Cagliari, the old town: Castello
90 – 120 minutes
A unique and pleasant journey to discover the origins of the cityRequest information
Where the narrow alleys alternate to sunny small squares, dark spot to breath-taking views and ancient buildings open their halls, showing off the footprint of past times, you are wandering in Castello, the old part of the town.
A real fortress built to protect the city, the neighbor of Castello dates back to the Pisan times and survives, once again joyful and charming after a long crumbling period, up to the present after the Spanish domination and the Piedmontese kingdom.
Castello has been the heart of Cagliari for many centuries; nowadays it still keeps some artistic and historical treasures such as the Palazzo Regio, which served as the mansion of the royal Savoia family for some years, Palazzo di Città and the Cathedral of Santa Maria, seat of the religious power since the XVII century.
The Cathedral hides its famous jewels in the baroque crypt, guarded by mighty marble lions.
You may stroll along the “bastioni” and cross the ancient doors which are the entry ways to the old town or rest under St. Pancras and the Elephant towers where the view leaves even the most experienced explorers breathless.
Castello is also home to the artisans, craftsmen and antique dealers’s hops, where tourists are welcome even for a quick chat or poke around in search of antique items to bring home as souvenirs.
If you want to see Cagliari from the highest peak, you can simply leave the narrow-alleys labyrinth and peek out from the embankment. Castello offers priceless corners: the view spaces from Sella del Diavolo to Poetto beach up to the Molentargius and Saline Park.
If you love archaeology, you can’t miss a visit to the Archaeological Museum where, among the treasures of the Nuragic era, the Giants of Monte Prama stand out. They are the unique examples of statues of the Nuragic period (700-900 BC). Found during excavations conducted in the 70s in the locality of Monte Prama, they were reassembled piece by piece until the complete reconstruction, which took place in 2014. The statues, up to two meters high, depict boxers and archers with an enigmatic gaze.
The visit to the museum is optional and has an additional cost.