Sardinia ( sar-DIN-ee-ə; Italian: Sardegna [sarˈdeɲɲa], Sardinian: Sardìgna/Sardìnnia [saɾˈdiɲɲa]/[saɾˈdinja], Sassarese: Sardhigna, Gallurese: Saldigna, Catalan: Sardenya, Tabarchino: Sardegna) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and before Cyprus). It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica.
Sardinia is politically a region of Italy, whose official name is Regione Autonoma della Sardegna / Regione Autònoma de Sardigna (Autonomous Region of Sardinia), and enjoys some degree of domestic autonomy granted by a specific Statute. It is divided into four provinces and a metropolitan city, with Cagliari being the region's capital and its largest city as well. Sardinia's indigenous language and the other minority languages (Sassarese, Corsican Gallurese, Algherese Catalan and Ligurian Tabarchino) spoken on the island are recognized by the regional law and enjoy "equal dignity" with Italian.Due to the variety of its ecosystems, which include mountains, woods, plains, largely uninhabited territories, streams, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been defined metaphorically as a micro-continent. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have exalted its beauty, remained untouched until the contemporary age and immersed in a landscape that houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization.
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