Cagliari is the start of the Sardinia Tour. Courageous travellers should read this book of Mary Davey to get an inside of the island looked like in the second half of XIX century
“I ask for the utmost indulgence for this small literary product which I would like to present as a faithfully sketched portrait of the largest and least known of the sunny Mediterranean islands. Ichnusa is the extraordinary name of Sardinia; the island, which has been colonized from time to time from Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Spaniards, Pisans and Genoese, and still retains many interesting memories of these numerous dominations. Now it is under the dominion of the ancient house of Savoy, thus conferring the title of king of Sardinia to the prince of Piedmont, Duke of Savoy and Genoa “.
Thus in the preface, Mary Davey opens the story of her stay on the island, which lasted from 1848 to 1850, and which has as its title “Ichnusa, two pleasant years on the island of Sardinia”, published in London in 1861 and which will be followed by a second, “Sardinia”, dated 1874.
There is little information about this unusual lonely traveller, the only woman of the nineteenth century to tell us about her experience, but certainly not the only English one: others preceded her and will follow her, as well as the group of countrymen residing in Cagliari that Davey brings to find just disembarked in the capital and to which, throughout the work he constantly refers, recounting his life in a land very different from theirs: “I have heard it said several times, and I believe it, that the English living in a foreign land are the most pleasant people in the world “; and again: “they are the best people in the world, proverbially imprudent and terribly stubborn”.
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