Cagliari – city of views, San Sperate and Nora

Sardinia, Italy                                                                 All photos by Hetty

  Link to my interactive map of Sardinia

We stayed 5 nights in CAGLIARI, the capital city, 9th to 13th September 2019

9th Sept. We caught the 10.02 train from Olbia to Cagliari arriving at 13.27, then bought 24 hour bus tickets and by 14.00 we were at our accommodation. It was near several bus routes with a mini supermarket a couple of doors away, and it had a small garden so we enjoyed eating outside.

Cagliari – Google maps

My interactive map of Cagliari                            Link to my interactive map of Sardinia

The city buses are frequent so it was easy to get to Parco di Monte Urpino (A on map), where there is a 360 degree view from the Punta Panoramico. There are a series of ponds that used to be salt works where flamingos live now, which are separated from the sea by the 5 mile long Poetto beach

Close up of the Sella del diavolo point, where we will go another day

Looking south to Nora on the point – an ancient town to visit another day

Francis of Assisi is at the top

Panning round is the Castello area on top of a hill where the original castle was built, and St Michael’s castle hill

Back in the city centre, grand buildings on Via Roma. On the left is the Town Hall, near the railway station.

The Town Hall has Tourist Info


10th September 2019  – A day in the city centre

We walked into in the city centre along the well-named Buon Camino (good walk), with more great views

to the Castello area (B on map), high on a rocky hill, where there are several museums

The National Archaeological Museum (7 Euros each) has most of the information in English and was very interesting

Items from the Stone Age

including decorated pottery and pots on legs (yes Stone Age)

Copper Age (c.3000 BC)

Bronze Age

These are models of towers developed during the Nuragic Civilisation, between 1700 and 930 B.C – we will see the remains of one later in the holiday

We were surprised as the number and quality of these Bronze Age figures from c.2300 to 1000 BC

6th century column capital

6th to 8th century AD

These figures indicate different medical problems – Punic Age 1st to 3rd century BC

Roman soldier

Nearby is the Museo d’Arte Siamese (7 Euro or free on Tuesdays 10.00 -14.00) – which has lovely things from a 19th century traveller’s collection from Thailand and Japan.

The Castello area is very high up

The Palazzo Regio was the residence of the king of Sardinia’s representative

It is very grand inside

The cathedral

The crypt is built like a Roman bath

The old Town Hall

At the Bastione San Remy there is a lift to get down to the bottom

or steps down

Views from the Bastione

The Elephant Tower

St Michael’s church was closed when we passed by

The Botanical Gardens were a little disappointing

but you could just see over to the Roman amphitheatre

From here it was a short walk back to ‘home’


11th September San Sperate – town of murals

It is only a 30 minute bus ride from Cagliari to San Sperate. We got off the bus by this mask

We liked this one

A lot of the murals are of traditional scenes

A lemon tree painted on the wall

On returning to Cagliari we called in at a large supermarket behind the station and took the shopping home, then took a bus to St Michael’s Castle (C on map), and walked up the hill to see more views all the way round


12th September To Nora – ancient city

A bus from Cagliari bus station (9.15) took us past flamingoes to Pula (10.09), where we walked to Nora (about 40 minutes).

The lagoon at Nora didn’t have any flamingoes today

The beach at Nora

The archaeological site at Nora has the remains of the earliest city of Sardinia, founded by the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, on a promontory. It was taken over by Carthaginians then Romans, but was abandoned in the 8th century AD

A Roman road



It is a large site but was much bigger before the sea claimed part of it

The beach at Nora has a tiny church

Back in Cagliari we walked along the water front to Su Siccu and the Basilica di Nostra Signora di Bonaria, where we caught a bus to ‘home’

In the evening we walked up to Buon Camino to see the sunset


13th September  Poetto, Calamosca and Sella del Diavolo

We went down to Poetto Beach (D on map) and went to look for flamingoes in the ponds. They weren’t in the first ponds , but there were lovely reflections

Sadly the big ponds where the flamingoes were had tall reeds all around the edges and the bird hides were locked. So the best view of the flamingoes was from the bus from Quartu Sant’ Elena all the way along the Poetto Beach.

Then we made our way to Calamosca Beach (E on map)

We walked past the beach to the headland for our picnic

then back near the beach we followed a trail up the rocky hill to Sella del Diavolo, which has fine views over Cagliari

and several view points over Poetto Beach

Back in town in the evening, the bus took us to the bottom of the Bastione and we walked up to see the sunset

The bus back stopped at Buon Camino


14th September 2019

At the railway station -old and new trains

The 10.40 train from Cagliari arrived in Sassari at 13.39

Next: Sassari and north-west Sardinia

Back to introduction to Sardinia

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