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.
Cagliari, Cathedral
Cagliari, Molentargius
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.

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