This is a guest post from Claudia who runs the website My Adventures Around The World. She is actually from Cagliari and we’re excited to see what free things this local suggests to do in the city 🙂 To learn more about Claudia, see her author’s bio below.
Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia (Italy), is a great historic city, where human settlements can be dated back to more than 5,000 years ago. The city is in a lovely position between mountains, sea and a great plain. It has around 170,000 people, but with the municipalities around it, the suburban area reaches over 500,000 inhabitants.
Cagliari is among the happiest city in Italy. And no wonder! People here enjoy great summers, mild winters and clean air thanks to the often blowing winds. The city is rich in archaeology, architecture, art, social and cultural life, and there are opportunities to hike and spot some amazing wildlife right in town, all of which can fit the budget of even the most broke backpacker!
So, here are some insider’s tips on the top five free activities you can enjoy during your stay in Cagliari:
Walk around Castello
This is one of the four historic neighbourhoods of Cagliari, which is located on a hill from where an amazing 180 degree view can be admired. Established in the 13th century by the Pisans, it is a fortified area that has 3 towers (San Pancrazio, dell’Elefante and Cristina), used to be surrounded by a wall, has a bastion and is where the beautiful Cathedral can be found. Castello is rich in art galleries, museums and places of interest, but if you are on a budget, a walk in this incredibly pretty area will give you the chance to breathe in the old history of the city. You can also enjoy some spectacular panoramas over the Gulf of the Angels, the Devil’s Settle which characterizes Cagliari’s Poetto beach, and other neighbourhoods such as Stampace and Villanova.
Enjoy the only Sardinian Sant’Efisio parade
One of the greatest traditions of Sardinia, can actually be viewed for free on the 1st of May each year -be prepared to stand in the crowd for a few hours, but it is worth it. In 2015, Sant’Efisio celebrations will reach their 359th edition. On this occasion, the statue of Sant’Efisio - a saint who is believed to have saved the island from the plague – is paraded across town, arriving 50 kms away at the Village of Pula. People come to parade in their beautiful traditional costumes from all over Sardinia.
Go for a run at Poetto’s Beach
..or at least a walk! Whether you visit Cagliari in the summer or in the winter, you can’t miss Poetto, our beloved city beach. It stretches for over 8 km, and on windy days it is a paradise for kite surfers. This is also where lots of summer festivals and concerts are held and where the locals go regularly for their daily exercise, or for a coffee, a drink or a walk, whatever the season.
Admire the pink flamingos and other wildlife at Parco di Molentargius
You don’t have to fly to the hidden corners of the world to see some of the most amazing wildlife in the world. Cagliari is at the heart of the Mediterranean, and since the air is so clean here, it is the only place in Europe where pink flamingos nest. It seems they have found the perfect place to settle! A walk at the Park of Molentargius will get you close enough to snap some incredible pictures of these pink birds.
Hike Sella del Diavolo:
This is an easy, half day trek in town, which will allow you to gaze at the incredible view over Cagliari and Poetto beach from above, and see the ruins of the fort and tower of Sant’Elia along the way. It can be done freely and independently, and during the summer months, on full moon days, there are also night excursions.
Needless to say, there is much more to do in town - this is just for starters!
Claudia is from Cagliari (Sardinia) and is obsessed with travelling. A former human rights lawyer and academic, after devoting her life to the protection of cultural identity, in November 2013 Claudia decided to give in to her biggest passion and started travelling around Latin America, and she has hardly stopped since. Blogging came as a natural consequence, for Claudia wanted to let her family and friends be updated with her adventures.
You can follow her on her website My Adventures Across The World, on Facebook and on Twitter.