Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily).
A part of Italy with regional autonomy granted by the Italian Constitution, Sardinia comprises 24,090 square kilometres (9,301 sq mi). The nearest land masses are (clockwise from north) the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, and the Spanish Balearic Islands.
The name Sardinia is possibly based on Shardana.
The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 km long) are generally high and rocky, rectilinear for kilometres, with many outstanding headlines, with wide, deep bays and inlets surrounded by smaller islands.
The island, being an ancient territory with rocks that go back through the Palaeozoic Era (up to 500 million years old), does not possess any high mountains because of its long erosion processes. The granite, schist, tranchite, basalt (called “jars” or “gollei”), sandstone, and dolomite limestone (called tonneri or “heels”) rocky highlands predominate at a height of between 300 and 1,000 metres. The entire territory of the island is non-seismic.
The Gennargentu is a large mountain massif in the center of the island; its highest peak is Punta La Marmora (1,834 m). Other ranges are Monte Limbara (1,362 m) in the north east, the Chain of Marghine and Goceano (1,259 m), that runs crosswise for 40 km towards the north, the Monte Albo (1057 meters), The Chain of Sette Fratelli in the south east, and the Sulcis Mountains and the Monte Linas (1236 meters) in the south west . The island’s massifs and plateaus are separated by large alluvial valleys and flatlands; the main plains are the Campidano, located in the southwest between Oristano and Cagliari, and the Nurra, in the northwest.
Sardinia has few major rivers; the largest are the Tirso, which has a length of 151 km (94 miles) and flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas (115 km) and the Flumendosa (127 km). There are 54 artificial lakes and dams to provide water supply and electricity, the main ones are the Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas. The only natural freshwater lake is Baratz Lake. A high number of large, salty lakes and lagoons are located along the 1,850 km of its coasts.
The climate is typical of the Mediterranean. The weather is clear. During the year approximately 300 days are sunny and the few others are rainy, with a major concentration of rainfall in the winter and autumn, some heavy showers in the spring, and snowfalls on the highest massifs and highlands.
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