Things to Do in Cagliari, Sardinia
By: Liz Flynn
Located on Sardinia’s south coast by the Mediterranean Sea, Cagliari is the capital city and one of the most popular tourist spots on the island. There are plenty of things to see and do if you choose to visit this city in Sardinia.
1. Bastione San Remy
This bastion was built to defend the Castello quarter of Cagliari. Now, it is a great place to visit if you are interested in history and architecture. Another reason to visit is to enjoy the sweeping views across the city and the Marina.
The Marina quarter of the city is where a lot of the action takes place. It is here that you will find a range of shops, cafes and bars. There is also the City Hall, the Maritime Station and the Piazza della Costituzione.
3. Torre dell’Elefante
During the invasion of Sardinia by Spain, the Elephant Tower was built as part of the fortifications to defend Castello from invasion. On the lower side of the tower is the carving of an elephant, thus it was given the name of Torre dell’Elefante. Nobody is entirely sure why an elephant was chosen for the subject of the carving but the locals have many theories.
4. Museo Archeologico Nazionale
The Archaeology Museum is located inside the Torre San Pancrazio, a watch tower that was built in 1305. There are Roman, Greek and Punic collections to view and it is a fantastic place to learn a wealth of information about Sardinia. It gives a true insight into the lives of people who have lived on the island over the last 3,000 years.
5. Il Castello
Il Castello is the old town area of Cagliari. It consists of narrow streets, arched passageways and many flights of stairs. Landmarks in this quarter include the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Piazza del Palazzo, the Palazzo Arcivescovile, and the Palazzo Reggio.
6. Cagliari Cathedral
The cathedral is a mismatch of architectural styles due to various additions and renovations over the years. The original façade was Romanesque but this was replaced by Baroque decoration in 1722. This was replaced by imitation Romanesque two centuries later. Some parts of the cathedral have unrestored walls from the 13th-century. Inside, there are many features to admire, including the elaborate ceilings, carved Roman tombs and two halves of a pulpit from Pisa Cathedral.
7. Roman Amphitheater
Set in a curve in the hillside is the Roman Amphitheater and it is considered the city’s most important remain. It is still used for concerts and performances and there are guided tours at other times.
8. Cittadella dei Musei
This is a collection of museums, so there is something to suit all preferences. These include an Anatomical Waxes Collection, the National Art Gallery and a museum devoted to Thai art. You will find the Cittadella dei Musei at Piazza Arsenale.