Going ashore in Cagliari, Italy

Cagliari is one of the most beautiful city-ports of the Mediterranean Sea and a very popular destination for cruise vessels, especially between the months of April and October. It is situated in the South of the Italian island of Sardinia, in the Gulf of Cagliari and it is the capital and the principal port of the island.

Known under the local name of Casteddu, the city of Cagliari is reflected directly on the sea and built around the hill of the district Castello.

If your vessel is calling Cagliari and your stay in the port is longer than a few hours you are as lucky as the thousands of tourists who come on the island for a one day trip on board the big cruise vessels. Most of these cruisers arrive in Cagliari early in the morning and set sail around sunset, allowing the passengers 8-10 hours of sightseeing around the capital.

If you arrive in Cagliari for a day, you have enough time to have a tour of the city and even enjoy a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants you’ll find by the sea (Lungomare NewYork 11 Settembre 2001) or in the proximity of Piazza Yenne, one of the most popular squares in town.

Walking is prohibited inside the terminal, but as taxis are allowed inside the port, all you have to do is rely on the local taxi service. The ride from the port to the center can last ~ 20 minutes and must not cost more than 25 euros ( a little cheaper for the way back). All the taxis coming inside the port are minivans and can take up to 8 persons, so the fare will be very small if more passengers are sharing the same car.

If you want to do some shopping, you’ll find a big shopping Mall close to the supermarket Auchan – where most of the seamen are going. Just tell the taxi driver that you want to go to Auchan and he will take there for 20-25 euros. From the Mall, you can walk to the center (10 minute walk) or take another taxi.

The most common place where to start your walk around the city is Piazza Matteotti or Via Lungomare.

Cagliari Town Hall

Here you will discover the City Hall – the most impressive building facing the sea – and you can follow the large boulevard of Carlo Felice – passing by some shops and restaurants – and arrive in Piazza Yenne in only few minutes. From this square you can take a tourist trolley and have a tour of the city or even the hop on hop off double decker bus. This tourist bus has a regular everyday schedule between the months of April and September, but runs only according to the timetable of the cruisers arriving in the city for the remaining part of the year.

Cagliari Piazza Yenne

Very close to Piazza Yenne there is Torre dell’ Elefante, one of the remaining towers belonging to the defense wall which still surrounds the old town. Built in 1307, this tower has undergone many reconstructions during the centuries and it still stands tall and receives visitors up to his highest point.

Cagliari - Torre del Elefante

Cagliari Torre del Elefante

To arrive at the foot of the tower, you can follow the road which is going up hill or you can save some time (and energy) and take the free of charge elevator.

Cagliari elevator for Torre del Elefante

Inside the tower you’ll have to pay a small fee ( 3 euros) and climb up the wooden stairs until you arrive on the observation deck.

Cagliari Climbing up in Torre del Elefante

From this area you can have a very nice panoramic view towards the town, over the red tiled roofs of the buildings which surround you from all sides. You can also have a view over the port where your vessel is docked and over the Marina Bay, where hundreds of yachts are moored. You can follow the narrow streets that go down towards the sea and admiring some beautiful hidden cafés and restaurants, balconies full of colourful flowers and small gardens on the roofs or terraces of some villas. If the sun is close to setting time, all the buildings are covered in smooth red and golden shadows which will give your photos a little touch of surreal.

Cagliari - narrow streets view from Torre del Elefante

Cagliari - view towards the port - Torre del Elefante

Cagliari view from Torre del Elefante

View from Torre del Elefante - Cagliari

Leaving the tower, you can continue your walk towards the sea, but before arriving at sea level you have to make another stop, at Bastione San Remy from where you will have a different perspective over the same area of the city, but from a different level. Bastione San Remy and Bastione di Santa Caterina are also part of the old defense walls enclosing the city and represent today a place where locals and tourists alike get together, especially in the late hours of the afternoon, to admire the beautiful colours of the sun reflected on the surrounding buildings and to witness the sun setting down over the port.

Bastione San Remy Cagliari

Cagliari - View from Bastione San Remy

At the foot of San Remy Bastion there is another popular square – Piazza Costituzione, preferred mostly by the locals.

View from Bastione San Remy over Piazza Costituzione

Before closing your day, you can enjoy a tasteful and not expensive dinner or do some shopping in the shops you will find lungomare, on Via Roma.

Cagliari delicious pizza

To go back to the port, you can take any taxi/minivan you find in the street because all of them are allowed to enter inside the terminal.


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