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  #1  
Old 07-28-2003, 05:58 AM
Bibliovore Bibliovore is offline
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Tell me everything you know about Sardinia

Dear fellow Dopers,

I've developed a sudden interest in the little Italian island of Sardinia. From what I've managed to glean so far, it seems that there a few cultural distinctions between Sardinians and "mainland" Italians, and that they tend to be staunchly independent. What more can you tell me?

I'd really like to learn as much as possible about cultural practices and any distinctly Sardinian traditions. For example, I seem to remember reading in the book "Hannibal" that Sardinians are well-known for pefecting the practise of kidnapping, is this true? Are there any other quirks I should know about? Are there any websites devoted to Sardinian life and culture? Thanks in advance for your help.
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2003, 06:32 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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They filmed Western movies there, it was once part of the Kingdom of the Two Scicilies.

That's everything I know.
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  #3  
Old 07-28-2003, 06:37 AM
Bibliovore Bibliovore is offline
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You mean the "Spaghetti Westerns"? Cool. Didn't know that. I also got the impression that Sardinians are seen as quite rustic and provincial. Any truth to that?
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  #4  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:10 AM
Doobieous Doobieous is offline
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The Sardinian language is a relative of Standard Italian, but is absolutely not a dialect of it. It is considered the most conservative of the Romance Languages, and preserves some archaic features that the other Romance Languages have lost. Roman colinization began in 238 BC, and isolation of the island has allowed it to remain conservative (as has isolation of Iceland kept it very conservative).

A good example of differences can be seen in the Pater Noster:

Standard Italian:

Padre nostro che sei nei cieli,
sia santificato il tuo nome; venga il tuo regno,
sia fatta la tua volontà,
come in cielo così in terra.
Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano,
rimetti a noi i nostri debiti,
come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori e non ci indurre in tentazione,
ma liberaci dal male.
Amen.

Campidanian Sardinian:

Babbu nostu ki ses in is Celus,
santificau siat su nòmini tuu,
bengat a nosu su reinu tuu,
siat fatta sa voluntadi tua comenti in su celu aici in sa terra.
Su pani nostu de dogna di donanosidd' oi,
e perdonanosì is peccaus nostus,
comenti nosaturus perdonaus is depidoris nostus,
no nosi lessis arrui in sa tentatzione,
ma lìberanosì de tottu male.
Amen.

Further, Sardinian is different from most Romance languages in that the definite articles came from ipsum/ipsam (su/sa), rather than illum/illam.

It also has several dialects, Nuorese, Campidanese, Sassarese, Logudorese, and Gallurese.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:30 AM
refusal refusal is offline
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There are claims that chemist Amedeo Avogadro (of Law and Constant fame) funded anti-royalist Sardinian revolutionaries in the 1820s.

Victor Emmanuel the first king of Italy got promoted from being King of Sardinia.

Um, sardines are small and fishy.
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:17 AM
Rune Rune is offline
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The ancient Greek saw it some kind of magic place with unbounded opportunities something like Europeans later saw USA. Herodotus though it was the largest island in the world. Athens threatened Sparta to move there lock-and-stock if Sparta wouldn’t agree to battle the Persians.

I thought they spoke Catalan on Sardinia.

There is a ferry from Sadinia to Corsica.
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:22 AM
Bibliovore Bibliovore is offline
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I'm pretty sure Catalan is related to Spanish rather than Italian, but thanks for the info - keep it coming!
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:32 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is online now
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Doobieous, I was going to mention the language myself and you beat me to it. Do you happen to know if any of the dialects still have any case endings on the verbs, or, for that matter, if there's a good brief grammar anywhere on the Internet?

I can add to this and say that one of the other dialects is interesting in that it retains more of the consonant structure of Latin in that medial consonant clusters have not been simplified as in modern Italian. I'll try to find the cite and return later.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:40 AM
Bibliovore Bibliovore is offline
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How about the food? Any traditional dishes? Any Sardinian holidays, festivals, etc? Any patron Saints? How about traditions? Are there any things that Sardinians do which mainland Italians don't? Sorry if i'm being a bit vague here, but I'm after current lifestyle rather than history.

Perhaps it would help if I mentioned that I'm currently courting a young lady from the island in question, and that I'm trying to win her good graces by taking an interest in where she's from. I'm looking for anything that might earn me brownie points here!
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2003, 09:51 AM
braintree braintree is offline
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Hm. I'll have to go home and consult my trusty "Let's Go" guide. However, I can tell you that, if you have a yen to visit, the hotels cost a little more than you might expect, there's daily ferry service from mainland Italy, it has decent enough train and bus service and you can rent a motor scooter and go camping along miles of amazingly unspoiled coastline. Oh, and it has wild albino donkeys. Unfortunately, they're protected.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2003, 11:25 AM
everton everton is offline
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I don't know whether knowledge of football will gain you brownie points or lose them, but you could mention that Gianfranco Zola has recently returned from a distinguished period at Chelsea to his home team of Cagliari, which is on Sardinia.

Here's an online general knowledge quiz about Sardinia that may give you some more useful info.
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2003, 12:44 PM
Rayne Man Rayne Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bibliovore
You mean the "Spaghetti Westerns"? Cool. Didn't know that. I also got the impression that Sardinians are seen as quite rustic and provincial. Any truth to that?
I thought that most ,if not all ,of these Westerns were filmed in the Almeria area of southern Spain.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2003, 01:10 PM
everton everton is offline
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Here's the IMDb's list of movies with Sardinia listed as location.

No spaghetti westerns, although it does include Hannibal.
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2003, 01:15 PM
Dragon Phoenix Dragon Phoenix is offline
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Sardinian red wine is GOOD.... Mrs Phoenix and I finished off two bottles of those in San Marino on a really fun night.
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2003, 01:22 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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Sardinia played a crucial yet peculiar role in World War II. It was used as a red herring in Operation Mincemeat, in which a series of falsified documents were fed to the Germans. The documents, signed in many cases by actual commanders such as Lord Mountbatten, indicated that Sardinia and Greece were to be the next targets for allied invasion after the fall of North Africa, when in fact the real objective was Sicily.

The Germans swallowed the ruse and diverted troops away from the southern beaches of Sicily, where the actual invasion took place. Caught with their pants down by the fall of Sicily and the surrender of Italy, Sardinia itself was considered untenable and evacuated by the Germans, thus allowing it to be handed over to the Allies by surrendering Italian troops with scarcely a shot fired.
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2003, 02:15 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Doobieous, I was going to mention the language myself and you beat me to it. Do you happen to know if any of the dialects still have any case endings on the verbs, or, for that matter, if there's a good brief grammar anywhere on the Internet?

I can add to this and say that one of the other dialects is interesting in that it retains more of the consonant structure of Latin in that medial consonant clusters have not been simplified as in modern Italian. I'll try to find the cite and return later.
Well I went and looked, and now I can't find a cite to back up the point I was making. I had seen a rendition of the Pater Noster in this dialect, and remembered that the word santificau in the example above was given as sanctificado. The latter version seems very Latin-like to me.

On a happier note, though, I did find this grammar in English.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:14 PM
jimmmy jimmmy is offline
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In 808 Spanish Muslims attacked Sardinia but were defeated.

In 809, African Muslims attacked and in 820 a Muslim fleet attacked it.

818: The Umayyads of Spain capture Sardinia (and Majorica)

In 849 it was rumoured of the organization of a great Arabic fleet that would have attacked Rome from Sardinia.

A league was fromed constituted among the cities of the Southern Italy the Arabic fleet was defeated
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:18 PM
Michael Ellis Michael Ellis is offline
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It was a major Italian air base during most of the early part of the Mediterranean conflict. The most famous battle that Sardinian based planes flew in was Operation "Pedestal" in August 1942.
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:48 PM
Ivar Ivar is offline
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Catalan is spoken in Spain, in the region around Barcelona.
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  #20  
Old 07-29-2003, 12:00 AM
Doobieous Doobieous is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Doobieous, I was going to mention the language myself and you beat me to it. Do you happen to know if any of the dialects still have any case endings on the verbs, or, for that matter, if there's a good brief grammar anywhere on the Internet?

I can add to this and say that one of the other dialects is interesting in that it retains more of the consonant structure of Latin in that medial consonant clusters have not been simplified as in modern Italian. I'll try to find the cite and return later.
One thing to remember is, that this is not Classical Latin either Italian or Sardinian descend from. But it's true, Sardinian dialects are in some ways more conservative phonetically than Italian is, and in some ways much more free.

The only Romance Languages that kept case endings is Romanian, which is losing a case, the ablative. Romanian probably held onto theirs due to the isolation from the rest of the empire, and also due to Slavic influence.
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  #21  
Old 07-29-2003, 12:08 AM
suezeekay suezeekay is offline
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At least until about 1977 there was a US Naval base there. We were always hoping to be transferred there. Friends went in 1977 so I know it was still there at that time. Having been to a town, Dunoon, Scotland, where there were, until around 1990 when the sub based closed after 30 years, lots of Navy people, they have a profound influence e.g. marrying local girls, influencing the food, etc. So, it's not like the island is untouched by Western influences.
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  #22  
Old 07-29-2003, 12:25 AM
Doobieous Doobieous is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bibliovore
I'm pretty sure Catalan is related to Spanish rather than Italian, but thanks for the info - keep it coming!
Yes, it is closer in relations to Spanish than Italian, but Catalan is a bit closer to the Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance Languages, and is a Langue D'oc along with Provençal (Occitan). But actual relations if it's more langue d'oc, or more like an ibero-romance language are in dispute, but Catalan has crept more towards Castillian due to proximity and circumstance of mostly being in Spain.

Catalan on Sardinia is spoken in the city and region of L'Alguer (Alghero). Residents speak an older dialect of Catalan, due to Catalonian invaders kicking out the locals in 1372. It is a bit different from Spanish Catalan (which is spoken in parts of southern France (Rousillon), the Spanish east coast, Andorra, and the Balearic Isles.

It also became a part of Spain when Ferran II of Aragon married Isabel of Castille.
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  #23  
Old 07-29-2003, 07:59 AM
braintree braintree is offline
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From the "Let's Go" guide to Italy:

Like its terrain, Sardinia's cuisine is rustic and rugged. Hearty dishes like safregula (pasta on broth with saffron), malloreddus (shell-shaped pasta), culturagiones (ravioli stuffed with cheese, beets, tomato sauce, lamb, and sausage), and pane frattau (thin bread covered with eggs, cheese and tomato sauce) frequent the island's menus. Celebrated dishes include cardo (lamb entrails), pork cooked in lamb's stomach, and grilled pig, horse, donkey, and goat. The infamous product of Sardinian shepherds, casu fatizzu (cheese with worms [poster's note: that's nummy num-num cheese with worms to you]) and savory pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) are considered delicacies. Local wines are often sweet and strong. Try vernaccia d'uva (for its almond aftertaste) with fish or the robust cannonau di Sardgen with red meat.
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  #24  
Old 07-29-2003, 08:46 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Gee, I guess half of what I knew about Sardinia (the half about the Westerns being filmed there) was wrong.
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  #25  
Old 07-29-2003, 01:43 PM
braintree braintree is offline
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Slightly off subject, but if you're going to Sardinia, there's weekly ferry service to Palmero in Sicily. Palermo has outstanding catacombs. Architecturally, they're not much but if you want to seen a basement locker room stacked literally to the ceiling with human remains in various stages of decay, you really can't beat it. Sort of like marionnettes only bigger and with a really bad case of anorexia nervosa. When I showed up a French woman tastefully brought her dog. I don't know which was weirder: the fact that she would bring her dog or the fact that the friars who control the joint let her in with it.

My ferry from Palermo to Naples was kept company for a time by a leaping dolphin. That was neat.
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  #26  
Old 07-29-2003, 05:14 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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While the Kingdom of Sardinia was the nuculeus (sp?) of a united Italy, the power from it resided on the mainland not the Island of Sardinia. The Piedmont was always the power behind the Kingdom of Sardinia. Many historians referred to it as Piedmont-Sardinia.

Sardinia was not part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
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  #27  
Old 07-29-2003, 08:12 PM
everton everton is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bibliovore
How about the food? Any traditional dishes? Any Sardinian holidays, festivals, etc? Any patron Saints? How about traditions? Are there any things that Sardinians do which mainland Italians don't? Sorry if i'm being a bit vague here, but I'm after current lifestyle rather than history.

Perhaps it would help if I mentioned that I'm currently courting a young lady from the island in question, and that I'm trying to win her good graces by taking an interest in where she's from. I'm looking for anything that might earn me brownie points here!
Perhaps it's not for me to say one way or the other, but I've never once dated a woman who was impressed by my knowledge of WWII naval strategy.

Does anybody else have any knowledge about Sardinia that would be good "date" conversation? I'm sure that's what the OP is looking for.
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  #28  
Old 07-30-2003, 03:10 AM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by suezeekay
At least until about 1977 there was a US Naval base there. We were always hoping to be transferred there. Friends went in 1977 so I know it was still there at that time. Having been to a town, Dunoon, Scotland, where there were, until around 1990 when the sub based closed after 30 years, lots of Navy people, they have a profound influence e.g. marrying local girls, influencing the food, etc. So, it's not like the island is untouched by Western influences.
I caught an overnight ferry from Civitavecchia to Sardinia in the early 90's. The ferrys seem to be purposely overbooked so you just take your sleeping bag & sleep on the deck under the stars. Right around morning you arrive at Sardinia.

I can see why you could film westerns there, the terrain seemed similar to lots of the terrain here in California. The buildings have a more Mediterranean look & feel though. The lattes were so-so.

There was still a sub base there when I visited. I least I think it was a sub base. Something to do with "repair or maintenance?" Yeah, right. We were in the north, by La Maddalena I think & caught another ferry north. Kept hopping from island to island & when it seemed we were running out of islands to hop to & looking for something to eat, we stumbled onto an American base. Small, & the guys at the gate weren't terribly forthcoming about the place even though we were active duty military too. They acted like they weren't sure they should even let us on base, but did. We grabbed some cheap wine coolers & greasy burgers at the tiny little shoppette & left. It's amazing how the US military can take a preemo picturesque little spot & turn it into an uninviting desolate looking shit hole in the middle of nowhere. We were glad to get back off base.

We camped at the beach, clothing optional. Nice facilities, great weather. The locals didn't strike me as outgoing by any means, but friendly enough. More laid back & calm than your mainland Italians are. Maybe even a bit more reserved or conservative? It didn't strike me as an economically prosperous place. Not very modern, but maybe that's on purpose?
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