Sardinia's largest city
One third of the island's population of 1.5 million lives in the city and province of Cagliari.
Cagliari is located at the southernmost portion of the Campidano plain, in the middle of the gulf of the same name. There are large-scale wetlands to the east and west and Cagliari extends along the coast. Its nine calcareous hills – some of which offer landscapes of outstanding beauty like Monte Urpinu, or the San Michele Hill with its medieval castle and the promontory at Capo Sant'Elia – have been included on the European Union's list of Sites of Community Importance.
The Beach Hotel Parco Torre Chia is located in the Gulf of Cagliari, 50 km south of Cagliari.
The city of Cagliari was founded between the 7th and 6th century B.C. by the Phoenicians and every civilization that followed also settled here and chose it as their centre of power: the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Pisans, Aragonese and Piedmontese.
The marks left behind by history are still visible in the city: the Phoenician-Punic burial grounds on the Tuvixeddu hill, the Roman amphitheatre carved into the calcareous rock, the cathedral of Pisan origins and the Palace which hosted the House of Savoy for a brief period of time.
It was the Pisans who gave the city the form it maintained until the early 20th century by fortifying the Castle Hill in the 13th century and initiating the formation of the districts of Stampace, Marina and Villanova.
The Castello district is the symbol of Cagliari. There are two Pisan watchtowers featured on the city's heraldic flag: the Elephant Tower and the Saint Pancras Tower built in the 14th century to resist the siege of the Aragonese. Other attractions that are worth visiting are the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Saint Remy bastion in the Castello district; the archaeological complex of Sant'Eulalia at the Marina; the Baroque style Church of San Michele at Stampace and the Catalan Gothic church of San Giacomo in Villanova.
The festival of Saint Ephysius is celebrated every 1 May. It is the island's most popular festival due to the elaborate procession of several hundred participants all dresses in traditional costumes.