Liceo E. Piga, Villacidro, Sardinia, Italy
SARDEGNA and VILLACIDRO
With its large forest areas, with its scarcely populated valleys, Sardinia has been considered as a small continent for the diversity of its ecosystems. Its long sandy beaches, its warm climate, are very attractive for tourists. Because of its strategic location in the middle of Mediterranean sea, Sardinia has been the centre of commercial traffics since prehistory. The island has been populated since the dawn of mankind. From 6th to 3rd millennium b. C. a peaceful and devoted to agriculture civilisation, which idolized the Mediterranean Mother Goddess, settled in Sardinia. During the second millennium b. C. a bellicose population occupied whole Sardinia: they were the builders of the Nuraghi, the big stone towers which characterize the island’s landscape. Good sailors, the Nuragics were in relationship with other Mediterranean civilisations. The Phoenician commercial and military pressure caused the decline of their civilisation. The island’s capital Cagliari (the ancient Phoenician Kalaris) was a flourishing city, and it remained the same when, after the defeat of Carthage, Sardinia became a Roman province. After the decline of Roman Empire, Sardinia was assigned to Byzantium. When in 8th century the Mediterranean sea became a Muslim domain, in an isolated Sardinia four independent kingdoms took shape. They were in relationship with the Maritime Republics of Pisa and Genoa. We can still admire many beautiful cathedrals built under the influence of Pisan architecture. With the Sardinians’ defeat (Battle of Sanluri, 1409), the Kingdom of Aragon took definitively possess of the island. After the Succession Spanish War, Sardinia was assigned to the House of Savoy. Amedeo, the Duke of Savoy, became the first King of Sardinia in 1720. The Kingdom of Italy, established from 1861, derived constitutionally from the Kingdom of Sardinia. Later, there is only Italian history. The archaism characterizes Sardinian culture from many points of view; for example Sardinian, the closest language to Latin after Italian, retains many archaic features of Latin.
Villacidro (from Latin “Villa citra”, that means “village on this side of the river”) rises up on a steep hill, surrounded of oak forests and orange orchards. The area has been inhabited since prehistory, and it’s possible to visit many archaeological sites thereabout. The small town has mainly grown in 19th Century, under the pressure of the mining economy. Today it’s affected by the economical crisis, nevertheless it remains the richest centre of the whole area, from the cultural point of view.