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Broaden your horizons, venturing to southern Sardinia and the capital city, Cagliari. The southern landscapes surrounding Cagliari are sparse. You might have long, white beaches to yourself.
Cagliari is an elegant city with narrow alleys in the old part, wide streets in the new area and a majestic waterfront. Arrive here by sea for the wonderful experience of seeing its streets and piazzas shimmering in the sun as you approach. The focal point is the tremendous rocky citadel, Il Castello, which towers over the skyline. Cagliari has numerous attractions but doesn’t have the touristy sheen of other ancient cities in this part of the world. Ferry services leave from the ports. Shipwrecks in the deep waters off the coast beckon intrepid divers.
The city is surrounded by salty marsh areas. Beyond this, the region is rugged and hilly. Iglesias is a site with immense importance as the center of a historic mining region. Mining has been a vital part of Sardinia’s story, beginning around 8,000 years ago in mysterious rocky hills like these. It’s a silent area now, but you’ll find the industrial history still resonates.
Villasimius is a small settlement near the sea east of Cagliari where you can get lost in the dreamy sunshine and wide blue horizon. Nearby Cala Sinzias is another charming sandy beach on a pristine lagoon, seemingly isolated from the rest of the world.
Away from the townships, find the hushed Sarrabus hinterland. Climb ancient mountains and explore caves in the Domusnovas region at the base of Monte Marganai. Visit the UNESCO-listed Su Nuraxi di Barumini, a window into the very distant past. These offer excellent examples of nuraghe, mysterious megalithic edifices that rise out of the ancient landscape. Nuraghe are particular to Sardinia, remnants of the Bronze-Age Nuragic civilization.
Sardinia’s south offers an authentic experience of this extraordinary part of Italy. Rent a car to explore the Cagliari region at your own pace or use the available public transit services.