Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily). The ara of Sardinia is 24,090 square kilometres (9,301 sq mi). The nearest land masses to the island are (clockwise from north) the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia, and the Balearic Islands. Sardinia is part of Italy, with a special statute of regional autonomy under the Italian Constitution. The name is of unknown origin, though it may have to do with a tribe called the Sardi.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with a surface of 23,821 km². It is situated between 38° 51' and 41° 15' latitude north and 8° 8' and 9° 50' east longitude.
The coasts of Sardinia (1,849 km long) are generally high and rocky, rectilinear for kilometres, they are often articulated in promontories, with ample and deep bays and inlets surrounded by smaller isles.
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 meters. The entire territory of the island is non-seismic.
The Gennargentu is a large mountain massif in the center of the island; its highest peaks are Punta La Marmora (1,834 m.), Monte Limbara (1,362 m.) in the north, and Mount Rasu (1,259 m.), culminating in the Marghine chain, that runs crosswise for 40 km towards the north. 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 is the Tirso, which has a length of 94 miles (151 km) and flows into the Sardinian Sea. There are about fifty artificial lakes, of which Lake Omodeo and Lake Coghinas are the main ones. 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. The mistral is the dominant wind, fresh, strong, and usually dry and cold, blowing from the northwest throughout the year, but most frequently in winter and spring.