The administrative centre and most important town in Sardinia grew up around the old district of Castello which stands on a hill and is, one might say, surrounded by water on three sides: the Golfo degli Angeli (Gulf of Angels) to the south, and the two lagoons of Molentargius and Santa Gilla to the east and west, with their typical saltworks, inhabited by a vast number of waterfowl.
While the districts built after the last war give the town a modern appearance, the old town has managed to maintain the discreet charm of its original character. From the airy terraces of the district of Castello, once the fortifications of the Pisan and Aragonese overlords, wonderful views may be admired.
To reach the district of Castello one still has to pass through the old medieval gates; it maintains the appearance of an old fortified town almost cut off from the rest, with its ramparts, its narrow streets, and the two powerful medieval towers of the Elephant and Saint Pancras.
The fine Cathedral in Pisan Romanesque style with Gothic elements, a number of 18th century palaces, interesting wrought-iron balconies, the terrace of Saint
Remy and the rampart of Santa Croce complete the charming atmosphere of the old district. In the same part of the town is the building housing the old University, founded in 1648, the Citadel of Museums, heart of cultural events in the towns, and the National Archaeological Museum. Here a great many exhibits can be seen, recalling the past civilizations on the island, Nuraghe, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman. Notable amongst these exhibits are the bronze figures representing diverse aspects of life during the Nuraghe period. There is also an interesting collection of finely engraved Carthaginian stones and gold and silver ornaments.
Cagliari, the port
The old districts of Cagliari offer many points of interest for the tourists, especially as regards the typical domestic and civil architecture. There are several churches worth visiting in the town: the early Christian Basilica of San Saturnino, the interesting Church of San Lorenzo, the rebuilt Church of San Domenico which still has its original late Gothic cloister, the baroque Church of San Michele and the Basilica di Bonaria standing against the old church in Aragonese Gothic Style.
Continue on your journey now to the long beach of Poetto with its very fine sand. The south-west limit of the beach is the characteristic rocky formation known as (the Devil’s Saddle) under which there is a little harbour for tourist craft, from here the beach stretches between the sea and the great saltworks to the east of the town of Cagliari.
The inland is equally unspoilt and unexpectedly vast and fascinating. A landscape with mountains, plains, forests, lakes, ponds and many caves showing their hidden treasures.
The Sardinian climate is typically Mediterranean with hot summers from May to September, warm autumns with very little risk of unexpected rains and short, mild winters.
Sardinia offers an original cuisine, with a combination of dishes prepared according to shepherds and fishermen traditions. Typical meat dishes are roast lamb, kid and suckling pig, called “porcetto” and cooked long and slowly over a fire of holm-oak, lentisk and arbutus. A taste absolutely unforgettable. And the
same happens for simple and genuine fish dishes: lobster, mussels and clams, roasted fishes. Furthermore, several kinds of bread, cheese, sweets and wines.
Sardinian handicrafts are certainly one of the most characteristic elements of the island. Weaving and embroidery produce bed covers, carpets, tapestries with a notable richness in design and variety of colours. The art of basket making is very particular, with various forms and materials, like reeds, raffia, asphodel plant. The production of jewellery is another fascinating type of artisan work. Sardinian wedding rings and coral jewels are famous all over the world. There is another product that is part of the traditional metal work of the island: clasp knives
Cagliari, Poetto beach
Cagliari, Sella del Diavolo
Cagliari, Sella del Diavolo
Cagliari, Cala Fighera
Imagine a place of natural beauty. A place where you can enjoy the clearness of the sea, the charm of the country, the hospitality of the people, the ancient traditions. Imagine a unique chance for a dream holiday, where opportunities know no boundaries. Welcome to Sardinia.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea and it is considered one of the most beautiful and unspoilt seas. The coastline of the island offers a variety that cannot be compared with any other place, with its majestic rams, wide white beaches, intimate coves, sheer cliffs where deep caves often appear: an endless number of picturesque nooks that form a world apart in the Mediterranean basin.
Mari Pintau, 20kms from Cagliari