People who are interested in culture, art and history will find Cagliari a pot of gold. For centuries, the city was a crossroads of cultures and traditions. It was founded by the Phoenicians, colonised by the Carthaginians, occupied by the Romans, contested by the Pisans and Spanish, and governed by the Piedmontese. Today, all this intense overlapping of dominations can be seen in the city’s urban landscape, particularly in the oldest and most evocative part consisting of the four historic neighbourhoods – Marina, Castello, Stampace and Villanova.
The Castello neighbourhood is specially interesting. It is in the exact centre of the city, with an elevated position, at about 100 m above sea level, on a limestone hill. It’s here that the oldest part of the city can be found and where the fortified citadel, with its mediaeval bastions and towers arose. In addition, here there are the sacred buildings left by the Spanish domination.
The Duomo (cathedral) is certainly worth a visit. Built in the 14th century, it blends Romanesque, Baroque and Romanesque Revival styles with architectural solutions of great visual impact. Palazzo Reale, the old residence of the king’s representative during the various dominations of Cagliari, bears the marks of the different historical eras in its structure – Aragonese, Spanish and the House of Savoy.
There are some interesting archaeological sites in the western part of the province. The Is Concias giant’s grave and the Cuccuru Nuraxi Archaeological Park at Settimo San Pietro, with a Nuragic complex, has a very interesting sacred well inside. History lovers shouldn’t miss the Nora Archaeological Park, on a little peninsula in the municipality of Pula, where the ruins of some ancient Roman buildings can be seen with spectacular mosaics using only three colours – white, black and ochre.