Hugging the south coast of Sardinia, Cagliari is a historical province that’s closer to Tunisia than Rome. It’s home to the pastel-hued city of Cagliari, which has a fascinating history under Carthaginian, Roman and Spanish Habsburg rule.
Things to do in Cagliari
Whether you want to spot migratory bird species, explore ancient Roman ruins or watch the world go by from waterfront cafes, the historical province of Cagliari is sure to enchant.
Sightsee in Cagliari. Serving as the Kingdom of Sardinia’s capital for more than five centuries, Cagliari is watched over by the rocky Castello and clustered with golden-hued palazzi. Marvel at the Pisan-Romanesque-style Cagliari Cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century, then explore the Roman ceramics and artefacts on display at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari. In the seafront Marina district, you can watch the world go by from an alfresco cafe.
Tour the archaeological ruins of Nora. Encompassing ancient Roman and pre-Roman ruins, Nora is one of Cagliari’s most fascinating archaeological sites. Originally inhabited by indigenous Sardinians and later by the Phoenicians, it came under Roman control following the 3rd century BC conquest of Sardinia. Wander between the ruined temple, baths and villas or coincide your visit with a concert in the amphitheatre.
Explore Molentargius-Saline Regional Park. Sprawling between Cagliari and Quartu Sant Elena is this Ramsar-listed park, which provides important habitat for wintering and nesting waterfowl. It was the site of a salt harvesting industry for centuries, with the word “molentargius” referring to the “donkey handlers” that once worked the salt pans. Join a guided boat tour to learn about the more than 200 bird species that have been recorded here, including black-winged stilts, little egrets and pied avocets.
Getting around Cagliari
Cagliari Elmas Airport is the main aviation gateway to the historic Province of Cagliari and has flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from towns and cities across Sardinia to the Cagliari railway station while ferries travel from Cagliari to Naples, Trapani and Palermo. Buses and rental cars are the main means of getting around the province.