During our stay in Cagliari, the capital of the island of Sardinia (Italy), we had the chance to go sightseeing and visit the beauties of this lovely town on the Mediterranean Sea. These are our top 5 things to see in Cagliari:
Bastion of Saint Remy
It is a building that dates back to almost two centuries ago. There is a monumental staircase of 170 steps with a triumphal arch on top. It is located in the most ancient part of the city, the so-called Castello, that is the Italian for "castle". If you want to avoid the stairs to reach the Castello, you can simply take the panoramic elevator (much easier and relaxing!). The Bastion of Saint Remy owes its name to the first Piedmontese viceroy, the Baron of Saint Remy Filippo-Guglielmo Pallavicini.
Poetto beach and Sella del Diavolo (the Devil's Saddle)
Poetto is the name of the most famous beach of Cagliari and of the neighborhing district. This beach stretches for about 8kms from the Devil's Saddle to the beginning of another beach in Quartu Sant'Elena, where its name changes into Cracangiola. We decided to rent a bike and cycle from the beginning to the end of Poetto, with the wind blowing through our hair. It's the best area for nightlife, it's full of bars and discos, but it's also great to sunbathe or have a swim during the day. As for the Devil's Saddle, it's a cliff that hangs just over Poetto beach. You should totally hike up to it like we did to enjoy a wonderful view over the city, the beach and the sea. Both Poetto and the Devil's Saddle are extremely easy to reach by bus.
We cannot avoid mentioning the hotel where we stayed because we couldn't be more satisfied. The T-Hotel is wonderfully located in the city center of Cagliari, right in front of the Parco della Musica, a place that hosts musical and cultural events. We choose to stay in an executive suite because we wanted to use the Wellness Center as well. In our room we found the robes and slippers that we needed to access the SPA and we were definitely happy about it. It was the perfect way to relax after a day spent sightseeing around Cagliari. As for the meals we had in the hotel, we appreciated that we could choose between Italian and continental breakfast depending on our preferences. We also noticed that it's open to non-resident guests. The hotel staff was extremely kind when they let us have breakfast earlier in order to go on an excursion out of town. We had the chance to taste typical (and delicious!) Sardinian food in the hotel restaurant, with good Sardinian wine of course! Since we are from the Philippines, back home we hardly ever have the chance to taste such high-quality Italian food and drinks. We also had a few cocktails after dinner in the hotel bar, they were mentioned on the guide to Italian Bars by Gambero Rosso. The staff provided us with good advice on what to see and where to eat while sightseeing. We recommend this hotel because they like taking care of their guests and they are extremely good at it.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria
It's a Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary that was conceived at the beginning of the 18th century. According to the original plan, the new Basilica had to include the original 13th-century Sanctuary as a chapel but it is currently a separate building located outside. The frescos inside the shrine were irreparably damaged by bombs during WWII. Reconstruction began after the end of the war and right next to the entrance there are some pictures and texts that document the history of the church.
"Marina" neighborhood in Cagliari
The so-called Marina is one of the four historical neighborhoods of Cagliari. The area is surrounded by the three main (and most crowded) streets, that are Largo Carlo Felice, Viale Regina Margherita and Via Roma. The walls of the Castle are the northern border of the neighborhood. Via Manno is a pedestrian street full of shops selling clothes, it's definitely the best place in town for shopping. There are also several churches in the area in case you are interested in religious visits.
We recommend to every tourist the places we mentioned above, they all contributed to make our rather short holiday on this wonderful island unforgettable and unique.
This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.
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