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About city Gallery Where to stay

The largest city of Sardinia, which is also the capital of the island, has only recently been discovered by European holidaymakers. Apart from the football team Cagliari calico, which is in the Italian Football Championship, little is known about this city.

The first settlements of the island date back as far as the 8th century BC. Just like today’s tourists, ancient townsfolk found the splendid weather, azure waters, white sandy beaches and flamingo-infested seashore marshes irresistible.

Cagliari beach
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Cagliari beach

The mere fact that Cagliari is not a tourist mecca makes it unique. In Sardinia, instead of the clichéd Italian lasagne and pizza, menus are dominated by tasty wines and dishes authentic to the island. The delicacy of Cagliari, called Malloreddus, consists of unusually-shaped macaroni, served with sausage and tomato sauce, and a little grated sheep’s milk cheese. Here you can also try spaghetti with sea urchin, and potato- or mint-filled dumplings. By the way, the locals go to restaurants not only to have a nice meal, but also to meet friends.

The small centre of Cagliari is best explored on foot. The neighbourhoods by the harbour are full of narrow, winding streets, with clotheslines hanging between houses. Wherever they part, the space becomes filled with modern bars and squares, and artisan shops can be found a little further from the harbour. And if you’re not interested in buying authentic artefacts, visit the Cagliari Botanical Gardens - they’re not big, but great for a nice walk.

Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy old town skyline
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy old town skyline

Wherever you go, you’ll never lose sight of the most interesting part of the city – il Castello. The old town of the city, situated on a narrow hill, is surrounded by a massive defensive wall. The main place for meeting and night entertainment is the Bastion of Saint Remy (il Bastione di Saint Remy). It’s a large square and a massive terrace, which opens up on a beautiful panorama of rooftops, undulating sea and green hills.

Sardinia is characterized more by its natural environment than its settlements. Just get on a city bus and within 15 minutes you’ll be strolling across the magnificent il Poetto beach, where you’ll enjoy crystal-clear water, washing up on the dazzlingly white sand, tons of bars serving refreshing drinks, and have the opportunity to test your skills on a sailboard or the trending SUP board, or maybe you’ll prefer to rent a sailboat and jump straight into the waters of Cape of the Holy Elijah. By the way, the paths of the cape’s mountain Sella del Diavolo are perfect for hikers.

Every year, the swamps of the Molentargius Regional Park become home to flocks of pink flamingos, so don’t miss your chance to catch these magnificent birds on camera.

Girl with the typical Sardinian costume During the festival of Saint Efisio
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Girl with the typical Sardinian costume During the festival of Saint Efisio

Cagliari is bags of fun on holidays, too. On 1st May the capital of Sardinia celebrates the Day of St. Efisio. On this occasion, city streets are graced by a colourful procession with a flower-coated carriage with St. Efisio’s statue at the centre, which is pulled by huge, decorated bulls. People from all the cities and towns of Sardinia dress in traditional attire of their respective region. Severe looking Sardinian men ride on flower-decorated horses and perform acrobatic tricks, while charming local women, wearing gold and coral, sow rose petals along the way of St. Efesio’s carriage. This centuries-old celebration attracts more and more participants and spectators every year.

The youth of the island has presented their city to the world, while their parents preserve Cagliari’s native traditions. There is no better place for Sardinians than their own island. By the way, the locals talk in a special Sardinian dialect - even though they can also understand Italian, if you want to leave a positive impression and make friends, try to learn at least a few words of the local dialect.

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