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.
The most ancient sites to visit are the Phoenician Necropoli of Tuvixeddu, and the Roman Amphitheatre dating back to the 2nd century AD.
OTHER ‘MUST-SEE’ SITES IN CAGLIARI:
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