2014 Nuraghe Visit
Sardinia is home to the old but somewhat mysterious Nuragic civilization (ca 1500 BC); cylindrical towers (called Nuraghi, sing. Nuraghe) dot the Sardinian landscape, and fortified villages can still be found.
We took a tour of a Nuraghe and it was quite interesting. At one point the steep stone stairs were difficult to manage. I took a photo of the stairs we had to navigate.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Very near cathedral, is an ancient res idence of the representative of the king during the time of the Aragonese and Spanish. Today it is a centre of Prefetture of Cagliari district. It is open to the public. I took a photo of the Council room.
The Elephant Tower is up in the castle area. From Piazza Yenne go up a slope, which then changes to flight of steps,at the foot of the steps is a council run electric lift. As you approach the tower look up and you will see the small elephant. Go through the tower gateway and look back you will see the open tower with the stairs up to the top.
Enjoy walking the streets
It is just really enjoyable and relaxing to walk around the old streets of Cagliari and enjoy the wonderful architecture. I'm not talking about the grand and important buildings (which are wonderful) but the everyday homes and squares of the city.
Once you get away from the rather chaotic harbour area you can explore the Marina, Stampace and Castello areas which all hold the delights of being in Italy.
Beware though that the city is built on a hill and is quite steeply inclined in places. This does give rise though to some wonderful views of the town and surrounding area especially once you get up into Castello and the Bastione San Remy (which can also be accessed by a lift !).
This could mean that you might have to stop and enjoy a cold beer or a cappuchino to sustain you - but what the hell - you're on holiday. Buona Vacanze !!
- Historical Travel
Chiesa di Santa Maria del Monte
Nowadays headquarter of Sovereign Order of Malta, this small and frugal church (once center for Santa Maria del Monte di Pietà brotherhood) is located in the heart of the old jewish district.
A first building phase dates back to middle of XVI century (the Gothic side), but the Renaissance elements were added later. After the brotherhood was abolished, in 1866, the churh was alternatively utilized as Court of Appeal headquarter, municipal music school and gymnasium; restored and reopened in 2000, it often hosts classic and contemporary music concerts.
Bastione Saint Remy
This scenographic rampart (wich links the Castle district with the low area of the town) dates back to the end of XIX century and has been built on pre-existent walls from spanish age (about XV century).
The main stairway goes up from Piazza Costituzione creating several and various ramps, which stop into a mezzanine open floor and a painted, bright covered walk.
The staircase ends to a large esplanade with palm trees, park benchs and some trendy coffehouses, from wich is possile to enjoy one of most spectacular and breathtaking 360° views of Cagliari.
Elephant's Tower on Castle district
Built in 1307 during Pisan occupancy, the Elephant's tower holds a strategic area and always acted as main access to Castle district. Its four floors are linked by steepy wooden stairs: according to pisan architecture, the district side is opened and the other three are closed to the city view by white limestone walls.
During centuries the tower changed its main use: was alternatively used as storehouse, officeholders homesite and penitentiary.
Pisan castellans blazons are well preserved and visible on every floor.
It was designed and built between 1862 and 1869, following the project of the most important sardinian architect Gaetano Cima. It's located on Palabanda valley, near Roman amphitheatre and Tigellio's Villa, an area protected from winds and once Gesuits possession.
Gardens surface is about 5 hectares and organised in 4 areas, according to species: mediterranean, tropical, succulent herbs and medicinal herbs (for therapeutic, nutritive and textile uses); a total of 600 trees, 550 shrubs, 75 lianas and 800 types carefully treated in pots are hosted here.
Within the garden there are some cisterns of about 160 mc, remains from Roman Age; and a 'lybarium', a sort of fountain built by Romans, which actors from nearby theatre used to quench.
Doloretta was the beloved wife of Francesco Zedda Piras, the last owner of this Neoclassic Villa (formerly Villa Pollini), in honour of which the building was lastly entitled.
The original project, in1812, connected Villa Pollini with a small urban contest which included a little chapel (entitled to Maria Immacolata, now extinguished), some buildings for agricultural activities and some others destinated to workers. An Italian Garden surrounded the pink villa, but what now remains are some palm trees and the circular fountain, still working.
Villa Doloretta is currently hosting the Superintendence of Archaeology in Cagliari and Oristano provinces.
Villa di Tigellio
Not really a 'villa', this area is what remains from a residential roman area of middle imperial age (II/III century d.C).
Finds show some thermal buildings and three opulent houses, all with a tetrastyle atrium and a central impluvium.
Two of the houses are very well preserved: the one said 'House of Painted Tablinum', with rests of a mosaic floor, and the 'House of Stuccos', which name comes from their decorative stuccos.
Tradition wants one of the houses once belonged to sardinian poet and musician Tigellio Ermogenes, who lived during Cesare and Cicero age.
Bonaria church on Bonaria hill
Placed on the homonymous hill, this church is an elegant example of Catalan Gothic architecture in Sardinia and dates back to Spanish period: the shrine was indeed founded during Catalans besiegement in Cagliari, in 1310.
The building has been structured as a Catalan church (specifically Sant’Agata in the High Royal Palace in Barcelona) and it looks raised in limestone ashlars. Front of the church incorporate some elements from portal of destroyed San Francesco church, once in Stampace area; its actual length is due to the 19th century expansion.
To discover beaches
From Cagliari to west there are plenty of beaches to be discovered, my favorite were la Tuerredda and Baia Chia. You can see the first from the main road. Just follow the directions from the main street. Do not forget sun glasses and sun umbrella!!!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Municipio - the town hall
The new town hall (Municipio) of Cagliari was built at the end of the 19th century in the neogothic and Catalan style. It covers an area of 2400 square meters! Most prominent are the two towers. Through the large archway you can go inside and look at the statues of various kings (Vittorio Amedeo II, the first king of Sardinia and Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy).
Molentargius lagoon - birdwatcher's paradise!
Not far from Poetto Beach you will find Molentargius lagoon - and almost 200 different species of birds!! Most prominent of all are the pink flamingos, but there are also other birds to be found, about 50 of them of endangered species.
The lagoon is partly a salt lake (from ancient times on) and part of it is now a nature reserve.
Cagliari is not all culture and architecture, it also has an 11 km strech of beautiful white sandy beach, called Poetto Beach. We were there in February, so it was too cold to go for a swim, but a wonderful walk on the beach was just as nice! We did see a guy who went fishing there, so this might be another idea, but for us a walk was just fine!
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