Cagliari and the surrounding areas from A to Z
Cagliari, the capital of the province and the region, is located at the heart of the beautiful Bay of the Angels (Golfo degli Angeli); like Rome, it was built on seven hills, which identify the historic neighbourhoods of the city. His name Casteddu, in campidanese Sardinian, meaning Castle (Castello), is just to indicate the upper part of the city, its ancient citadel. The province of Cagliari, despite the loss of many Municipalities following the introduction of new Sardinian provinces, occurred in 2005, remains the most populous of Sardinia.
The city of Cagliari boasts a long coastline of eight miles, the Poetto, the popular beach of Cagliari, which becomes a center for meetings and nightlife in the hot summer evenings, thanks to the many restaurants and bars in the waterfront. If you choose a hotel in Cagliari for your vacation, the beach Poetto will offer sea and sun during the day, music and entertainment in the evening. We suggest you the T-Hotel, a good 4-star Hotel located in a central area; if you really want to enjoy the Poetto beach, we suggest you to check the Villa del Mare Hotel: you just have to cross the street...
Driving from Cagliari towards the coast of Quartu S. Elena, you will find numerous beaches that is absolutely worth visiting, you'll be spoilt for choice. The beautiful Mari Pintau is just the first of a long series of bays and beaches that you will meet continuing along the coastal road that leads to Villasimius, and that will leave you breathless. The wilderness, in contrast with the soft blue of the sea will guide you during your trip in the heart of one of the most beautiful areas of Sardinia. During your holidays in Villasimius you will have the opportunity to visit a different beach every day, conveniently leaving from your hotel: the most beautiful beaches are that of Punta Molentis and Porto Giunco.
If you choose the coast west of Cagliari for your holiday in Sardinia, you'll come across scenarios and beaches equally unique and beautiful, starting with those of Santa Margherita di Pula, up to the fascinating area of Chia. Here again the beauty of the land and coast is such as to hinder the selection; among many others, without any doubts, the beautiful Tuerredda and Su Giudeu, are the tourist places deserving of a visit and are easy to reach from your hotel in Pula.
Nature, archaeology…and a little history
You cannot leave Cagliari without having seen and photographed the beautiful pink flamingos that inhabit the ponds of the capital; arm yourselves with a camera and head toward the Stagno del Molentargius!
The birds frequent this zone year round in small flocks and are more numerous in June when they nest.
But if you want more from your holiday in Cagliari ... if you want to know more about the history of Sardinia, ancient land full of mysteries, you can certainly visit the Cittadella dei Musei (Citadel of Museums) and have a walk in the heart of the city, the Castello district, entering the streets that narrate the rich history of this people.
If you chose a hotel in Pula for your holiday, we suggest a visit to the ruins of Nora, an important archaeological site not far from the town of Pula.
The remains of the past tell the tale of several different historical periods; dating back to Punic times are the foundations of the quarter, whereas the theatre, the broad roadway, the temple and its mosaics are of Roman times.
We also recommend a visit to the Nuraghe Arrubiu, one of Sardinia's most important, and if you want to go into the depths of this region, a visit to the spectacular Caves of Is Zuddas is what we suggest for you!
This nuraghe shows towers of significant height and dates back to about 1500 BC, some 1,000 years after construction of the Pyramid of Cheope. Site guides illustrate its history and the findings made there. In some periods of the year, night time tours are also available.
Where to eat
Among the many outstanding restaurants, we recommend "La Pirata" in Viale Regina Margherita, Zenit in Viale Pula and Sa Domu Sarda for meat, fish, cheeses and local cold cuts. In general terms, the quality of reastaurants in the city is high and the zone Marina quarter, close to the port, is ideal for seafood lovers.
Some local dishes we strongly recommend: “fregula cun cocciula”, a type of cous cous with clams, “sa cassola”, a fish stew, and pasta with “bottarga”, that is dried mullet and tuna fish roe.
Typical are also the “Angiulottus”, ravioli filled with ricotta and green vegetables or meat and the “malloreddus”, semolina noodles enhanced with green vegetables or saffron. They are dressed with tomato sauce, grated Sardinian pecorino cheese and small pieces of fresh sausage.
One wine which matches well both with fish and fresh cheeses is Nuragus while for meat dishes we suggest Monica di Sardegna DOC.
As to sweetmeats, we suggest the pardulas with a cheese base and candelaus, flaky pastry with almonds scented with orange peel, to be matched with a good Moscato or a Malvasia.