If you dream of Sardinia then there will be a 50% chance that Cagligari is the first city you visit on the island. And there is no bad alternative.
Cagliari is the capital and largest city of Sardinia. Cagliari is a natural hub of Sardinia with its large port and international airport. Cagliari also has the island’s largest railway station, and from there you walk straight out onto the great Via Roma parade in Cagliari’s city center.
Cagliari offers historic sites, shopping, delicious food and of course bars you visit for a drink or glass of wine or two. The highlight, literally, is the trip up to the Fort St. Remy and the Piazzetta David Herbert Lawrence Square. From the latter place you have fantastic views of Cagliari and the Mediterranean.
Cagliari is a relatively large city with approx. 165,000 inhabitants and offers many attractions and sights. You will find cultural institutions for all tastes and there is a short distance to a number of beautiful seaside resorts and beaches.
There are quite a few tourists visiting the city, but far from the amount one would expect. And maybe that’s why the locals are so nice. In Cagliari you will encounter a service and hospitality that is not necessarily common in well-known resorts in Italy.
Get to know Cagliari
Cagliari is the “other” Sardinia. Of course, as the capital and largest city, Cagliari is the cultural and political center of Sardinia. But the location is almost as far south of Sardinia as you can get and the inhabitants feel little in common with the luxury and superficiality that one finds in the north of the island.
Cagliari is often called “the city of the sun” and in Sardinia it is believed that their capital has everything. Here is the seat of the Archbishop, here is the university for the young and hopeful and the city has of course Sardinia’s best football team. Cagliari is a must and should also be an international airport as well as a large and busy port.
It is hard not to be happy in a city on the coast of the angels, or Golfo degli Angeli as the Italians themselves would say. And although the vast city beach is by far the most beautiful beach in Sardinia, and the fact that the city itself has areas that, at least for us tourists, do not arouse special interest, there is something indefinable delight with Cagliari.
Cagliari has four historic districts. These are Castello (the fortress area), Villanova, Marina (near the harbor) and Stampace.
- Abbreviation: IT
- Country: Italy
Castello in Cagliari
Cagliari was built around the city’s fortress and from this spread over a considerable amount of square kilometers. The city itself has approx. 165,000 inhabitants, but if you include Cagliari’s suburbs, the population may probably double.
The Castello Fortress area is, of course, the heart of the Old Town. Here you will find Cagliari Cathedral and a number of museums. Starting from the Cagliari train station and the city’s parade street Via Roma , both located near the sea, the fortress area is to find a little over a mile walk into – and up – into the city.
The Bastion area in the Castello district is a sure winner among the tourists. Bastione di Saint Remy is naturally located on the outer edge of the fortress, and the views of Cagliari are superb. The entire fortress area is characterized by winding narrow – and sometimes steep – streets that ooze charm and good food. There are many places where you can spend the evening.
Villanova district of Cagliari
Villanova district of Cagliari east from Bastione di Saint Remy and the fortress area to the large Cimitero Monumentale di Bonaria cemetery.
Villanova was originally a district where farmers from Campidano settled. Campidano is an area southwest of Sardinia. Villanova district is characterized by a number of historical monuments and buildings, not least churches. The main attraction in Villanova is probably the Basilica of San Saturnino which is located on Piazza San Cosimo.
Basilica San Saturnino dates back to the 400s. The church sustained extensive damage during World War II, but significant restoration work has been done on the San Saturnino church and it is today considered “new”.
Marina in Cagliari
The marina district is located between the sea and the Castello and Villanova districts. Simply put, the Marina district extends from the railway station and southeast, with the Via Roma parade as the southern border and Bastione di Saint Remy as the border in the north.
In most major cities, it is rarely very pleasant to stay in close proximity to the city’s main train station. Neither in Cagliari. But it is very short from the train station to nicer areas. In addition, the stately Via Roma runs parallel to the railway station. If you follow Via Roma with the station in the back you have the sea to the right and the road to the fortress area on the left. The first major street on the left (north direction) is Largo Carlo Felice and takes you to the Carlo Felice Monument a few hundred meters up. Here you will find a really nice place, Piazza Yenne. The place is known for a buzzing crowd in the evening, and there are several simple restaurants and eateries where you can spend your time.
Close to Piazza Yenne , the street starts to give all the shopping-saved water in the mouth, namely Via Guiseppe Manno. Via Manno, as the street is named for the public, takes you all the way to Bastione di Saint Remy.
The marina district is multi-ethnic and we have seen everything from Armenian restaurants to gift shops full of Eritrea products here. Arab inflation is considerable, and you will find spice shops and exotic restaurants from the Middle East. Follow Via Roma until you find the small streets of Via dei Mille, Via Lepanto or Via Vittorio Porcile. These all take you to Via Cavour Street which runs parallel to Via Roma. This is a food street full of nice restaurants with food and drinks at nice prices!
Stampace in Cagliari
The Stampaci district west of Cagliari is a “must” for those interested in history. The Stampace district starts just north of the Carlo Felice Monument and takes you west past the beautiful churches of San Michele and Santa Restituta. Once you get to the Villa di Tigellio attraction, you have taken me back to Roman times.
A little north of Villa di Tigellio you will find something everyone in Cagliari is proud of. The city’s Botanical Gardens and the huge park complex there are a welcome place to visit on hot summer days. And the botanical garden is recognized as very good. A little north of the park you will also find a Roman amphitheater with a mildly exciting history.
The Stampede district has several nice eateries and it is no matter to let the hours go in this area.
Poetto area of Cagliari.
To the east of Cagliari you will find the Poetto area. Here there are 8 kilometers of fine-grained beach and pretty blue sea outside. Most of the beach is public and free for bathers. But typical enough for Italy you will also find private bathhouses. Pay a few dog tags and you get a sunbed, umbrella and a bathing club where you can have a drink or two as well as something to eat. The streets around Poetto Beach are full of joggers in the evenings and even later in the evening the area is taken over by youths who want to party at the clubs located close to the beach.
The Poetto area is well away from the center of Cagliari and it is too far to walk. Believe us, because we did. But don’t worry. If you are lucky you will find a taxi and take it. Or better yet, take a bus. They run continuously between the train station and Poetto Beach and it only costs a euro or two.
Between Poetto Beach and the town itself is a nature reserve where there are many birds, including pelicans. Here you can only bring your photo camera if you are interested. There are some hotels and a few shops in the Poetto area, but we do not recommend staying here, provided you do nothing but lie on the beach and party at one of the clubs in the evening. There is very little interest here, and you cannot compare the Poetto area with the historic districts in the center of Cagliari.
List of Cagligari Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Cagligari is IT which stands for Cagligari. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Cagligari, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.
|CAG||Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy – Elmas|
|CUEC||Cooperativa Universitaria Editrice Cagliaritana|
|UNICA||Universita Degli Studi di Cagliari|
|UCA||Università degli Studi di Cagliari|