Cagliari is the main city in Sardinia and is really the capital of this island-continent, with all of the things you would expect to find in a capital city. Our school is located at the start of the Old Town on Via Roma, and is therefore the ideal starting point to discover the city.
The Old Town of Cagliari
You can start exploring by getting lost in the network of narrow streets in the Marina district, a crossroads of cultures, colours, small shops and craft workshops. The Marina, an ancient sailors' and fishermen's village, is certainly one of the most vibrant parts of Cagliari and it represents the strong link between the city and the sea. You can then visit the historic districts of Stampace and Villanova in search of Roman ruins, towers, ancient walls, museums, churches and tunnels, then climb to the top of the old town, the Castello district. From here you will see the city view from above and your eyes will be filled with blue as the sky merges into the sea and everything will be illuminated by that special light, the light of the Mediterranean.
Nature reserves, beaches and seven hills
Cagliari means history but also nature. The stars are undoubtedly the flocks of pink flamingos, visible in nature reserves and parks such as Molentargius, which you can go around on foot or on a rental bike. Then sunshine, coloured umbrellas, stalls that serve cool drinks or fish dishes: the Poetto beach offers this and more. Known as the city's beach, it is about 7 km long and it is certainly a place we recommend you visit for at least two reasons: it offers a truly impressive seafront and it is the favourite meeting point of the locals, thus making it one of the most suitable places to make friends and practice your Italian skills. And when you want to feel like the king or queen of the world and breath in the beauty of the city you can choose to admire the panorama from above. Did you know that Cagliari, like Rome and Istanbul, is built on seven hills? To appreciate this, we recommend a walk around Monte Urpinu or, if you feel a bit more sporty, you can take a short hike to the top of the Sella del Diavolo, the hill that overlooks the sea. Your effort will be rewarded with a refreshing, inspiring panorama that will clear your head and allow you to put life in perspective.
Tasty and curious food
It's hard not to go home happy and satisfied with the excellent local cuisine. It's tasty and made with simple, natural ingredients. Among the most unforgettable dishes you will find are malloreddus alla campidanese and spaghetti ai ricci, two local pasta recipes. Malloreddus are small hard wheat flour gnocchi, combined with a sauce of tomatoes, fresh sausage and saffron. Spaghetti ai ricci, on the other hand, is spaghetti with sea urchins and is one of those pasta and fish combinations which gives you a unique taste of the sea. If you would like to try it, you will find white stalls scattered around the city, which, in the months the sea urchins are available, will offer you whole trays of freshly opened sea urchins and a glass of Vermentino. Now, if you want to do what a real native of Cagliari would do on Sunday mornings and live really local, this is one of the things you can not miss out on. For something a little more curious, however, we recommend that you try Sa Burrida and Sa Cassola; the first one is a Cagliari specialty with a small-spotted catshark, divided into tranches and cooked with a sauce made from its own liver, oil, garlic, breadcrumbs, pine nuts and walnuts. Sa Cassola is a seafood soup prepared according to an ancient Cagliari recipe. In a word? Delicious!
And when the sun sets?
The perfect evening ends with an aperitif in one of the many bars in the old town and with the discovery of a new face of this Mediterranean city: that of its sparkling nights, the music of the beach bars or the numerous events organised by the city: jazz concerts, opera and theatre performances, street markets, literary reviews and much more.