Cagliari is an Italian municipality and the capital of the island of Sardinia, an autonomous region of Italy. The Sardinian name of Cagliari Casteddu literally means castle. It has around 150,000 inhabitants, while its metropolitan city (including Cagliari and 16 other nearby municipalities) has more than 431,000 inhabitants. According to Eurostat, the population of the functional urban area, the commutation zone of Cagliari, amounts to 476,974. Cagliari is the 26th largest city in Italy and the largest city on the island of Sardinia.
An ancient city with a long history, Cagliari has seen the rule of several civilizations. Under the buildings of the modern city there is a continuous stratification that confirms the human settlement for about five thousand years, from the Neolithic to today. Historic sites include the prehistoric Domus de Janas, which is badly damaged by the activity of the caves, a large necropolis of the Carthaginian era, a Roman amphitheater, a Byzantine basilica, three Pisan-era towers and a strong fortification system that converted The city at the heart of the Habsburg imperial power in the western Mediterranean Sea. Its natural resources have always been its protected port, the fortified hill of Castel di Castro, the modern Casteddu, the salt of its lagoons and, from the interior, wheat from the Campidano plain and silver and other minerals from the Iglesiente mines. .
Cagliari was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1324 to 1848, when Turin became the formal capital of the kingdom (which in 1861 became the Kingdom of Italy). Today, the city is a cultural, educational, political and artistic regional center, known for its diverse Art Nouveau architecture and several monuments. It is also the economic and industrial center of Sardinia, which has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean Sea, an international airport, and the 106th highest income level in Italy (between 8,092 communi), comparable to several cities in northern Italy. .
It is also the seat of the University of Cagliari, founded in 1607, and of the archdiocese of Sardinia of the Roman primates, from the V century of our era. The main beach of Cagliari is the Poetto. It stretches for about 8 kilometers (5 miles), from Sella del Diavolo ("Saddle of the Devil") to the coast of Quartu Sant & # 39; Elena. Poetto is also the name of the district located on the western stretch of the strip between the beach and Saline di Molentargius ("Molentargius salt mine"). Another smaller beach is Calamosca, near the district of Sant & # 39; Elia. On the coast between the beaches of Calamosca and Poetto, between the cliffs of Sella del Diavolo, you can find Cala Fighera, a small bay. Calagliari is close to other coastal towns such as Santa Margherita di Pula, Chia, Geremeas, Solanas, Villasimius and Costa Rei
The city has numerous libraries and also houses the State Archive, which contains thousands of handwritten documents from the founding of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1325 AD) to the present. In addition to the numerous libraries of local and university departments, the most important libraries are the old University Library, with thousands of old books, the Provincial Library, the Regional Library and the Mediatheque of the Mediterranean, which contains the municipal archive and the collection of the library.
The remains of the ancient city of Karalis are still visible, including those of the necropolis of Tuvixeddu, the Roman amphitheater, traditionally called Is centu scalas ("One Hundred Steps"), and an aqueduct used to provide scarce general water. Still visible are some ancient cisterns of great extension, the ruins of a small circular temple and numerous sepulchres on a hill outside the modern city that seem to have formed the necropolis of the ancient city. The amphitheater presents open-air operas and concerts during the summer.
The early Christian basilica of San Saturnino, dedicated to a dead martyr under the reign of Diocletian, Saturnino of Cagliari, patron of the city, was built in the fifth century. The dome and the central part remain of the original building, to which were added two arms (one with a ship and two aisles). An Early Christian crypt is also under the church of San Lucifero (1660), dedicated to St. Lucifer, a bishop of the city. The church has a baroque facade with ancient columns and sculpted parts, some of which come from the nearby necropolis.
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