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 Cagliari and hinterland

Cagliari, the administrative capitol of Sardinia and the principal  port, is called the city of the sun. It preserves its fascination with antiquity through its palaces,  churches, monuments, and through its narrow streets and Spanish districts. Through traces of lacustrine civilisation we know that Cagliari has been inhabited since prehistory. It was also the principal  seat of external domination,  and indeed it preserves evidence of every age and culture. 
Within the urban fabric there are Punic necropolises (Tuvixeddu) roman ruins (the roman amphitheatre, Tigellio's Villa, the Viper's Cave), Pisan walls and towers (the Elephant Tower and the Tower of Saint Pancrazio), Aragonese and Spanish bastions, Piedmontese fortresses in the ancient quarter of the "Castello", interesting churches, such as the early christian Saint Saturnino, the Roman-Pisan Cathedral, the baroque Church of Saint Michele, and the Church of St. Domenico with its stately cloister. The ancient historical centre is fascinating, both for its architecture (XVII century palaces, attractive wrought iron balconies and examples of the Liberty style such as the excellent Civic Palace), and for its lively commercial bustle characterized by old craft shops and small antique dealers. The seat of the university since 1648 Cagliari is also a busy cultural centre (The Municipal Art-Gallery, The Picture-Gallery). Of primary interest is the Archaeological Museum, which houses both Roman and Punic treasures as well as a complete collection from the nuragic civilisation . Also of interest is St. Remy Bastion at the foot of which is the historical "Antico Caffè dal 1855"; St. Croce Church; the Bonaria Sanctuary and Basilica and the crypts of St. Lucifero and St. Restituta. A few minutes from the city lies the wonderful beach of Poetto, a full-service bathing resort.  Nearby are St. Gilla and Molentargius marshes and Monte Arcosu Reserve. The beaches of Chia and Villasimius, offer extraordinary naturalistic and ornithological in the many night clubs and in the charming  outdoor bars on the beach.experiences, as well as the opportunity to visit many important Nuragic and Roman-Punic archaeological sites.
 
Cagliari offers a  full calendar of events, concerts, art shows and sports activities. Almost all the restaurants and inns offer the delicious combination of both Sardinian and Mediterranean cusine; after dinner one can spend a delightful evening out.

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TRIPS AROUND CAGLIARI
POETTO: just a few minutes from the centre, Poetto is a beautiful white beach with crystal-clear blue water, stretching for about ten kilometres towards the eastern panoramic highway. It is characterized by the "Devil’s Saddle" (La  Sella del Diavolo), at the foot of which is the lovely little tourist harbour of "Marina Piccola", a lively spot throughout the summer.

MOLENTARGIUS: 2 km. The marsh of Molentargius is a wilderness preserve among the most important in Europe due to the great number of flamingos which have been building their nests there since 1993.

SA DOM'E FARRA: 4 km. A typical country residence includes a museum with everyday objects and Sardinian handicrafts.

MONTE ARCOSU: 19 km. An uncontaminated oasis situated in the Uta region in which a great number of protected species live, among which is the Sardinian deer.

NORA: 29 km. This is the most important Punic-Roman city of Sardinia.  Notable examples of remarkably well-preserved  mosaics, thermal baths, an amphitheatre (with cultural events in summertime) and ruins of temples and dwellings can be seen.

SANLURI: 45 km. A "must see" tourist destination is the Eleonora D’ Arborea Castle (XIV century). It is the only castle of this island still undamaged and has recently been turned into a museum.

VILLANOVAFORRU: 56 km. The Nuragic village of "Genna Maria" and the archaeological museum are well worth a visit since the recent restoration.

BARUMINI: 61 km. This is the most extensive and important Nuragic village ever discovered. Called "Su Nuraxi", it dates from 1500 b.c. and is the most significant evidence of megalithic civilisation in Sardinia. 

GIARA DI GESTURI: 65km. This is a natural park on a high plateau  just a few kilometres from Barumini where the small wild horses live. They are unique in Europe.

DOMUSNOVAS: 43 km. This is an ancient mining centre in the "Iglesinte" region, where the cave of St. Giovanni is located. This Cave, 850 metres long, is the only one in Europe in which a car can be driven.

SANTADI: 59 km. A small distance from the town centre, you’ll find the Caves of "Is Zuddas", an incredible natural sight of rare beauty.

FLUMINIMAGGIORE: 79 km. The Punic-Roman Temple of Antas, stands in an interesting archaeological and naturalistic area. In the immediate vicinity you can also visit the famous "Su Mannu" cave. With a guide it is open to visitors.

INGURTOSU: 82 km. Here one finds a group of important mines. Not far away are the sand dunes of Piscinas, the most extensive in Italy.

VILLASIMIUS: 48 km. This old fishing village reachable by an unforgettable panoramic drive, is now a famous tourist resort with charming beaches and enchanting rocks. 

CARLOFORTE: 78 km. This small town was founded by Ligurian coral fishermen in 1737. Nowadays its inhabitants still preserve Genoese customs and habits.

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