Cagliari is the capital city of the Italian island of Sardinia and is located in the southeastern part of the island, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is a favourite among lovers of history, as the old town located within the ancient city walls and elevated above the rest of the city is an almost perfectly preserved and you can easily lose track of time getting lost among its narrow, cobblestone alley ways. Walking along the city walls, one gets an unparalleled panorama of the Gulf of Cagliari, with its beaches, the massive harbour, and the nature reserve nearby. Along the way, the almost intact watchtowers of Torre di San Pancrazio and Torre dell'Elefante should not be missed.
As it's the capital of Sardinia and having a strong Catalan influence, the city abounds with sacred religious places too. The Cathedral of Cagliari can be found on a hidden corner of the old city and it reflects the Medieval Pisan style of the thirteenth century, while the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria and the Chiesa della Purissima are excellent examples of Catalan architecture.
The eight-kilometre long Poetto beach is one of the best city beaches of the Mediterranean, but there are some other excellent beaches around as well, including the ones located in the Piccolo Bay. Moreover, for nature lovers, just a few kilometres outside the city, in the direction of Quartu Sant'Elena is the massive National Park of Molentargius-Saline, a huge reservoir that is unique because of the presence of both fresh and salty waters and because of the number of flamingos that dwell in the park.
The best time to be in the city is around the first of May, as that is when the famous Feast of St. Ephysius takes place, a religious festival reflecting local traditions that enlivens the streets and provides traditional performances. Consider a stay in a Cagliari hostel, which will place you in the thick of everything on offer in Cagliari.
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