Cagliari - Cagliari (CA)

Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is located on the south coast of the island. Its Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. The hilly town has about 160.000 inhabitants, including suburbs like Elmas or Quartu St. Elena the population is approx. 500.000, nearly the third of the total population of the island.

Cagliari became in the last decades a very lively and dynamic town, also in art and culture. A lot of restaurants – especially in the Marina district - offer tasteful and mainly also inexpensive meals. A large variety of bars and café-shops invites to relaxing stays during the day or in the evening.

For the future are planned great urban developments and new projects include for example a prolongation of the promenade from the old harbor to Sant'Elia, a restored marina directly in the center and a new museum for Nuragic and modern art designed by the Prizker Award winner Zaha Hadid.

Other not less complex projects include the total restoration of the Sant'Elia district, a rebuild of the nearby and a new “Parco della musica”, a great park with an amphitheatre and fountains, channels and water-games in town center.

BEACHES

Cagliari’s main beach, the sandy Poetto, is more than 10 km long and dominated bz the characteristic hill of the Sella del Diavolo. It is reachable by public transportation and bathing establishments and small cooperatives rent in summer deck chairs, beach beds and umbrellas and much more. A lot of bars offer to drink and to eat during the day and also in the evening. A part of the Poetto promenade nearby the marina was recently closed for car traffic and became a romping place for jogger, bicycles or people strolling around. The marina “Marina Piccola” sits on the right side of the beach which is dominated by the characteristic hill “Sella del Diavolo”

Another beach much more smaller but also reachable by bus is the sandy beach of Calamoscaon the right side of the “Sella del Diavolo”. This free beach has no umbrella and deckchair service but a little bar with soft drinks, ice cream and small snacks. Passing by this beach and the hotel “Calamosca” at the end of the street one finds another little beach with bright sandy stones and clear water. The restaurant-bar offers rent beach beds and umbrellas.

HISTORY

Cagliari has been settled for at least 3.000 years. Around 1.000 – 900 B.C. the Phoenicians established here commercial places and storage houses. From the 6th century B.C. on the Carthaginians settled here: Karalis“ was nominated for the first time as a city foundation. In 239 B.C. Sardinia became a Roman colony. This heritage finished about 700 years later.

A domination of Vandals was followed by attacks and incursions of Sarazenes, pirates and Arabs. Nevertheless Sardinia developed a sort of independence and was divided in four parts which were called “Giudicati” and governed by a judge. The Marine Republics Genoa and Pisa came around 1000 A.C. to stop the permanent invasions of Arabs. After the successful defense the Genoese settled in the North and the people from Pisa in the South of the island. In Cagliari they built on a hill which overlooks the Angels Gulf (Golfo dei Angeli)s a fortress called “The Castello”. This part became in the future centuries the religious, economic al and political heart of Cagliari.
At the beginning of the 13th century the Aragonese conquered
Cagliari and introduced a feudal system which exploited the local inhabitants. 400 years later Cagliari was for a short intermezzo under Austrian heritage before the Savoyans take it over and reigned until 1836. Around 25 years later Sardinia - thanks to the unification process of Giuseppe Garibaldi - became finally Italian.

SIGHTSEEING

Most of the city walls of the old Castello district in the high part of the town are intact and a walk through the narrow lines gives a good impression of the quarter. The white lime-stone towers, St. Pancras Tower and the Elephant Tower, offers a beautiful panoramic view over the town and the Angels Gulf. From the wide terrace of Saint Remy one has a beautiful view over the whole town.

Worth a visit in the Castello district are the Cathedral, the Archeological Museum for the prehistoric Nuraghic civilization. The museum complex “Cittadella dei musei” includes also a fine Siamese art collection, an exhibition with anatomical wax models and one with religious paintings from former centuries (Pinacoteca Nazionale).

Other churches to visit are the Palaeo-Christian Basilica di San Saturnino and the church of San Lucifero (1660).

Like the Marina quarter which sits between Castello and Via Roma also the Stampace quarter nearby gives the impression of being in the “real Cagliari”.

The beautiful and in summer months refreshing Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) lies under the roman Amphitheatre which was cut in the rocks and still stages open-air events and concerts during the summer. Also in the zone one can visit the roman ruins of the so-called Villa Tigelio.

Other parks to exploit and to make some walks in the green are the Monte Claro park and the Monte Urpino park. A street, Viale Europa, leads to the top of the Monte Urpino, from where one can admire the panoramic view over the town and the Poetto beach.

Another park which becomes especially in summer a meeting point of Cagliaritanean families is the PublicGarden (Giardino Pubblico). Here is located in a recently renovated building the famous Ingrao collection (Galleria Communale d Arte) which exhibit operas from famous artists of the 19th and 20th century likeAngelo Ingannis, Gioacchino Toma, Mario Sironi, Filippo De Pisis and Giorgio Morandi.

It is possible to visit the characteristic hill “Sella del Diavolo” which dominates the Poetto beach. The trail which is marked by dark green points painted onto stones starts nearby the Calamosca beach some 50 meters after the hotel entrance and leads uphill. From the top with the ruins of an old world war II bunker one has not only a beautiful view of the Poetto beach but also over the Angels Gulf.

Cagliari


Cagliari

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