You will find Cagliari in the south of Sardinia. The island’s capitol comprises what is potentially its most Italian city. Here you will find history at every corner of its streets. Moreover, its relaxed atmosphere has scooters zooming around and café-bars serving its regulars as they chat the evening away.
The panorama of Cagliari creates a maze of sun-burnt buildings and domes. The warmth of its colors and baked walls recalls the fact that this city lies closer to Tunisia than it does to Rome! Nevertheless, Cagliari exhibits many Roman ruins, and museums offering Ancient artefacts and art. For example, why not head to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which displays many such items and moreover gives them a context?
Those looking for the perfect sunbathing spot can visit the Poetto Beach. This beach boasts azure-blue waters, and white sands. By day locals and tourists flock to this sun haven, and at night they enjoy one of Cagliari’s liveliest party scenes. Calamosca Beach offers a slightly quieter, though also fairly popular, spot. You can easily access it at only 4km outside the city center, and can enjoy its secluded atmosphere, as it nestles into a cove.
In the evenings, Cagliari provides its guests with a thriving cultural scene. In its various theaters you can enjoy operas, ballets, and classical concerts throughout the year.
We definitely recommend the atmospheric Castello district of Cagliari. A medieval wall protects this old citadel, which sits atop a hill and overlooks the town. Marina provides another beautiful area, and stretches between the harbor and the Castello area. Fishermen, merchants, and dock workers populate this area, which certainly makes for a lively passeggiata!
Within Cagliari you can also find impressive religious monuments. For example, you can admire the stunning Cattedrale di Santa Maria. This structure arose in the 13th Century, and boasts lofty interiors decorated with beautiful artworks. Alternatively, head to the Santuario and Basilica di Nostra Signora di Bonaria. This popular pilgrimage site has a long and varied history, parts of which can still be seen today.
For the freshest produce the town can offer, head to the Mercato di San Benedetto. Here you will find the fish, meats, cheeses, and other locally-sourced products that are thus very fresh. Whilst in Cagliari, you can also taste some of Sardinia’s famous sweet treats. Indulge in some pardulus, formagelle, seadas, or pan di zucchero after enjoying some freshly prepared seafood. Alternatively, opt for some mirto di Sardegna, a strong liquor that is traditionally drunk after a sumptuous meal.
You can reach Cagliari by flying to Cagliari Elmas Airport, to which many mainland Italy airports have connections (Rome, Milan, Bologna), as well as many European airports (Barcelona, London, Paris, Frankfurt). However, a great way of arriving is by boat, from which you will be welcomed by the sweeping harbor and shores of Sardinia’s capitol.