Customs and local traditions
You should also be aware that Ichnusa is considered to be the Sardinian beer par excellence which you can sample in all the bars, restaurants and markets on the island.
The custom of drinking an espresso after your meal, is usually followed by the local custom of taking a ammazza caffè which consists of a glass of Mirto (which is a popular Sardinian liqueur), or Limoncello or Filu e ferru (Sardinian grappa) for a aiding the digestion.
If you are travelling to Cagliari, do not forget to taste the little pizza made of puff pastry: you will find it easily in all the bars; it is tasty and crumbly, excellent for a savory breakfast, or as a snack or during a happy hour.
The languages spoken in Sardinia are Italian and Sardinian; however in Carloforte, Calasetta and Alghero you can may hear different languages: in Carloforte and Calasetta they speak Tabarchino, language of Genoese origin, while in Alghero they also speak Catalan.
Tipping, which is different from so many tourist places, is not obligatory, but is always welcome as an acknowledgment of the service you have received.
The words, that you absolutely have to know, are “Buongiorno” (Good morning) and “Buonasera” (Good evening) or use the Sardinian word “Salluri” or “Salude” and you will be safe! “Eja” means yes and “Ajò” means come on. To thank someone a simple “grazie” goes a long way.
Try to learn a few word of Italian, because not everybody speaks any other languages.
In some inland villages you can be lucky if you attend “canti a tenores” that is a typical song, a cappella from Sardinia, represented and sung internationally by the “Tenores” from Bitti.
Another tradition from the centre of the island is a game called murra, it’s a skills competition where there is a challenge to guess the sum of the numbers shown with the fingers of the players, shouting with a loud voice in Sardinian language, often using colorful expressions to animate the competition. A kind of rock, paper, scissors in the Sardinian language.
Travelling to Sardinia you will meet up continuously with the Sardinian flag; you will find it on mugs, T-shirts, umbrellas and pretty much any object. The history of the flag is linked to the events of the crown of Aragon, which dominated Sardinia from 1324 to 1479. It is said that the four heads represent the victories of the Aragoneses in Spain against the Moors: Zaragoza, Valencia, Murcia and the Balearic islands. The legend instead associates the flag to Peter I of Aragon, where he won a famous battle at Alcoraz, helped by St. George, the city was defended by the Moors and this man (dressed in white with a red cross on the chest) would leave at the war camp the four heads of the Arab kings defeated. Its origin, although Aragonese, has for Sardinian people an older meaning because it represents the four Giudicati (the indigenous kingdoms), that between the IX and XV century, ruled independently the island and defended it from the continuous invasions of the Moors.
Only since1952 has the shield of the four dead moors become our official emblem and adorns the banner of the region of Sardinia. Actually there are two versions: one with the four dead moors with the blindfold and the other with the bandage on their forehead; the official one is the second and it became the Sardinian flag in 1999, the others could be the artfull representation of the submission of Sardinian population to the Piedmontese government.