Bed and Breakfast Cagliari: Territory


Located at the centre of the splendid Golfo degli Angeli, since Antiquity Cagliari has been at the heart of Mediterranean trade routes. The city is now a series of evocative neighbourhoods topped by panoramic hills and fortifications. One of these, Castello is a fortified hill and the ancient centre of the city. To the east we can take a stroll up Monte Urpinu to admire the Poetto beach, and the vast wetlands of the Molentargius salt marsh

To the west a pleasant city park leads up to the colle di San Michele and the remains of the castle of the same name which is now an exhibit centre.
Archaeological findings show that as early as the 8th century b.c. the Phoenicians had chosen the west bank of the Santa Gilla pond as a stopping point along the sea route between Lebanon and the Iberian Peninsula, and built a small settlement. The arrival of the Carthaginians, in the 5th century, led to rapid development of the original settlement, as shown by the ruins of the Punic necropolis of Tuvigeddu, the largest complex of its type in the Mediterranean.

Cagliari's present aspect mainly reflects Pisan architecture. In 1215 the Pisans received the Castello quarter from the Giudicato of Cagliari and began to build a fortified city, the Castellum Castri de Kallari. The local inhabitants, living in the villages (now neighbourhoods) of Marina, Stampace and Villanova, were only allowed to enter 'the Castle' during the day. From this time on, 'Castello' also refers to the city of Cagliari itself, as evidenced by its name in the Sardinian language: Casteddu.

About one century later, the Aragonese arrived in Sardinia and settled on the Bonaria hill, leaving Castello to the Pisans. However, the distance between these two powers was too short for peaceful co-existence. As such, after a few land and naval battles, the Aragonese defeated the Pisans who were forced to abandon the city and hand over Castello.

Sites of interest in Cagliari

  • The “Marina” quarter

    Visitors arriving by sea are greeted with a sight of Cagliari that has remained relatively unchanged for over a century. The stretch of via Roma, once the rendezvous of the city's nobles and rich merchants, with its elegant 19th century mansions and arcades dotted with cafes and shops. Then behind via Roma wind the streets and alleys of Marina, which in years past was the home of fishermen and merchants. Marina has retained its old charm and today welcomes visitors with restaurants, typical trattorie and boutiques selling local craftwork.

  • Cagliari City Hall

    Built in the early 1900s on the corner of via Roma and the Largo Carlo Felice, is in a neo-Gothic style, with a facade of windows, double arches and small towers. Inside, visitors can admire paintings by Filippo Figari and Giovanni Marghinotti, as well as the triptych “I consiglieri.

  • Bastione San Remy

    The San Remy Bastion was built in the 19th century to replace the older bastions, Zecca, Santa Caterina and Sperone, in the aim to connect Castello with the Marina and Villanova quarters. The Bastion is reached via a large stairway that climbs from the Piazza Costituzione to Castello, or else using the lifts located on the Viale Regina Elena. The broad Terrazza Umberto I offers a fantastic view of the city.


Sites of interest in Cagliari

  • Roman Amphitheatre

    Dating from the 2nd century a.D., the Amphitheatre of Cagliari, together with the Villa di Tigellio, are the most visible traces of the city's Roman past. The Amphitheatre is the largest and most interesting Roman public structure on the island. Carved primarily out of the limestone Buon Cammino mount, the Amphitheatre could hold some 8000 spectators who crowded into the bleachers to watch combats between gladiators and animals and, possibly, also small mock naval battles.

  • Botanical Garden

    Cagliari's botanical garden, founded in 1865, extends over a 5 ha area to the south of the Roman amphitheatre. The site of the garden is quite interesting. It holds a series of Roman cisterns which formed the terminal of an aqueduct that carried water to Cagliari all the way from Villamassargia, a basin in the form of a cloverleaf , a calidarium (Gennari cave) and a libarium - a well which, according to tradition, was a fountain for the actors who performed in the amphitheatre. The garden is the home to over 2000 botanical species coming from all five continents.

  • Santa Maria Cathedral

    Built by the Pisans in 1274 to 1300, the cathedral of Cagliari underwent heavy remodelling in the 1600s to adapt it to the Baroque taste of the time. In 1933 the facade was completely renovated to recover the old Romanesque style. Highlights of the richly decorated cathedral include two exquisite pulpits sculpted by William of Innsbruck in the 12th century for the cathedral of Pisa and later given to the city of Cagliari.

  • San Pancrazio Tower

    The tower was constructed by the Pisans in 1305, in order to defend the northern entrance to Castello. It was designed by the architect Giovanni Capula, and built out of limestone from the Bonaria hill. It is located at the highest point of Castello at 130 m above sea level. The Aragonese later made several changes, closing the wall on the Piazza Indipendenza side. In the 20th century, however, the tower was restored to its original state with its splendid wooden galleries. The highest floor offers a magnificent view over the city and the surrounding areas.

  • Archaeological museum

    The Museum is part of a complex known as the Cittadella dei Musei, where we also find the National Picture Gallery, the Museum of Siamese Art, Susini's anatomical wax figures, and temporary exhibits. The archaeological museum is organised as an itinerary along three different floors to present the history of Sardinia from Neolithic times until the Middle Ages. An especially fascinating section is the one devoted to the island's main archaeological sites, such as Su Nuraxi (Barumini), the Phoenician city of Sulky(Sant’Antioco), Monte Sirai (Carbonia), and the Temple of Antas (Fluminimaggiore) a highly symbolic place showing the fusion of the Sardinians' early religion with that of the Punic culture and then that of Rome.

  • Basilica of San Saturnino

    The Church, also known as the Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano, is located on the Piazza San Cosimo, adjacent to the via Dante. It is one of the island's oldest Christian monuments, built in the 5th century and devoted to the martyr San Saturnino, the city's patron saint.
    In the 11th century, the original plan - a Greek cross with 4 arms and a central dome - was remodelled in the Provençal-Romanesque style by monks from the St Victor Abbey of Marseilles who rebuilt the monastery and established a priory. The surrounding neighbourhood is still the focus of archaeological research.
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