Cagliari, Sardinia: Buildings, beaches and a taste of history

Cagliari, the capital of the autonomous Italian region of Sardinia, combines historic buildings, beautiful beaches, easy access to nature, a mild climate and superb cuisine. Although it can be crowded in the summer months, the drop in tourist numbers during autumn makes Cagliari an ideal holiday destination for this time of year.

Climate
Highs in Cagliari in the autumn can range from around 70F to 77F (20-25C). Evenings can be cool, so warmer clothing for evening walks is advisable. The autumn remains dry, with up to around seven rainy days per month but little overall precipitation. November is cooler than October, with December quite chilly, so early autumn is the ideal time for a trip to Cagliari.

Beaches
Summer is the busiest time for Cagliari’s beaches, but they remain an important attraction into the autumn. The main beach, Poetto, has both public areas and beach clubs which charge for entry, chairs and other amenities.

History
Cagliari has been settled ever since Phoenician merchants established a colony on the site in the 7th century BC. The city’s sights include the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, testifying to Cagliari’s importance as a major naval base and capital of Sardinia. The city, together with the island, has changed hands many times over the centuries, with each new regime adding new buildings and monuments. Most of these can be seen in the old city. History lovers with a taste for the macabre should be sure not to miss the monumental cemetery of Bonaria, located atop one of the city’s seven hills.

Parks
One of the most striking things about Cagliari is the number of parks. Large areas are given over to green space, making it one of the greenest cities in Italy. The largest of these parks is Regional Park of Molentargius, which is home to a wide variety of local plant and animal species.

Getting Around
Cagliari’s relatively small size means that most major areas can be visited on foot. This is fortunate, because driving and parking in a tightly-packed medieval city can be challenging! In addition, the old city is situated on a fairly steep slope, so if you are walking you should allow extra time to explore this area and schedule plenty of rest breaks.

Accommodation
As with many Italian cities, accommodation ranges from holiday villages to luxury hotels. Many hotels are located in the suburbs or on the outskirts of the city rather than in the city centre, where only limited space is available.