Cagliari, Sardinia

Cagliari, the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia, has a lot to offer. From small shopping streets to impressive churches. From the vibrant nightlife to beautiful beaches. You cannot get bored in Cagliari!

Holidays in Cagliari, Sardinia

      Cagliari from the port

The metropolitan city of Cagliari

Cagliari metropolitan area counts 431.538 inhabitants, of which 154.083 live in the city of Cagliari. Cagliari experienced enormous growth after WW2 when the number of inhabitants doubled. 

For example, the town of Quartu Sant' Elena, located 6 kilometers from Cagliari, has expanded to such an extent that it can be called a suburb of Cagliari. Quartu Sant'Elena is in the so-called Angel Bay (Baja Degli Angeli), where many beautiful beaches can be found. In this area, you will also regularly find Flamingos bathing in one of the lagoons in the area. It must be said that the periphery of Cagliari is quite chaotic, so perhaps less suitable for tranquillity and culture lovers.

Cagliari: a bit of history..... 

Cagliari is a city with a rich history linked to the Mediterranean civilizations whose influence is still visible. Many peoples have inhabited the city and have left their traces. 

Cagliari was founded in 6000 BC, but the city only became important under Phoenician-Punic rule. Its geographic location made the city ideal for overseas trade, and Cagliari flourished into an important port.

After the First Punic War, Cagliari fell into the hands of the Romans. They also took advantage of Cagliari's strategic location and left their mark on the city.

In the twelfth century, the Pisans came to power in Cagliari. They built several defensive structures in the city, which gave Cagliari its grand appearance.

After the Pisans, it was the turn of the Aragonese. They founded the university in 1620. It was not until 1717, with the peace of Utrecht, that the power struggle came to an end. Cagliari was assigned to the Savoy family and a relatively quiet period began.

Cagliari landmark Bastion of Saint Remy

Art and Culture in the city of Cagliari

Because of its history, Cagliari is a city with a rich heritage. There are plenty of Roman remains to visit, such as the Amphitheater or the Roman Villa di Tigellio. Built in the 5th century A.D., the Romanesque church of Santo Saturnino is one of the oldest medieval shrines in the world.

Cagliari's old town is located on a hill, from which you can enjoy a fantastic panorama of the city. Fortunately, you can take a public lift at various places that will take you to the old part of Cagliari without difficulty.

Il Castello (the Castle)

Bastion di San Remy's stairs, passing under the triumphal arch of square Umberto I, will bring you to the top rampart. Here you will have a beautiful view of the lower new city and the sea. You can enjoy a drink in one of the bars or just enjoy the spectacular view sitting on a bench. From the Bastion, you can walk into the Castello district, the oldest and highest part of Cagliari. Here you can find the Cathedral Santa Maria, built in Romanesque-Pisan style with Gothic influences. Inside the church are two original pulpits from the cathedral of Pisa and several Gothic chapels.

Elephant's tower

The Torre dell' Elefante (elephant's tower) is also worth visiting. The Pisans built this 31-meter-high tower as a defense against the Moors and Genoese. You can climb it or admire the elephant statue from the ground. Passing by the Elephant's Tower, you can reach the castle, which is now part of the University of Cagliari.


If you prefer to see all of Sardinia's cultural history in one place, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari is a good option. For 3 €, you get to see the chronological history of Sardinia, from 6000 BC to the Byzantine period.

Cagliari Bastion St Remy lounge bar

Places to visit in the city of Cagliari

  • Amphitheater: Roman building at the edge of the city.
  • Bastion de San Remy: an impressive bastion with a terrace overlooking the city and the surrounding area.
  • Basilica di San Saturnino: Romanesque church from the 5th century B.C.
  • Torri Pisane: 31 meters-tall tower that you can climb.
  • Atelier Stefania Ariu: Sardinian artist who makes original terraccota figurines.
  • A Cup of Coffee: "Coccodi" is a small bar/lunchroom, a family business active for four generations of bakers, where you can try delicious cakes, pizzas, and coffee!
  • Where to eat: Principi di Dan, via Napoli. A restaurant where you will find typical Sardinian dishes and products. Lots of cheese and meat. In the summer you can also eat outside in the square.
  • Sweets: "Durke" (Sardinian for sweet) - via Napoli, In this small shop, founded by an old lady, you will find dozens of different Sardinian "Dolci" and an old brick oven!


What to see and do in the province of Cagliari

Beaches: Close to Cagliari, you will find beautiful beaches. A few examples: Chia, Poetto, Capitana. Also, a little further along the coast are famous beaches such as Villa Simius.

Birdwatching: Spotting flamingos and other birds: around Cagliari, you can find several lagoons ("stagni" in Italian) where groups of pink flamingos, herons, and other birds regularly hang around.

Nora: Also called the first city of Sardinia. Here you will find remains of Phoenicians but especially of the Romans. Once a thriving port city, this is an archaeological excavation area. Here, you can visit the thermal baths, see the well-preserved mosaics, and even a roman amphitheater.

The provinces of Sardinia

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