full disclosure, the next step was to locate Sardinia on the map. Then look it up to learn more.
Turns out Sardinia is the second largest island in the Western Mediterranean (after Sicily and before Cyprus) and is just south of the French island of Corsica. Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy and its capital, Cagliari, sits on the southern coast. Cagliari was our destination. To get there, we flew from Palermo, Sicly, northeast to Rome, then caught a flight 45 minutes due west.
Cagliari immediately impressed us as newer than the cities and towns of Sicily, with later-vintage buildings. But the aesthetics belie its status as an ancient city with a long history, having seen the rule of several civilizations. Beneath the modern city is a continuous stratification attesting to human settlement over the course of some 5,000 years.
During the Second World War, Cagliari was heavily bombed by the Allies. In order to escape from the danger of bombardments and difficult living conditions, many people were evacuated from the city into the countryside. In total 2,000 people died and 80 percent of the buildings were damaged. After the war, many apartment blocks and recreational areas developed and Cagliari is as you see it today, with over 500,000 people living here.
Our wonderful guide, Guglielmo, took us around the city and the outlying area for two days, treating us to gorgeous coastline views and tasty Sardinian cuisine, along with historical notes. This is the southern Sardinia we saw: