Teatro Lirico - Photo by Priamo Tolu - Teatro Lirico di Cagliari
Palazzo Regio - Cagliari
Cattedrale of Santa Maria di Castello
Aerial View of the City
A Road in Cagliari
Cagliari - Pink Flamingos
Cagliari - Bastion of Saint Remy
Basilica San Saturnino
Cagliari, the “happiest city in Italy,” is the Capital of the impossibly beautiful Island of Sardinia, and is rich in history.
Similar to Rome in that it is spread out over seven hills, it bears the traces of the Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman dominations, and jealously preserves the vestiges of 13th- and 14th-Century Pisan fortresses (the Torre dell'Elefante and Torre dell'Aquila).
Cagliari's architecture lies before us like an open book, ready to recount of important events in history, beginning with the Castello Quarter, with its Bastion of Saint Remy, the Cathedral of Santa Maria and Palazzo Regio.
The most common touristic departure points are its nearby coastal resorts, like Villasimius. Cagliari is a youthful city, yet remains imbued with longstanding traditions. It also boasts numerous parks, towers, churches and museums – included among them is the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, the most important in the world when it comes to finds from the Nuragic Civilization. The Museum lies inside the Cittadella dei Musei, where both prehistoric and Byzantine objects are on exhibit. Also here are one of Europe’s most important monumental cemeteries: called Bonaria, it contains sculptures by Sardinian artists from the 1800s and 1900s.
Equally famous, if not more impressive, is the Punic-Phoenician Tuvixeddu Necropolis. Cagliari is also quite a religious city, and within its city limits is the Basilica di San Saturnino, the oldest in Sardinia.
Visitors to Cagliari should see its almost 5-mile Poetto Beach. The area is important to biologists and scientists from around the globe as a refuge for flamingo colonies; the birds keep their nests in the protected wetlands of the Molentargius Marsh and Santa Gilla Lagoon. For those interested in wandering further off the beaten path, Calamosca Beach, perhaps lesser-known but just as lovely as Poetto, lies just under 11 km to its southwest.
Cagliari's age-old charm, its shores and further inland zones, as well as its unique people, have continued to make the city highly-attractive for artists and cineasts, as well.
Not lacking for culture, it offers a generous ballet and opera season at its Teatro Lirico, drama and comedy productions at Teatro Massimo, and summer concerts and its annual European Jazz Expo, frequented by some of the world’s best musicians.
Typical Cagliaritana cuisine is most closely related to that of the Sardinian Province of Medio Campidano; with Spanish and Ligurian influences, fish and seafood (particularly fish eggs) dominate. The desserts are unbeatable, and so are the wines: think Malvasia and the highly sought-after local Moscato.
How to Get There
Cagliari is connected to major European cities by way of Elmas International Airport. Reach the city center with shuttle service (stopping in Piazza Matteotti, located between the port and train station), taxi or car rental.
Maritime companies serve the following routes:
Naples - Cagliari
Palermo (Sicily) - Cagliari
Trapani (Sicily) - Cagliari
Civitavecchia (Rome) - Cagliari
Trains to and from other Sardinian cities on FS Trenitalia.
ARST coach connections between Cagliari and the rest of Sardinia.