Cagliari is the capital of the Italian island Sardinia. The Sardinian name of the city, Casteddu, literally means ‘The Castle’. The city is very old, with settlements dating back to the Phoenicians. During its history, Cagliari has been a battle ground on many occasions, of which you can still find many traces.
Cagliari is the main gateway to Sardinia and renting a car comes in handy as many places can only be reached by car.
The city itself has 160,000 inhabitants but when you include the surrounding towns about half a million people live there.
Cagliari is situated at the south coast of Sardinia, along the gulf of Cagliari, the city is quite hilly. On the northwest of Cagliari lies a mountain range with Punta Serpeddi (1,069 m) being the highest peak.
Fishing has been the main economic activity for centuries. Cagliari has one of Italy's biggest fish markets and many fish processing companies. Furthermore, being one of the largest container ports of the Mediterranean, it plays an important trans-shipment role.
The port of Cagliari is also used for the export of salt and cement.
Tiscali, one of Europe's biggest internet service providers, has its head office in Cagliari
Tourism is of great value for the local economy. Cagliari itself already is a wonderful historical destination, but is also the gateway to the rest of Sardinia.
The international Cagliari-Elmas Airport is located to the northwest of the city along the SS130 highway. The airport handles more than 2.5 million passengers per year.
Cagliari has an excellent public transport network. The 30 bus lines that depart from piazza Matteotti (at the train station), perfectly connect all main attractions. Moreover, the city government is currently constructing a street car/subway network. The first line, from piazza Repubblica to Monserrato, is already in use, once completed the network will consist of 4 street car/subway lines.
There are many bus and train connections to other towns and villages in Sardinia.
Ferries to the Italian mainland, Sicily and the Tunisian capital Tunis depart from the harbor.
A part of the old city center is pedestrianised area. Though other streets are accessible by car, they are mostly very narrow and mainly one-way streets. It is best to park your car at the harbor and continue exploring the old city on foot.
Cagliari has a great variety of accommodations, ranging from simple bed & breakfasts to luxurious hotels. Most hotels are located at the Marina, at the seaside. During summer you need to book your hotel room well in advance. The tourist office can provide you with a list of people who rent a room.
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