Posts Tagged ‘Cagliari’

Golden Day 123: Cagliari, Sardinia with Maria Paola Loi

maria-paola-loi-in-olienaIt’s wonderful to have Maria Paola Loi of Sardinia Tours and co-author of the app Sardinia Inside Out, (who joined Martha Bakerjian to give us advice about a Golden Day in Alghero),  come back to give her advice for A Golden Day in Cagliari. Maria and our other Cagliari friend and expert, Lexa Dudley, from Golden Day 120, agree on some of the same places in Sardinia’s capital city–so with two thumbs up, take their advice when traveling there.

Here’s Maria:

In Cagliari, the Capital City of Sardinia, it is worth seeing the old Medieval  part of town —Castello.

torre_di_san_pancrazio_IMG_9551_bis Take a lovely stroll along the narrow, and admire many monuments like the Towers of San Pancrazio (from 1305) and the Elephant (from 1307) — symbol of the ancient city.

Another city highlight is the Cathedral of Santa Maria with a blend of styles that go from early Romanesque to Neoclassic and the Bastione di San Remy and Bastione Santa Croce, which have huge panoramic terraces with breathtaking views of Cagliari city.

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The food market “Mercato di San Benedetto” can not be missed! It is a two floor indoor market where all the fresh seasonal Sardinian products are displayed in a lively and colorful way–vegetables, bread, hundreds of different types of pecorino sheep cheese, meat and salami, and fresh fish. It is a great experience and a lot of fun to be around the fishmongers–who with loud, entertaining enthusiasm show off and sell their fresh catch of the day from the Mediterranean Sea around Cagliari bay.

CaptureAntico Cafè (Piazza Costituzione 10/11)dating back to 1855, is the oldest cafè in Cagliari. Here you’ll find a very sophisticated atmosphere and great bar/restaurant. It is situated near the monumental rampart of the Bastione di San Remy in the shopping street called Via. Garibaldi.

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 l’isola del gelato(Piazza Yenne 35) is a great ice cream shop with an outstanding variety of ice cream, milk shakes, frullati and semifreddi!

10418151_10152808756024160_8725157892950151507_nYou may want to spend the afternoon at the beach, called il Poetto, just 10 minutes away from the city centre, to enjoy a swim or stroll along the 10 kilometer stretch of fine sand. The locals hang out here even in winter, as Cagliari has a mild climate and many sunny days. Kiosk bars and clubs offer live music and entertainments on the beach at night time from June to Mid September.

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For your aperitivo, I highly recommend the Cafè Libarium, situated on the panoramic terrace in the Bastione di Santa Croce, a lounge bar with view on the terrace of an historic rampart overlooking a medieval tower . Settle into the stylishly furnished sofas and tables or the elegant indoor caffè.

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At the restaurant da Luigi Pomata(Viale Regina Margherita 14), you’ll find fantastic and delicious combinations of sea food dishes, fusion cuisine where Sardinian traditional recipes and Japanese style cuisine are blended in a very unique way.Tuna is one of the products that Luigi offers as it comes from the Sardinian island of San Pietro, where tuna is very special!

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Or go to La mola Sarda(Viale Trento 84,), a family run charming trattoria where it is possible to taste the very traditional Sardinian cuisine, in a warm atmosphere. You’ll find lovely sea food dishes on the menu with a great variety of antipasti di mare typical of the Cagliari area. A delicious specialty is fregola con arselle — it’s similar to cous cous, but thicker, cooked with local clams. 

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Spend the night at Hotel Regina Margherita(Viale Regina Margherita 44). It’s centrally located and very elegant.

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Or there is Hotel Miramare (Via Roma 59), a stylish, vintage style, historic palace with Liberty style rooms, along the arcades of the water front street Via Roma.

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Grazie mille for the insider tips Maria!

Golden Day 120 with Author Lexa Dudley’s Advice for Cagliari, Sardinia

 untitled (2)We are moving on to the magical island of Sardinia. On my first visit there, I stayed in Cagliari, just in time for their amazing celebration that begins every May–the Feast of Sant’ Efisio. It’s one of the grandest and most colorful religious celebrations in the world–There was a 3 hour parade… gorgeous Sardinians in traditional costumes accented with gold jewelry, riding in carriages bedecked with flowers, pulled by bulls, accompanied by soulful music… a breathtaking experience.

I’m grateful to have connected with Lexa Dudley, an author who has a great passion for Sardinia, and has written a romance, “The Whispering Wind” that’s set on the island… and set on my reading list.

In the meantime, here is Lexa with her advivice for A Golden Day in Cagliari, City of the sun on the ‘Unknown Island’ of Sardinia.

First, I must confess that I fell in love with Sardinia over forty years ago, when it was well off the tourist beaten track; it became the home of my soul and Cagliari lives in my heart.
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My golden day would see me heading off to Piazza Arsenale to see the National Museum of Archaeology (070684000) which houses some of the wonderfully crafted bronzetti from the bronze age of the Nuraghic people.

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For the early birds the market at San Benedetto is wonderful to get the freshest fruit, veggies, and meat!

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The dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria(Piazza Palazzo 4, 070663837)

cathedral-of-cagliari3cathedral-of-cagliari10Take the lift down again to Viale Regina Margherita to find Antico Caffe  (Piazza Costituzione 10, 070658206) which was opened in 1855 and was a favourite of Cagliari’s literati in the 19th and 20th century including D H Lawrence and Grazia Deledda.

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The food is excellent and it is wonderful to just sit and soak up the atmosphere. It seems to be open all hours, so a visit for coffee in the morning or a final one late at night is a must.

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The Botanical Gardens(Via Sant’Ignazio da Laconia) are great if you want a gentle stroll in the cool after lunch or a rest on a bench. 519f4676e17b7

 Of course a walk in Sardinia would not be complete without a gelato and wherever you find yourself in the city you are bound to find one to satisfy your taste

Cremeria Ritz (Via Sassari 70,3295409601) is known to  serve the creamiest, the freshest, and in a word, the finest ice-cream in town! Or there is L’Isola del Gelato(Piazza Yenne 35, 070 65 98 24). This is more than just an ice-cream parlour and has become a point of reference for locals and tourists

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You could also take a bus with ‘P’on it and go to Poetto where you can enjoy the beach with its white sand and amazing little huts and kiosks where coffee or soft drinks can be bought. You can hire an umbrella and chair to enjoy the gentle sea breezes from crystal waters; this is a great favourite with the locals.

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 The evening meal is something special in Sardinia and there are many restaurants throughout the city that serve traditional Sardinian food.

Il Buongustaio(Via Concezione 7, 070668124, Open 12:30 – 15:00, 20:00 – 23:00 Mon, Tue 12:30 – 15:00)This establishment specializes in anything fresh coming from the Mediterranean Sea and has a great list of local recipes. Their culurgiones(Sardinian dumplings, filled with potatoes and cheese, served with tomato sauce), fregola con arselle (a type of local pasta in the shape of small balls, served in a clam soup) and sebadas (two fried disks of pastry filled with cheese and topped with honey) are all home-made.

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Opera Prima(Via Campidano 9, 070684619, Open 12:45 – 15:00, 19:30 – 23:00, Sun 12:45 – 15:00. Closed Mon.) A bright and spacious environment to enjoy typical Sardinian specialities but also innovative dishes presented with imagination. The atmosphere is elegant but at the same time it gives you a homely feeling and the staff is always ready to satisfy your every need.

45After a mouth-watering meal, a stroll along the Marina is a great way to finish off a day.

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If you want to stay in a hotel, then the Hotel Regina Margherita(Viale Regina Margherita 44) in the street of the same name is the place to be. It is in the centre of Cagliari and the top rooms have a wonderful view of the city. Breakfast is as big or small as you want it and just about all you could wish for.

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Sometimes I stay in a Bed and Breakfast up in the Casteddu’e Susu area. With a voucher for breakfast you can share your morning coffee with the locals.

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Grazie Mille Lexa!