If you are looking for a good reason to visit Cagliari during your holidays in Italy, we are ready to give you many!
Italy has an abundance of beautiful cities worth visiting, and easily reachable by train, bus or car.
But if you decide to see Cagliari, ground transportation won’t get you here!
In order to visit Cagliari and get acquainted with all it has to offer, you’ll need to make an extra effort, namely to cross the sea. And what at first glance might seem like an obstacle, is one of the main wonderful reasons why visiting Cagliari is really worthy.
Reason One to visit Cagliari: the Sea
Try to google “Cagliari beach” and you’ll immediately see what we mean: you’ll marvel at the picture-perfect beauty of our irresistible sea. Its waters are clean, crystal-clear and shockingly blue. The landscape of Cagliari and its immediate surroundings are defined by the sea. Our famous Poetto Beach, which lies just a few minutes walk from the city centre, is a 5km strip of very white sand lapped by green-blue water. All through the year you can relax on the beach or in one of the many little cafes on the promenade, looking at the majestic spectacle in front of you. If you don’t want to just stop in Cagliari and wish to see some of the other fantastic beaches the Sardinia coast boasts, we would like to particularly recommend: Cala Sintzias, Cala Pira, Mare Pintau, Punta Molentis, the Scoglio di Peppino, Tuerredda and Cala Cipolla … We are sure you will be amazed. Whether you visit Cagliari for the convenience of having the sea two steps away from your hotel or want to get to know the beaches around, choose us!
Hotel Aristeo is just 10 minutes away from Poetto Beach and it will feel like being in a Caribbean resort.
Reason Two to visit Cagliari: Cagliari Old Town
The heart of Old Cagliari is a fascinating network of narrow and entangled streets. The Old Town is divided into four vibrant districts: Castello, Marina, Stampace e Villanova.
Castello is the oldest district of Cagliari, and it towers above the rest of the city at 100m above sea level. Castello is characterized by medieval buildings with thick walls, Pisan towers and the wonderful Bastione di Saint Remy. The view from the top is breathtaking.
Marina is an old neighborhood traditionally populated by fishermen and traders. In this very peculiar working-class district, which overlooks the tourist port and Via Roma, one of the main streets in the city, you are going to see children playing ball in the courtyards and neighbours gather together in the streets for an evening chat. Over the years, many ethnic shops have opened their doors in this quarter, which also houses the only Mosque in the whole of Sardinia. Marina has so quickly become the most multicultural area of the city.
Stampace has always distinguished itself for its wide range of artisans’ and artists’ workshops. However, the main reason Cagliari’s people feel a strong connection to this beloved neighbourhood is that this is Cagliari patron saint Efisio’s quarter, and that this is where on May 1st the annual celebrations in his honour take place. In Stampace the historical and cultural roots of the city are still very much preserved and cherished, although this is true for all the districts of Cagliari Old Town.
Last but not least, Villanova. Villanova is a real gem in the centre of Cagliari, a lively, vibrant and populated neighbourhood where the locals live in houses that do not exceed two floors in height and where potted plants and flowers adorn all balconies. Life in the streets seems the natural extension of life in the residents’ homes. Here the most beautiful boutiques of Cagliari coexist in total harmony with small craft shops, excellent niche restaurants and bars offering great value informal aperitifs.
Our bottom line is that visiting the historic centre of Cagliari really feels like walking in an open-air museum, where you can admire antiquity mingling with everyday life modern expressions. So, if you visit Cagliari, choose to enjoy its best sides and BOOK YOUR ROOM at the Aristeo Hotel, in the authentic heart of the city but still a stone’s throw from the sea.
Reason Three to visit Cagliari: the Food
If you choose to visit Cagliari you are going to savour the true taste of the sea, its fresh catch and its many preparations. In Cagliari there are definitely numerous traditional dishes not be missed, so we are going to suggest you a 4-courses menu based on our specialties. Please take a sit, and we will look after everything else!
Our sea-based meal starts with the famous fried “Orziadas” (sea anemones), breaded in semolina and flour and deep-fried in abundant oil. This is one of Cagliari most requested and appreciated appetizers.
As first course, the house suggests “Fregola con Arselle” (clams), a traditional Sardinian pasta of small hard wheat spheres, rigorously handmade and toasted in the oven: a really unique dish absolutely worth trying.
Our meal continues with “Burrida alla Cagliaritana”, dogfish prepared with nuts and vinegar, a dish with a very special and distinct flavor. What about the dessert? Well, you can’t really visit Cagliari (or Sardinia in general) and not try our “Seadas”, a disc of fresh semolina stuffed with cheese, fried and flavoured with our exquisite local honey (which Aristeo Hotel knows very well!) a fantastic guilty pleasure you will not regret!
This full menu is available in most of the oldtown restaurants. Our next recommendation, and a must in our what-to-do list in Cagliari, is to visit San Benedetto market. One of the biggest indoor markets in Italy, San Benedetto market is a real institution, where you will find an enormous display of fish, seafood and more spreading over two floors. Opening in the very early morning, on the first floor you’ll find the best fish in town while fruit, vegetables and the best local meats are sold upstairs. You can really find everything here, and we, as Sardinians, are undoubtedly very proud of our excellent produce!
Reason Four to visit Cagliari: culture
Visiting Cagliari is also an opportunity to discover a series of Museums famous for the uniqueness of the works they exhibit. Here a selection of the most important ones:
· Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, home to the famous “Giants of Mont’e Prama”;
· Modern Art City Gallery, in the heart of the Public Gardens, showcasing works by Sardinian artists and representing a complete panorama of Sardinia 20th century history and culture
· National Art Gallery, with a collection of 1272 exhibits including important paintings, sculptures, gold and fabric artefacts, embroidery, weapons and house furnishings
· Anatomical Wax Museum, which houses one of the world’s best collection of realistic human body parts reproductions.
If culture is what you are interested in, you are going to take great satisfaction in visiting Cagliari art exhibitions and museums, or the Churches and numerous ancient buildings that are so typical of the city. One thing is sure, the Aristeo Hotel is the perfect place to start your visit and to enjoy all the best the city has to offer.
Reason Five to visit Cagliari: the People
Sure, you cannot know before coming that Cagliari is a city worth visiting for its people, but once you are here you’ll experience in no time the warmth of the locals.
In Cagliari you might often find elderly people pausing their walk to have a chat with you or young people entertaing you while they they wait for their bus. Everybody will be happy to help you with directions. It may be the influence of the sun, or maybe the one of the sea, fact is in Cagliari people are smiley, optimistic, sociable and very welcoming.
And then you know, Sardinian women (especially the one from Cagliari) really deserve to be seen and admired.
Let yourself be enchanted by this land and won over by its people.
Don’t hesitate, come and visit Cagliari because it is beautiful and generous and because here you’ll find Hotel Aristeo, a place where you can really feel at home.
With the family.