Top places to visit in Cagliari, also named "Castello"

Holidays in Sardinia

While on holiday in Southern Sardinia a day or two should be spent visiting the beautiful city of Cagliari, only 30 km away from Lantana Resort.


Cagliari sits over seven hills of sedimentary rock similar to Rome and Istanbul. Some of the city’s districts are named after the hills: Castello, Tuvumannu, Tuvixeddu, Mount Claro, Mount Urpinu, Bonaria and to the far north San Michele.

Santa Gilla is a large salty pond located to the west of the City. To the south-east lies an extraordinary long and sandy beach, Poetto and to its left-hand side stands a mountain ridge shaped like a giant’s saddle, the Sella del Diavolo (the Devil’s Saddle).


Cagliari is also located at the centre of the Golfo degli Angeli (the Gulf of the Angels) and has its own busy harbour and several Marinas.

The citadel of Castello is the mediaeval heart of the City where the nobility once lived, the district of Stampace was home to the middle class, including the merchants, and the district of Marina belonged to the fishermen and that of Villanova to the farmers.

Cagliari, also named Casteddu by the locals, found its origin in the ancient ages; it was founded by the Phoenicians and conquered by the Carthaginians, it was capital of the Roman Province of Sardinia et Corsica and later of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1324 – 1720 and 1798 – 1814). Pisa and Spain were fighting for its conquest. The Archbishop lived here and established the second oldest University of Sardinia.


This is why the historic centre is rich with buildings of all ages. Not a huge city, you can easily visit it on foot or by using public transport, you can start your adventure from Piazza Costituzione, with a helpful tourist info point.


An experience you cannot miss out on is a stroll among the ancient buildings in the City, under the arcade and through the narrow streets bursting with lively traditional restaurants, bars, coffee shops, ice-cream parlours, local craft shops and much more.

If you love shopping you’ll find your best high street deals on Via Manno, Via Garibaldi, Piazza Yenne, Largo Carlo Felice, Via Roma and Via Alghero; Via Alghero is known for its designer’s boutiques.


San Benedetto Food Market with its vivid colours and fragrances is a worthwhile trip. It’s Italy’s largest indoor market and indeed one of the largest in Europe; amazing fresh fruit & vegetable stalls, a variety of local and Italian meats and poultry, a unique selection of Mediterranean sea food and of course many stands of Sardinian specialties. An early morning visit is highly recommended.

Fish Market Cagliari

The most ancient sites to visit are the Phoenician Necropoli of Tuvixeddu, and the Roman Amphitheatre dating back to the 2nd century AD.


  1. The National Archeological Museum of Cagliari, part of the historical complex Cittadella dei Musei and the most important archeological museum of Sardinia. The spectacular Giants of Mount’s Prama statues are with no doubt worth a visit.
  2. The Anatomy Wax Museum by Clemente Susini, also located in the Cittadella dei Musei.The Cardu Museum with the most vast Siamese art collection of Europe, donated by Stefano Cardu and collected in his many voyages to Thailand, China, Japan and India.
  3. The Museum of Saint Eulalia’s Treasure, next to the Church named after her, in the Marina district.
  4. The Botanical Garden, belonging to the University of Cagliari, established in 1866 by the famous botanist Patrizio Gennari.
  5. The Regional Natural Reserve Molentargius-Saline: a marshland treasured by the pink flamingos who elected this area as their permanent habitat.
  6. The Monumental Cemetery of Bonaria: one of the most important monumental cemeteries in Europe according to the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe.
  7. The ExMà, one of the top exhibition spaces in Cagliari, inside the ex- slaughterhouse of Cagliari, in the Villanova district.
  8. The Royal Palace (also Viceroy Palace) belonging to the Aragon period, and home of the viceroys until 1847 and, on some occasions, of the kings of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
  9. The Bastion of Saint Remy with its unique Covered Walkway and breath taking view from the Terrace of Umberto the I. The Baron of Remy was the first Viceroy of the Piedmont Kingdom and he commissioned the construction of the actual Bastion over the ancient Spanish one, between 1896 and 1902.
  10. The tower of Saint Pancrazio and the Elephant tower in the Castello district, erected in 1305 by the Pisans to defend Cagliari against the attacks of the people from Aragon.
  11. The Sanctuary of Bonaria of the 14th century, in Gothic-Catalan style. The impressive church is the largest place of worship in Sardinia for the Holy Mary devout followers. The Virgin Mary of Bonaria is the patron of Sardinia.
  12. The Cathedral of Santa Maria, built in the 13th century and dedicated to the Holy Virgin Assunta and to the Saint and Martyr Cecilia.
  13. The Art Nouveau Buildings built by families of entrepreneurs belonging to the early 1900s middle class; Valdés Palace, Balletto Palace, Merello Palace, Accardo Palace, Villa Atzeri and all the buildings facing the sea on Via Roma are some examples.
  14. The Monumental Palaces symbol of the authorities of the time; the Ancient City Palace, the Boyl Palace (neoclassic style, home of the homonym noble family and located in the Castello district), the University Palace (built during the Savoy kingdom), the Vivanet Palace (neo-gothic style, located in via Roma next to Cagliari Railway Station) and finally the imperious New Civic Palace, today seat of the town hall (eclectic style).
places to visit in Cagliari Casteddu

The Ancient City Palace of Cagliari hosts the “Eurasia” collection until the 10th of April 2016; ‘Eurasia back to the threshold of History. Masterpieces from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and from several Sardinian Museums’. The collection hosts 250 extraordinary Asian prehistoric artifacts as opposite to a similar amount of Sardinian Nuragic artifacts belonging to the same age. The exhibition is part of a number of events for “Cagliari, Italian Capital of Culture for 2015”.

Photocredits: Jole Soddu & Pixabay