During the past decades the Italian rural landscape has undergone drastic alterations as a result of complex and contradictory transformation dynamics. This paper aims to investigate and evaluate these alterations in Sardinia, one of the most rural Italian regions. Land-use maps from different years were studied to identify the dominant rural landscape features of the region and the transformations they were subjected to over the course of time. The analysis investigates changes on three geographical scales: region, provinces, and “agrarian regions”. An overall economic balance of landscape changes was calculated from the value ascribed to types of land use on the basis of the allowances (compensation for expropriation) provided by the local authorities (Provincial Commissions). This economic balance was considered in light of the regional policies which accompanied it. Results partially confirm the national and European general trend of loss of agricultural land when it is converted to new forms of exploitation. The analysis at different geographical scales has, in some cases, revealed data against the general trend, especially for some agricultural regions and for certain agricultural products. There is consistent with economic balance. This shows the need of a deep ex post evaluation of the effects of policies financed by regional and national community funds on the evolution of Sardinian landscapes.
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