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10 things to see in Cagliari

Top 10 places to see in Southern Sardinia

Lawrence has described Cagliari as a different place from the rest of the island as well as of the whole Italy. This is a description that still suits the city, a fantastic business card that highlights the uniqueness of the Sardinian capital, the result of a cultural melting-pot. The best places to see in Cagliari have been built and lived by Phoenicians, Romans, Pisans, and Spanish as well as Piedmont population. The main points of interest are located at a short distance from each other and can be visited in just a weekend spent in South Sardinia.

Here is a quick guide of what to see in Cagliari, the best places you can find among its narrow streets and the city beach. Discover the Sardinian places that you cannot miss!

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Built in the late 800's, the Bastione di Saint Remy is the most important fortification in Cagliari and presents one of the best view of the city. It connects the “Castello” (the old town and highest area of the city) to the districts of “Marina” and “Villanova”. Dedicated to Baron Saint Remy, the first Piedmontese Viceroy, it features a mighty double staircase surmounted by an imposing triumphal arch and a facade of white limestone. The stairway leads to a covered promenade and to the panoramic Umberto Terrace.

Things to see in Cagliari: The Basilica and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria

Although it is not the city's cathedral, the Basilica of Bonaria deserves a place among the best places to visit in Cagliari. It is the largest church in Sardinia built when a crate arrived mysteriously from the sea on the beach at the foot of the hill of Bonaria. On the crave, the Mercedarian Friars found a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child with a lighted candle in her right hand.

Things to see in Cagliari: Poetto Beach and the Devil's Saddle

Poetto is the Cagliari's main beach, a coastline of 8 Km. It starts from Marina Piccola (a touristic port and promenade) to the town of Quartu S.Elena. The beach is characterized by the Sella del Diavolo (Devil's Saddle), a uniquely-shaped cliff that hangs over it. Poetto is a kind of unofficial district where locals usually go throughout the year for outdoor sports, swimming and spend their summer evenings.

Things to see in Cagliari: The twin towers

In the fourteenth century, during the Pisan age, Castello was a fortified area, safeguarded by two towers: the Tower of San Pancrazio (built in 1305 and 36 m high) and the Elephant Tower (built in 1307 and 30 m high). Built in white limestone, the twin towers have been skillfully restored. From the top you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view.

Things to see in Cagliari: Molentargius Park

Due to the fact that it is made up of both fresh and seawater areas, the complete name of this amazing park is Molentargius Saline Natural Regional Park. It covers a surface of 1600 hectares where live different species of birds and plants. The guest star of the park is the famous pink flamingo!

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Things to see in Cagliari: Cathedral of Santa Maria

Located in the heart of the old town, the Cathedral of St. Mary was built in the 13th century in Pisan-Romanesque style and then renovated along Baroque lines. Visiting the Cathedral will complete your cultural and historical tour of the city center.

Things to see in Cagliari: Tuvixeddu Necropolis

Located inside the city of Cagliari, the Necropolis of Tuvixeddu is the most ancient and largest Punic necropolis in Mediterranean Sea. As suggested by its Sardinian name (which means “hill of the little holes”) this interesting archaeological site consists of several caves and galleries well dug into the limestone rock.

Things to see in Cagliari: The Citadel of Museums

The Citadel of Museums is the museum center of Cagliari. It consists of a large central courtyard which gathers different museums: the archaeological museum, the national art gallery, the wax anatomical models of "Susini" and the Siamese art museum.

Things to see in Cagliari: The Vice Royal Palace

Located at a few steps away from the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Palazzo Regio is one of the most important buildings of Cagliari. Once the Savoyas palace, it is today the seat of the Prefect and of the Province of Cagliari where visitors can admire some majestic rooms still decorated by the paintings once owned by the Viceroys.

Things to see in Cagliari: The public gardens and the Municipal Gallery

Built in the first half of the nineteenth century during the Savoy reign as a symbol of prosperity and urban décor, the Public Gardens of Cagliari offers today a green space within a walking distance from the city center. At the end of the main path, you find the Municipal Art Gallery of Cagliari, originally the seat of the Royal powder magazine. The Gallery houses a collection of works by Sardinian artists dated back from the 1960s and the 1980s, an interesting Sardinian ethnographic collection and the famous Ingrao Collection.

10 things to do in Cagliari

  • Getting lost around Marina and Villanova districts

  • Enjoy the sunset from Bastione Santa Croce

  • Visit the Market of San Benedetto

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