The capital of Sardinia and busiest town is surrounded by marshes and lagoons where remains of prehistoric lake-dwellings have been found. Flamingos stalk the flats and herons and cormorants are common sights.
Cagliari is a commercial centre and seaport by no means devoid of historic gems. The University preserves an enlightened code of laws drawn up in the 14thC – by a woman. Fragments of town walls, ramparts and wrought-iron balconies proclaim the Aragoneso infiluence. The Roman amphitheatre’s auditorium is carved out of a hillside. Pisans of the 13thC left a Romanesque cathedral, the 14thC Elephant Tower and the Tower of San Pancrazio. Church visitors make for San Michele and San Domenico, the latter with impressive cloisters. A splendid archaeological museum contains nuraghi relics and items from Carthaginian and Roman times. Great views from Terrazzo Umberto, southeastern corner of city walls. This somewhat subdued city explodes on May Day at one of Sardinia’s celebrated festivals, that of Sant’ Efisio, intense and unself-conscious, lasting four days. In August, citizens escape to Poetto, a huge beach 4 km east.
Villa holidays: the Cagliari area and all of southern Sardinia offers many holiday rental properties.
Find more in: Villa holiday areas