The influence of many different cultures in Sardinia shows up in their architecture, customs and cuisine which is rich in seafood and has a very strong Italian and Spanish influence.
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia, an autonomous region and holds the main port for the second largest island in the Mediterranean. The Port of Cagliari is used by several cruise lines on their Mediterranean itineraries. This prominent area still maintains much of its old world charm and has a long summer season from May until October.
History of the Port
The port was first used by the Phoenicians with the Carthaginians, Catalon-Aragons and Romans also discovering its benefits as a well sheltered landing place. Today it serves as a terminal for multifunctional use, including cargo, ferry transport to the mainland of France, Spain and Italy and cruise ships.
The Cagliari port is so large that it is divided into two sections, the historic port (Molo Rinascita) and the canal port. Cruise ships normally dock at Molo Rinascita.
The city centre and some landmarks are less than 15 minutes walking distance from the port but the best way is to utilise the shuttle bus that is provided by The Port Authority of Cagliari. The buses can be found directly outside the terminal. Taxis are also available at the exit of the port.
A Cagliari tourist information kiosk is located at the main entrance of the port. The city itself offers a wide array of activities and attractions that will ensure passengers will never be bored.
Get off to a good start by checking out the historic part of town, the Castello. Castello is located on a steep hill, but it’s worth the trip up to see the stunning views of the rest of the city below and the Gulf of Cagliari. The city walls and relics from the Roman era can also be seen here.
Another popular sight is the Cathedral Santa Maria. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence the name, the structure was completed in the 12th century and was designed in an attractive Pisan style. The style stretches into the interior, where there are baroque inspired religious ornaments located throughout.
One of the most important monuments in Cagliari is the Basilica San Saturnin. It was first built in the 6th century, according to the text at the time. This is an important religious site because it was allegedly where Saturnin was martyred in the year 304AD. The site has been restored back to its former glory after it was bombed in WWII.
The Roman amphitheatre presents one of the oldest architectural relics in the area and was built in the 4th century. Carved out of the rock of the hill, this amphitheatre is notable for being in use with live performances to this day. At one time, it held daring Greek and Roman theatrical productions.
Poetto Beach is considered to be the largest beach area close to the Port and is around 3 ½ miles away. It is accessible by the local bus. The sandy 5 mile beach has many water sports facilities and restaurants.
According to legend, Nora was the first city settled in Sardinia, and is located about 25 miles from port. The Roman archaeological site contains ruins that include a forum, theatre and baths. The site can be reached on a tour excursion or by taxi.
The Port of Cagliari serves as a port of call for many cruise lines. It is used on Mediterranean sailings by Crystal Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn and Silversea amongst others.
Written by Veronica Shine