Sardegna Italy 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Sardegna Italy 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti!  Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel. Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Sardegna, Italy.  It is one of 20 Italian Regions in Southern Italy.  Watch the video and continue reading below.  Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1 Asinare off the coast of Sardegna

Asinare is a small island off the coast of Sardegna.  In 1885 the Island became state property and forced about 100 families that lived there to move to Sardegna.

During the first and second world wars, the island was used as a POW camp.  Then, in 1970 it became a maximum-security prison to mainly detain the mafia.  Finally, In 1997 it became a National Park that is home to a colony of miniature albino donkeys.  Since 1999 tourists have been able to visit the Island through guided tours. 

2 Sardegna's Centenarians

The Island of Sardegna has a very relaxed lifestyle, and one of the longest life expectancies in the world.  The average life expectancy is just over the age of 82.  It also has the highest rate of centenarians in the world.  On average, there are 22 people over the age of 100 for every 100,000 inhabitants. 

3 Blue Zones in Sardegna

Let’s take a closer look at the longevity on the Island.  Sardegna is home to one of the world’s first identified “blue zones.”   Blue Zones are regions where people live much longer than average.  The village of Seulo, with a population of about 800, held a record of 20 centenarians from 1996 to 2016. 

4 The Economy in Sardegna 

Sardegna’s land is dedicated 60% to livestock and 20% to agriculture.  There are nearly 4 million sheep on the island.  That’s about 135 sheep per square kilometer.

Equally important, cork oaks grow naturally in the forests in the northern regions Gallura.   Consequently, Sardegna is the largest producer of Italy’s wine bottle corks. 

5 Casu Marzu Sheep Cheese

If you see casu marzu on a menu in Sardegna, think twice about whether you are prepared to try it.  In fact, It is a kind of sheep cheese filled with live maggots.  It is a traditional way of making cheese on the Island, but it is illegal to sell in the EU because it violates health regulations.  Even so, casu marzu is available on Sardegna’s black market.   In the meantime,  farmers and researchers are working to develop a more hygienic way to produce this unique sheep cheese. 

6 Sardegna's Love of Nature

25% of the island is natural parks and reserves.  There are 3 national parks, 10 regional parks, and 60 wildlife reserves.  On the Northern coast of Sardegna, there is also a 32.4 square mile marine protected area.  As a result, it is home to striped dolphins, and the sanctuary is also a main feeding ground for Fin Whales. 

7 Nuraghi are a symbol of Sardgena

Nuraghi are particular structures that were built on the island between 1900 and 730 BC. They are cone-shaped towers made of stone.  They are a symbol of Sardegna and its culture. Today, there are the ruins of about 7000 nuraghi scattered across the Island. 

8 Getting around Sardegna 

Sardegna is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily.  Also, it is the third-largest region in Italy.  But, it is the only region in Italy that doesn’t have a motorway.  So, you must be patient if traveling by car on the island.  You will more than likely have to share the roads with the sheep. 

9 The Spy who loved Sardegna

The 1977 James Bond film, ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, was filmed on Sardegna’s Costa Smeralda.  In the film, 007 drove a Lotus Esprit out of the sea onto the Emerald Island. 

10 Did Sardegna find Atlantis?

An Italian researcher claims that he has solved the mystery of the legendary lost underwater city of Atlantis.  He believes the pillars of Hercules are in the Strait of Sicily.  According to him,   Plato’s Atlantis is in Sardegna.  His theory captured the attention of UNESCO and now the scientist is calling for more archaeological research on the island.  His goal is to better protect and preserve Sardegna’s heritage. 

Do you know any other fun facts about Sardegna?  Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Also, be sure and watch our other fun fact videos on Italy’s 20 regions and read our blog posts on Italy’s 20 regions. Thanks for watching and reading 10 fun facts about Sardegna. A presto!

Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about your Italian Heritage.

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I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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