Places to visit in Cagliari
Cagliari Airport is situated on the island of Sardinia, in Elmas, and is only 7 km away from Cagliari. The airport is also commonly referred to as Elmas Airport, due to its location. Cagliari is a town rich in historical culture and magnificent sights and attractions. Tourists can take their time to thoroughly explore the old historical quarters of the city, and enjoy the fascinating museums and churches. The destination boasts a mild winter, and therefore visitors can discover unique architecture, archaeology and monuments throughout the year. During the warmer Summer and Spring season most people love to spend time at the famous beaches. The sea and beach areas in Cagliari are considered to be among the most beautiful in the world.
There are four neighborhoods in the Old Town of Cagliari which are well worth visiting. They are the areas of Castello, the Marina, Stampace and Villanova. The most popular of these is the Castello neighborhood, and it is recommended to be a good starting point when exploring Cagliari. This historic area is partially enclosed by the bastioned walls, and there are two impressive medieval towers built out of white stone along the bastion enclosure. These towers, together with two city gates, survived the demolition of the 19th century. A good place to start when exploring Castello is at the S. Pancrazio, or the s’Avanzada entrance.
There are numerous spectacular religious buildings in Castello, two which are the Cathedral and the church of the Purissima in via Lamarmora, which originates from the 16th century. In the lower areas of Castello, tourists will find the churches of Santa Croce, San Giuseppe and Santa Maria del Sacro Monte di Pietà. Other buildings of note include the Viceregal Palace, which was once Cagliari’s City Hall, and the Archbishop’s Palace. The University of Cagliari is also located in Castello, and this is quite an important establishment, as it was the first university to be founded in Sardinia, in 1620. The Castello is home to a few fascinating museums with collections of some of the most important artistic treasures of Cagliari. The National Archaeological Museum offers a rich collection of objects and artifacts of high quality, and shows Sardinia’s ancient cultures in its displays of ceramics, statuettes, copper ingots, inscribed headstones and Punic jewelry. The headstones are considered to be one of the world’s most important collections. The National Art Gallery has an interesting collection of artistic masterpieces, and the Siamese Museum includes a collection of Asian coins, ivories, silver, weapons and porcelain from the 11th century and later. The Anatomical Wax Collection is made up of 23 models from the 19th century, crafted by Clementa Susini, a famous Florentine artist. These collections mentioned all form part of the Cittadella dei Museums in Castello.
The Marina neighborhood is home to some impressive religious buildings which offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. In earlier times there were even more churches to enjoy, but many were long since destroyed. Baroque style churches can be found in the streets leading to the port, and these are the S. Antonio Abate and Santa Rosalia. The San Sepulcro and Sant’Eulalia are designed in Gothic-Catalan style, while the Sant’Agostino is one of Sardinia’s rare examples of Renaissance ecclesiastical architecture. Tourists will also find the bronze statue of the Savoy Sovereign at the top of Largo Carlo Felice. Nearby the church of Sant’Eulalia there is a small theater which features an open air cinema during the summer months, and other regular theatrical performances throughout the year. A small museum is located behind this church as well, with exhibits of sacred objects from the 15th to 17th centuries.
The Stampace Neighborhood
The higher and older part of this neighborhood may be of the most interest to tourists. The church of S. Anna features a huge entrance stairway, and the S. Michele is a Baroque style church which is rich in architecture and decoration. Along Viale Buoncammino visitors will find the Carlo Alberto Military Barracks from the 19th century, and the small medieval church of S. Lorenzo e Pancrazio. Museums in Stampace include the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, with exhibits of traditional Sardinian items and clothing.
The Stampace neighborhood features some interesting shopping opportunities. In Via Sassari there is a century-old hat store which still has its old and original accessories and furnishings, while visitors can buy made-to-order items from a well-know jeweler in Via Azuni. Larger antiques are sold in shops along Corso Vittorio Emanuele. For a quite rest from shopping and sightseeing, the Botanical Gardens is the ideal place for picnic in Viale Buoncammino.
This is the area of Cagliari that was originally expanded towards the countryside, and boasts a few notable churches and the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. This gallery is found in the Giardini Pubblici, or Public Gardens, and has a wonderful display of works from 20th century Sardinian artists, and a collection of the neo-avant’garde in Italy.
The Modern Town area of Cagliari was built after the Second World War, and stretches out from the heart of Villanova. There are various churches and museums in this area which are well worth a visit as well. The Modern Town also features the showplace among the pavilions of the Fiera internazionale, or International Fairgrounds. The most popular events held here include the Turisport, Fiera Natale (Christmas Fair), Sardegna Ufficio (Office Fair) and the Arredamento, or Furniture Fair. Airport is situated 11 km from this fairground.
Visitors interested in Cagliari tourist attractions are offered further information about tourism in Cagliari at the information point within the airport terminal building.