To make the best of your visit in Cagliari we suggest you to start from the outer part of the city located in the harbour area. Walking from the harbour to the downtown through the “Via Roma” street and the “Viale Regina Margherita” street you can find the remains of the Spanish bastion of “Nostra Signora di Monserrato”.
From here reach the square “Piazza Costituzione” where you can find an ancient bastion known as bastion of Saint Remy from the name of the first viceroy of the Piemonte region who used to rule Cagliari. On its top, you can find the terrace Umberto I, from which you can reach a famous district of Cagliari called “Castello” (the Castle).
The Castello district
Undoubtedly the most famous of the Cagliari districts, the “Castello” offers a wide and varied range of things to see. Since the ancient times, this district used to be one of the most important political and religious centres, with big households, churches and museums.
As a matter of fact, the National Archaeological Museum located in Piazza Arsenale 1 houses important archaeological finds of the Sardinian civilization dating back to a period between prehistory and early Middle age.
Let yourself be enchanted by the beautiful “bronzetti” (bronze little statues) depicting gods, warriors and flute players, the “pintadere” (small moulds used to decorate the nuraghi) and the impeccable reconstructions in scale of some of the most famous nuraghi of the island.
On the second floor of the Museum you can admire several archaeological findings. Worth noticing: the funeral kit of a Punic tomb from Nora, the ostrich eggs painted from Bithia and other important remains from all over the island like Temple of Antas in Fluminimaggiore, Tharros and Oristano.
In the Castello district, you may find also the remarkable Church of Santa Maria (Cattedrale di Cagliari – Piazza Palazzo 4/a), built in the 13th century and originally in Romanesque-Pisan style; the church was later restored using architectural elements and style of the Baroque era with subdivision into three naves with transept.
You may also be interested in the “Chiesa della Purissima” (Church of the Immaculate), a beautiful example of Gothic-aragonese architecture, with a single nave and chapels on the sides.
The Poetto is the main beach of Cagliari. It extends from the area known as Sella del Diavolo (Devil’s Saddle) up to the coast of the Quartu Sant’Elena village for five kilometres and it is divided into many parts that are named after the bus stops that connect Cagliari to the sea.
The “Marina” district extends around the streets Via Roma, Regina Margherita, Manno and largo Carlo Felice. It has some interesting religious buildings like:
- the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate, originally built by Pisan but rebuilt in the 18th century.
- the Church of Santa Teresa, built in 1691.
- the Church of Sant’Eulalia, with important Gothic reminiscences.
- the Church of Saint Augustine, belonging to the renaissance period.
The district “Stampace”, close to the district “Castello”, has interesting historical and archaeological buildings like the beautiful church of Sant’Anna, built between 1785 and 1817, the church of San Michele, built by the Jesuits in the second half of the 17th century (an admirable example of the baroque style in Sardinia) and the Church of Sant’Efisio rebuilt in 1780.
Talking about Saint Efisio, don’t miss the Festival of Sant’Efisio, celebrated every year from May 1 to 4. The statue of the Saint, belonging to the Church of the same name, is transported from here to Nora (the city where according to tradition the Saint was martyred) in a procession with soldiers on horseback, the clergy and several delegations from all over Sardinia.
Among the most important archaeological finds of the “Stampace” district it is worth noticing also: the Tigellio’s Villa, a complex of three “domus” (houses) dating back to the 1st century AD and the Tuvixeddu’s Necropolis – the largest Punic necropolis of the island.
Finally, the “Villanova” district has beautiful religious buildings such as the convent of San Domenico, founded in 1254 in Gothic-Catalan style, the Church of St James in Catalan Gothic style and the early Christian Basilica of “San Saturno”, patron of the city.
Cagliari in Sardinia
Cagliari is a city to be experienced, like all cities of Sardinia, full of life especially in summer, when it is filled with visitors from all over the world; the city attracts tons of tourists thanks to its sea but is different from many resorts and it takes very little to understand that this land is rich in history and culture.
The capital city of Sardinia has an engaging and lively vitality that captivates every visitor even the most demanding guests. A holiday in this young and dynamic land remains memorable for a lifetime.