Not without interest. This is my usual polite way to indicate that the town in question may have a few interesting features but in no way rises to the “must-see” category. If you are in the area, you probably should visit, but don’t lose sleep over not being able to allocate significant time to its exploration.
Cagliari – the capital and the biggest city of Sardinia – is exactly that: not without interest. As in any large town with a long history, there are notable points of interest, impressive monuments, and winsome perspectives. But very little comes with a “wow” factor, and on average Cagliari feels short of remarkable.
The killer feature has got to be the Bastion Saint Rémy, a 19th-century limestone structure that acts as the cinematic entry point to the historic district of Cagliari.
There is a panoramic terrace at the top – this is a view through the main arch.
Other notable structures in the Castello district include a couple of early 14th-century towers, one of which is known as Torre dell’Elefante on account of a small sculpture on an elevated shelf on the wall.
This is its near-twin, Torre di San Pancrazio, built by the same architect three years prior.
The remaining town gates include the medieval Porta dei Leoni…
… just as old Porta di San Pancrazio…
… and the much newer (mid-19th-century) Porta Cristina.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Cecilia is probably the second most impressive sight in Cagliari after the bastion.
The interior of the cathedral is full of luxurious features.
The lions guarding the steps in front of the altar seem to be unusually engaged in risqué activities.
The remote view of the cathedral’s dome from the bastion’s terrace is among the best perspectives in all of Cagliari, for my money.
Elevated perspectives from various terraces of Castello are, in line with our overall impressions, ok without being tremendous.
The edge-of-the-town modern Church of Saint Martyrs George and Catherine, built on the site of a much older church that was destroyed in the World War II bombing, is one highlight that attracts the eye among the Cagliari’s roofline.
A minor attraction at the bastion is Passeggiata Coperta, the colonnaded Belle Epoque hall that allows access to medieval fortification spaces.
Beyond the aforementioned attractions, Cagliari offers a color palette and details similar to what we saw in other parts of the island.
An occasional establishment – a gallery or a shop – will have a distinctive feature welcoming the visitors.
Street art, however, is almost entirely manifested as plain old graffiti in Cagliari, making it significantly less appealing in many instances. The examples of eye-catching art are few and far between.
Let’s have another look – with a bit of a close-up – at what I consider to be one of the best sights of Cagliari.
Not without interest, for sure.