The southern port of Sardinia and the Region’s capital and largest city, Cagliari has been shaped by its maritime traditions. Fronting the port is the central Via Roma, dotted with shops, boutiques and bars open at all hours, and the gateway to the city’s historic quarters, such as Marina, crammed with trattorias and restaurants and immersed in a colourful multi-ethnic atmosphere. A short stroll uphill rise the curtain walls of the Bastione and the Castello quarter where ancient artisan workshops stand side by side with modern art galleries. Then comes Villanova, with its pastel-coloured buildings, the sound of church bells and the characteristic scent of fresh laundry hung out to dry. The Stampace quarter, nestled at the foot of Castello, is an oasis in which sounds and habits remind us of times gone by. A few minutes’ drive from the city centre takes us to the city’s beach stretching for no less than 8 km: it’s the famous Poetto Beach, dotted with kiosks which in the summer are open day and night, making this area one of the liveliest and most enticing along the coast.
Not to be missed in Cagliari
The city’s historic quarters
The shopping streets: via Sulis, via Garibaldi and via Manno
The Sella del Diavolo headland
Sunset at Cala Mosca
Where to sleep in Cagliari
If you want to wake up with a sea view and at the same time chose a location near the city centre, you can choose one of the many quality accommodation options along Poetto beach – just cross the street to enjoy a swim. To experience to the full the city centre, a good idea is a hotel in central Via Roma or, for the more romantically inclined, a boutique hotel in one of the city’s historic quarters.
When to visit Cagliari
The summer, long and hot, is certainly one of the best periods to visit Cagliari, to enjoy the sea and the lively atmosphere of the centre – by day and night. Springtime, famous for its many colours and mild temperature, is ideal for walks and excursions, while autumn offers a host of folk festivals and wine and food events in the small towns and villages of the hinterland.