The city of Cagliari which stands on the homonym gulf is as multicultural today as it was in its history. Founded in the Neolithic, the town passed through Phoenicians' hands only to become a Carthaginian colony. In the year 246 BC following the First Punic War it received from the Romans its name, Caliaris, which it still today retains.

The city’s expansion follows on in the Middle Ages, its lords being the Vandals, before, the Aragonese after and finally the Savoy. The majestic architectural interventions conducted by them modernized Cagliari and made it the colorful pearl which the city still is. Although it is not the major city of the Kingdom of Savoy anymore, you will not find any difficulty in defining it a “Mediterranean capital”. Due to its geographic position Cagliari opens onto the Mediterranean like a red carpet, an invitation for people and tourists to visit it.

his is well represented by its vibrant coastline, where the Natural Reserve of Parco Molentargius welcomes those who want to relax and take a look at endangered wild-life.

In the most populous city of Sardinia there is no shortage of things to do. Whether you want to pass and greet on a cruise, looking at its happy profile from the blue sea, or that you are captured by the idea of letting yourself sink in its historical districts, like Castello that dominates the surrounding with its incredible view.

And not only the city center but the very surroundings of Cagliari are magic and mysterious: have you ever heard of Tuvixeddu? Ancient necropolises dense with legends and the spirits of the dead wait for you just a few steps from the doors of the city. In the eventuality that you want something a bit more vital than an encounter with a ghost, then the many local restaurants only wait for you to taste some of the local culinary delights - obviously fish based. Nowhere else will you find such a fusion of different culinary traditions: Pisan, Genoese, Spanish and local recipes blend together in order to create unique flavors, which you will bring with yourself long after having returned to your homes.

These are the main must-see tourist spots in Cagliari:

Elephant Tower

Dominating the entrance of the beautiful area named Cagliari’s Castle (Castello a Cagliari), there is the Elephant Tower (Torre dell’Elefante). Built with the local white limestone, it kept its brightness despite 7 centuries having passed from its construction, under Pisa's domination.

The symbol of this city was an elephant, of which a statue on the tower’s wall was kept. There is the possibility of a guided visit with reservation.

San Pancrazio Tower

The Pisans during the 1300s built the biggest towers of Cagliari, both in the Castello area. The tallest, San Pancrazio, still shows its past usage in its pure white 3 metres thick walls: to defend the city from the attacks of the Genoans and the Moors.

Reachable from Buoncammino path, its position offers a stunning view of the city and her surroundings.

Roman Amphitheater

The antiquarian fascination of Romanticism unearthed Cagliari's Roman Amphitheater, carved into the rock of Buoncammino Hill. Finished in local white limestone that still retains its luster, today it only hosts the rooms for gladiators and animals, who fought and died there.

For a decade intended for concerts and performances, it has become an archaeological site offering a splendid 360-degree view of the surroundings.

Saint Remy bastion

The bastion of Saint Remy, symbol of Cagliari, has stood in the old city since 1902. The stunning white and yellow limestone façade opens onto the square with two elegant flights of stairs.

At the bottom, these lead to the colorful underground gallery where art exhibitions are held. At the top, they lead to the Umberto I terrace, from which there is a magnificent panorama.

San Michele castle

On St. Michael's Mount the castle of the same name went from a military fortress in 1000 to a luxurious aristocratic residence in 1300 and then housed a navy radio station in the 1900s. The Aragonese used it as a refuge for bandits until it was abandoned due to the hatred of locals. Thanks to the Marquis of St. Thomas a magnificent park of Aleppo pines nowadays surrounds the ancient castle.

Citadel of Museums

Centuries ago it contained the Royal Arsenal, from the Savoy era, and today it houses the Citadel of Museums, the largest museum complex in Sardinia. All this is enhanced by the view of the Gulf of Cagliari offered by its terraces. The incredible variety of exhibits ranges from Phoenician jewelry to the Far East with the Museum of Siamese Art. Of extreme value are the Meiji-era okimonos, fine porcelain sculptures.

San Saturnino basilica

The basilica of San Saturnino, in the port district of Villanova, is one of Cagliari's most important churches. A majestic mirrored stained-glass window, the result of recent restoration, makes it an intriguing combination of ancient and modern.

Built in the 5th century as a huge necropolis, it later became a Byzantine basilica dedicated to the martyr Saturninus, now the city's patron saint.

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Cecilia

The dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Cecilia shows itself from afar to those coming to Cagliari, by sea or land. Built in the 13th century, it is located in the Castello district, which was the fortified center of the city due to its elevated position.

The cathedral has a mixed style, thanks to the different cultures that animated the city over the centuries. The Baroque left us the interior and the magnificent Shrine of the Martyrs: all covered in marble, it contains the sarcophagus of Francisco de Esquivel, Archbishop of the city during Aragonese rule.

The facade of the church, on the other hand, was destroyed by mistake in the 1900s because it was believed to have the medieval one underneath: after 20 years it was rebuilt in its original Gothic-Romanesque style.

It will be a great place to start your visit to Cagliari, with its artistic richness and its neighborhood.

San Benedetto market

Founded in 1957, the San Benedetto market for the people of Cagliari is simply 'Il Mercato'. One of the largest in Europe, it is spread over two floors: on the first is the fish department and on the second the fruit and vegetable, meat and various foodstuffs departments. Do not hesitate to ask the friendly staff for advice on typical products, always fresh and to be tasted on the spot.

Molentargius Saline Natural Park

Molentargius Park's past as a salt marsh on the Cagliari coastline still lives on in its name, thanks to the molenti (donkeys in Sardinian), who for centuries transported the precious crystal. After this activity ended in 1985, it is now home to numerous local protected species, divided in 2 areas: fresh and salt ponds. This oasis of quiet and natural beauty can be visited by various tours: on foot, by bike or by boat.


A radiant sea and granite cliffs make Villasimius the perfect place for a commercial. The tourist haven to the west is balanced by Porto Giunco and its pond inhabited by pink flamingos - what an incredible view in the Mediterranean scrub! After having seen them go on towards the North, the unforgettable view from Punta Molentis will repay you of the effort made to conquer the top.

Baia di Chia

To the West of the Golfo degli Angeli lies the seaside resort of Baia di Chia [Chia’s Bay]. The clear, pristine sand of Su Giudeu beach, once the setting for several films, hides many niches covered by rocky promontories, such as Cala Cipolla.

An evocative path leads to Capo Spartivento, whose lighthouse, now a top resort, dominates the rugged coastline below.



The picturesque Cala Mosca beach is perfect both for a relaxed trek and a wild adventure among its open-air nightclubs. Protected by two cliffs, this creek only stands 4km away from the town center of Cagliari.

A parking lot and a kiosk-bar combine with the possibility to do scuba diving and underwater fishing in its crystalline water.

Cala Fighera

Cala Fighera

Despite being close to Cagliari, the Cala Fighera beach is a paradise protected from the raging winds of the coast. High from the Cala Mosca’s cliff, that you will pass through in order to get there, you can admire the chromatic nuances of the waters created by the disparities of the rocky seabed.

But beware! Bring trekking shoes with you and keep in mind that you won’t find refreshment points on the beach.

Cagliari's coastline, among its many beauties, is home to Poetto beach, a good 8 km long: a paradise with turquoise waters, very soft sand and a shallow seabed for several meters. The waterfront offers various activities for all tastes and ages. From skateboarding to sailing schools, it is in surfing that Poetto is at its best, thanks to the waves carried by the strong coastal winds.
Cape Malfatano
Cape Malfatano

Capo Malfatano is the coastal treasure of the Teulada coastline, with its ashy sands, impervious cliffs and amber reflections of the rocks. The ancient watchtower on the promontory makes it a jewel of nature and history.

Continuing along the coast, you will admire the wonderful crystal-clear waters of the beaches of Tuerredda and Piscinnì.

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