Polpo's Sardele in Saor Crostini

Could use some help = this recipe calls for 500g small sardines (the smaller the better is my random note I copied from a CH past review).

The directions say to clean and gut the sardines; take the heads and tails off.

The picture shows what looks like a large piece of fish. These aren’t canned sardines I’m guessing. Help?

I gather from my reading of Polpo with my morning coffee, that the aforementioned crostini should be served with a Spritz.

Campari or Aperol?

The recipe is calling for fresh, not canned, sardines or other oily fish. I think you could approximate it with canned sardines, just leaving out the frying step.