Cagliari (Casteddu in Sardinian) is an Italian town of 152,473 inhabitants, the capital of the autonomous region of Sardinia. Its metropolitan city has 430 723 inhabitants.

University and archbishopric and city with a thousand-year history, it is the historical administrative center of the island having been, under the name of Caralis, the capital of the province of Sardinia et Corsica during the Roman period and subsequently the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia, from 1324 to 1720 , and then from 1798 to 1814. Its port is classified "international" because of its importance; carries out commercial, industrial, tourist and passenger service functions.



Cagliari overlooks the center of the Gulf of Angels, on the southern coast of Sardinia. The city, which develops around the hill of the historic Castello district, is bordered to the east by the Sella del Diavolo and the Molentargius pond, to the west by the Cagliari pond, to the south by the Tyrrhenian Sea and to the north by the hill of San Michele and the plain of the Campidano.

It has in common with Rome, Lisbon, Prague and Istanbul the fact that it was built on seven limestone hills that identify as many city districts: Castello, Tuvumannu / Tuvixeddu, Monte Claro, Monte Urpinu, Colle di Bonaria, Colle di San Michele, Calamosca / Saddle of the Devil. To these must be added the more bas-reliefs of Montixeddu, Monte Mixi and Cuccuru 'e Serra.

The city is in fact characterized by hilly areas, where the historic districts arise, and by flat areas, where most of the neighborhoods that have arisen since the nineteenth century are located.



The city's climate is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The extreme summer values ​​sometimes slightly exceed 40 ° C (sometimes with very high humidity levels), while the winter ones, only in particular and rare conditions, drop slightly below zero. Winds are frequent, especially the mistral and the sirocco; in summer the sirocco sea breeze (called s'imbattu in Cagliari) lowers the temperature and makes the heat more tolerable. According to the Cagliari Elmas Meteorological Station, the average annual temperature is around 17.7 ° C, but inside the city, especially the minimum temperatures are a few degrees higher.

The last snowfall with accumulation was recorded in January 1993.


Monuments and places of interest

The long history and the various dominations and influences coming from outside have contributed to giving the city an important cultural and architectural heritage.

As regards the most ancient historical periods, the necropolis of Tuvixeddu, from the Punic age, and the Roman amphitheater, dating back to the 2nd century, are worth mentioning.

The medieval heart of the city is the fortified district of Castello, which until the Second World War was the residence of the nobles. Also noteworthy are the historic districts of Stampace, Marina and Villanova. The first was the neighborhood of the bourgeois and merchants, the second was the neighborhood of fishermen and sailors, the third that of shepherds and farmers.


Religious architecture

Among the numerous churches present in Cagliari we can mention:
Basilica of San Saturnino: It represents the oldest church in Sardinia of which we know; built in the 5th century and remodeled in the Romanesque age, it was recently renovated and reconsecrated.
Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: Built as a castle during the first half of the 13th century, it was elevated to the rank of Cathedral in 1258. Originally in Pisan Romanesque style, it has undergone various renovations over the centuries.
Church of San Michele: Seventeenth-century baroque style church located in the Stampace district
Collegiate Church of Sant'Anna: An important example of Baroque architecture, it is located in Stampace and dates back to the late 18th century.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria: Complex consisting of the small fourteenth-century sanctuary and the basilica built in the eighteenth century.

Archbishop's Seminary of Cagliari: originally located at Palazzo Belgrano in the Castello district, it now stands on the slopes of Colle San Michele.
Pontifical Sardinian Regional Seminary: located in the Is Mirrionis district a short distance from the Archbishop's Seminary, it welcomes seminarians coming from the island in preparation for the priestly order.

Monumental cemeteries
Monumental cemetery of Bonaria: Considered as one of the most important monumental cemeteries in Europe by the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe[79] it houses the remains of several illustrious Cagliaritans as well as the sculptural works of various Sardinian and peninsula artists operating in Sardinia in the nineteenth century and twentieth century.


Civil architecture

Royal Palace: Built in the Aragonese era, until 1847 it was the residence of the viceroys and, on some occasions, of the Kings of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
City Palace: It was the municipal seat of the city of Cagliari from the Aragonese period until the early twentieth century.
Palazzo Boyl: Neoclassical style noble palace located in the Castello district and dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.
Art Nouveau buildings: Series of buildings built between the 19th and 20th centuries commissioned by the growing entrepreneurial bourgeoisie of Cagliari, among the most significant examples we can mention the Palazzata of Via Roma, Palazzo Valdés, Palazzo Balletto, Palazzo Merello, Palazzo Accardo; or had them built by exponents of Cagliari culture, such as Villa Atzeri, in viale Regina Elena, commissioned by the then dean of the Faculty of Law as well as professor of civil law at the University of Cagliari.
University Palace: From the Savoy era, it houses the rectorate and the university library.
Palazzo Vivanet: Neo-Gothic style building built at the end of the 19th century is located in Via Roma opposite the train station.
New civic building: Current municipal headquarters, it was completed in 1907 and is named after Ottone Bacaredda. The eclectic style of the building recalls Gothic-Catalan and Art Nouveau models.
Palazzo Fadda-Tonini: built in the 1930s, in 2002 it was classified as an "important" building.


Military architecture

Castle of San Michele: The fortified building stands on the hill of the same name and represents one of the few examples of architecture dating back to the Judicial period that have survived to the present day.
Pisan walls and towers (Torre dell'Elefante, Torre di San Pancrazio, Torre dello Sperone, Torre dell'Aquila): Fortification works carried out by the Pisans between the 13th and 14th centuries.
Fortino di Sant'Ignazio: Savoy fort from the last years of the 18th century
The Bastion of Saint Remy: It was built at the end of the 19th century on the ancient walls of the city, dating back to the beginning of the 14th century, connecting the three southern bastions of the Zecca, Santa Caterina and Sperone, to unite the Castello district with those below of Villanova and Marina.


Archaeological sites

Roman amphitheater: Built during the imperial age, it could hold 10,000 spectators and hosted gladiatorial fights and theatrical performances.
Necropolis of Tuvixeddu: It is the largest existing Punic necropolis and stands on the hill of the same name. In addition to the Punic tombs, there are also Roman tombs.
Villa di Tigellio: complex of ruins from the Roman era.
Viper Cave: tomb of the Roman matron Atilia Pomptilla dating back to the 2nd century.


Environment, urban greenery, parks and beaches

The Cagliari pond (3,000 hectares of surface area) to the west and the Molentargius-Saline regional natural park to the east (17.6 km²), recognized as wetlands protected by various regional and European community laws, offer asylum to notable colonies of flamingos that have nested there for years, creating an environment similar to that of the French Camargue. While a tourism and environmental revaluation plan has been implemented for the Molentargius body of water, with reclamation and opening of part of the park to the public, in Santa Gilla there is still a situation in many points of degradation, with part of the pond buried in 1980 for the construction of the Canal Port.

Below is a list of the most important city parks:
San Michele Hill Park (253,000 m²)
Monte Claro Park (250000 m²)
Monte Urpinu Park (247000 m²)
Terramaini Park (127000 m²)
Music Park (50000 m²)
Botanical Garden (50000 m²)
Park of the former Pirri glass factory (25,000 m²)
Public gardens (17000 m²)
Garden under the walls (6500 m²)
Capuchin Garden (8000 m²)
Remembrance Park
Siro Vannelli Park
Bonaria Park
Molentargius-Saline natural park (16000000 m²)
Santa Gilla Lagoon (13500000 m²)

Poetto (Su Poettu in Sardinian) is the main beach of Cagliari which extends for about eight kilometres, from the Sella del Diavolo to the coast of Quartu Sant'Elena.

Another popular beach is the small beach of Calamosca located in the stretch of sea between the Capo Sant'Elia area and Poetto.


Origins of the name

The name Karali, according to Max Leopold Wagner ascribable to the protosardo, is composed of a root * kar and the suffix -ali and finds comparisons with the toponyms Carale di Austis, Carallai di Sorradile, Caraglio of Corsica, Caralis of Panfilia and Isauria and Caralitis of Pisidia. The root "kar" in the ancient Mediterranean languages ​​meant "stone / rock" and the suffix "al" gave collective value; Karali would thus be formed, which would mean "rocky location".

Cagliari was called Krly by the Phoenician-Punic while in Latin it was Caralis or in the plural Carales; this last plural form is attested for the first time in the Bellum Africanum and according to a historical-linguistic interpretation it could be connected to the existence, in the first Roman period, of two distinct communities: the older one of the old Punic city and the more recent one represented by the Roman-Italic immigrants of the vicus munitus Caralis (quoted by Publio Terenzio Varrone), then merged during the second century BC

During the Giudicale period the city center became the village of Santa Igia (contraction of Santa Cecilia). With the arrival of the Pisans (1216/1217) and the destruction of Santa Igia (1258), Cagliari was identified in the documents of the time as Castellum Castri de Kallari and, subsequently, as Castell de Càller in Catalan. The current toponym Cagliari derives from the Spanish pronunciation of Callari. In Sardinian the current name Casteddu would come from the identification of the city with the fortified district of Castello, built during the Pisan domination.



The foundation of Cagliari according to legend

Legend, narrated by the Latin writer Gaius Julius Solinus, has it that Caralis was founded by Aristaeus, son of the god Apollo and the nymph Cyrene, who arrived in Sardinia from Boeotia in the 15th century BC. about. Aristaeus introduced hunting and agriculture to Sardinia, reconciled the indigenous populations who were fighting among themselves and founded the city of Caralis, over which he later reigned. According to some sources, Aristaeus was accompanied to Sardinia by Daedalus, who, according to the ancient Greeks, was the creator of the imposing Dedalean works (the nuraghi) present on the island.


Prehistory and ancient history

Some domus de janas and remains of huts from the 4th - 3rd millennium BC. discoveries in San Bartolomeo and on the hill of Sant'Elia confirm that the area where today's city stands has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the resources of the sea, the ponds and the fertile soil of the Campidanese plain guaranteed the sustenance of the populations of the pre-Nuragic period. The finds of the Monte Claro culture date back to the Copper Age, which spread throughout Sardinia and takes its name from the hill of the same name in Cagliari. Archaeological finds from the Bronze Age, such as the Aegean ceramics found in the Antigori nuraghe near Sarroch, lead us to hypothesize that the Nuragic populations settled in today's Cagliari area had intense commercial and cultural relations with the Mycenaeans and are evidence that its ports already enjoyed then of life and acquaintances; the same myth of Aristaeus on the foundation of Caralis could have been born, in a later era, from the distant memory of these ancient interactions between Sardinians and Greeks.

The Phoenicians, who frequented the ports of Cagliari and other areas of Sardinia since the 8th century BC, or in any case before the foundation of Rome, settled at the mouth of the Santa Gilla pond. The Roman poet Claudius Claudian of the 4th century, describing Karalis, says it "Tyrio fundata potenti" or founded by the powerful Tire (in today's Lebanon) and archaeological data have confirmed the Phoenician presence in the period of the so-called "thalassocracy" of Tyre. Passed to the Carthaginians in the 6th century BC, the city experienced rapid development, evidenced among other things by the necropolis of Tuvixeddu, considered the largest Punic necropolis in the Mediterranean.

Having become the main center of the island, now largely under the influence of Carthage, it passed to the Romans with all of Sardinia and Corsica, in 238 BC, in the aftermath of the First Punic War. In the following centuries the Roman Karalis maintained its role as a Sardinian metropolis and in 46 BC. Caesar rewarded her for supporting him in the clash with Pompey by granting her the legal status of a municipality. Upon Caesar's death the citizens remained faithful to him and took the side of his adopted son Octavian against Sextus Pompey. After Octavian's victory, in the imperial age there was a long period of political tranquility and great economic development. The appearance of the town underwent numerous changes during the long Roman domination, of which the amphitheater and suburban villas such as the so-called Villa di Tigellio are notable remains.

In the mid-5th century the city fell under the occupation of the Vandals of Africa, commanded by King Genseric. Caralis remained part of the Vandal kingdom for about eighty years, briefly becoming the capital of an independent Sardinian kingdom proclaimed by the rebel Germanic official Goda. It was reconquered by the Eastern Romans of Justinian in 534 AD. and entered the Byzantine administrative system as the seat of the principal, an imperial official at the head of all of Sardinia, subjected to the exarchate of Africa. During the Gothic war, which raged in the peninsula, Ostrogothic contingents occupied the city for a short period which then passed back into Byzantine hands. In 599 AD Agilulf's Lombard fleet carried out a plundering raid on the Cagliari coast but was repelled by the local militias.


Medieval history

With the division of the island into four states called Giudicati, the city, which had been in a very strong demographic recession for centuries and now reduced to the village of Santa Igia or Santa Gilla, remained at the head of the Giudicato which took its name. Meanwhile it had suffered centuries of Saracen incursions, countered from the beginning of the 11th century with the help of the naval powers of Pisa and Genoa. The progressive interference that the two maritime cities exercised on Sardinia from then on is well known. The Giudicato of Cagliari, since its most ancient attestations, returned to the orbit of the Pisans and the Genoese; they were the first to end up taking it over. In 1215, a year after the death of the judge Guglielmo I Salusio IV, faced with the possibility of an alliance between the new judge Benedetta and Genoa, the Pisan Lamberto Visconti di Eldizio, husband of Elena di Gallura, obtained, with the threat of weapons, the transfer of the hill that would have been called Castello: in fact, almost as a guard of the judicial capital, an entirely Pisan fortified city was soon built there: the Castellum Castri de Kallari (1216/1217). Upon Benedetta's death, she was succeeded by her sister Agnese as regent for her son William II Salusio V.

In 1257 the new pro-Ligurian ruler William III-Salusio VI drove the Pisans out of the fortress of Castel di Castro, ceded the previous year to the municipality of Genoa by his predecessor Giovanni Torchitorio V. This ignited the wrath of Pisa and the other three Sardinian Giudicati filopisans who immediately attacked William. On 20 July 1258, after a year of war, Santa Igia was destroyed by the coalition led by Gherardo and Ugolino della Gherardesca, Guglielmo di Capraia, Giovanni Visconti and Admiral Ottone Gualduccio and salt was spread on its ruins; Judge Guglielmo managed to escape to Genoa where he died in the same year. Thus came to an end the Giudicato of Cagliari which was dismembered into three parts: the northern part was annexed by the Giudicato of Arborea, the eastern part by the Giudicato of Gallura, the western area was assigned to the Della Gherardesca family, while the municipality of Pisa retained the government of Castel di Castro, considered "the key to the Mediterranean". Since then the Castellum Castri was identified with Cagliari itself, as still shown by the current Sardinian name of the city, Castéddu. Nonetheless, the suburbs of Stampace (a toponym that is also found in Pisa) and Villanova were formed around it; in these appendices the Sardinian refugees of Santa Igia found asylum, excluded from the Castle, directly dependent on Pisa, which had a municipal system regulated by the Breve Castelli Castri de Kallari; the port of Bagnaria, connected to Castello by the fortified Marina district, was instead regulated by the Brief portus kallaretani.

In July 1270, the Christian army under the command of King Louis IX of France stopped for about a week in the port of Cagliari in Pisa, as it was preparing to participate in the Eighth Crusade against the Muslims of Tunisia.

Only a few decades passed and another domination came. This time it was the Aragonese who, in their war of conquest of Sardinia (1323-1326), besieging Cagliari, built their stronghold on another hill, even more southern: that of Bonaria. However, they did not destroy the enemy city, as the Pisans had done with Santa Gilla; but rather, having obtained the victory in the battle of Lucocisterna, they left the Castle as a fiefdom in Pisa. The Tuscans, however, could not stand the competition of the new Aragonese village of Bonaria, with its flourishing port: the following year they took up arms again but were again defeated by the Aragonese in a naval battle which took place in the Gulf of Angels between 26 and 29 December 1325 and therefore they had to abandon the Castle forever while their homes were reassigned to subjects of the crown of Aragon, mainly Catalans who had moved from Bonaria. The Pisans (the so-called pullini) were however allowed to continue to reside in the Marina and in the other annexes.

Under Iberian domination Càller (Cagliari), an unsubjugated royal city and seat of the viceroy, was equipped with a municipal code modeled on that of Barcelona and became the capital of the new kingdom. The Castle, reserved for the new Catalan-Aragonese rulers, was forbidden, for reasons of military security, to foreigners and then also to Sardinians from 1333 (a ban that would last until the 16th century); the port district, the Pisan Bagnaria now known as La Pola, was strengthened and expanded. Some families of Iberian origin who settled in Cagliari at that time are still present in the city; among the various we can mention the Aymerich, the Amat, the Manca, the Canelles and the Sanjust.

On 15 February 1355 Peter IV of Aragon established the kingdom's parliament in Cagliari.


Renaissance history, seventeenth century

Having conquered Pisan Sardinia and incorporated the Malaspina possessions, the kingdom had to face first the Doria family and then Mariano IV of Arborea who, starting from 1353, had unleashed the revolt against the Aragonese, so that the royal territory was reduced to the city of Cagliari alone and Alghero while the remaining part became part of the Giudicato of Arborea, the only island state entity that remained independent. This situation continued in alternating phases until 1409 when a new Aragonese military expedition, led by Martin I of Sicily, defeated the Arborensians and allies in the battle of Sanluri, meaning that starting from 1420, following the transfer of the remaining territories of the Giudicato of Arborea, the territory of the kingdom of Sardinia, with its capital in Caller, coincided for the first time with that of the entire island.

With the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile (1469) there was the union between the Kingdom of Castile and León and the Crown of Aragon (of which the Kingdom of Sardinia was part), which however maintained distinct institutions .

In 1535 Emperor Charles V of Habsburg launched a large naval expedition against Tunis; before leaving for Africa the fleet carried out a final gathering in Cagliari, the sovereign's visit to the city is remembered by an epigraph in Latin placed above the portal of the former City Palace and by a pulpit now located in the atrium of the church of San Michele. During the same century the fortifications were strengthened with the construction of the bastions and the rights and benefits of the Catalan-Aragonese were extended to all citizens. At the time (mid-16th century) Cagliari, one of the many cities of an endless and continually expanding empire, had just over 10,000 inhabitants while Barcelona had around 30,000 and Madrid around 20,000. The population, although small, was rather international, in fact communities from Spain (present in Cagliari for two centuries now), from the Republic of Genoa (who founded the Archconfraternity of the Genoese) and from other ancient Italian and European states were found in the city; the most spoken language was Catalan although Sardinian was widely understood.

Intellectual life was relatively lively and the University was founded in the 17th century (1607). However, little by little the city, although strongly Hispanicized especially in its managerial and institutional fabric, began to express a certain intolerance for Iberian domination: a feeling that culminated in the assassination of the viceroy Camarassa (1668). Thus in 1708, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the people of Cagliari did not resist the Anglo-Dutch siege, which put an end to the Spanish era. Following the Treaty of Utrecht, the European territories of the Spanish Empire were dismembered and the kingdom of Sardinia was arbitrarily assigned first to Austria in 1713, and subsequently, after the ephemeral occupation of Cardinal Giulio Alberoni who was trying to reconquer Sardinia to the Spanish (1717), Cagliari, as decided at the Treaty of The Hague of 1720, passed with the entire Kingdom under the dominion of Savoy on 8 August 1720. The age of reforms that followed throughout Europe saw the reorganization of the University , the hospital, the State Archives and the university library and the creation of a school of surgery and the royal printing house. However, even the Piedmontese were not well tolerated. And after Cagliari had resisted the naval siege of the revolutionary French (1793), the Sardinians saw their request for greater autonomy and respect for ancient privileges rejected, the city rose up on 27-28 April 1794 (today celebrated as «Sa die de sa Sardigna"), and temporarily drove out the Piedmontese; but the revolt, swallowed up by an anti-feudal uprising in the rest of the island, was resolved without consequences.


Nineteenth-century history

Cagliari, reoccupied, became from 1798 to 1814, as well as the capital, the political-administrative center of the Kingdom of Sardinia and hosted in the Royal Palace (called Viceregio) the Savoy court, expelled from Turin by the French, who had established the Piedmontese Republic, while they had not been able to conquer Sardinia. The presence of the court in the city did not prevent the onset of various uprisings against the Savoys, the most important of which is called the Palabanda revolt, from the name of the locality where the villa where it was organized was located. In these years we witnessed a great development of the city: in 1811 the first public lighting was installed and the road network was improved. However, periods of famine followed by a fever epidemic (1816) also occurred. In 1847, as in Sassari, a popular movement, starting from the university, led King Charles Albert to recognize the merger of the island with the mainland Sardinian states (Duchy of Savoy, Duchy of Genoa).

With the new war techniques in Cagliari, deprived of its role as a stronghold following the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, the walls were demolished and the foundations were laid for the great expansion of the last century. Attracted by the many unexpressed potentials, numerous entrepreneurs (especially Ligurian, Piedmontese, Swiss and French) settled in Cagliari in this period and encouraged the city's reorganization by importing the first forms of industrialization; thus occurs the transition from an Ancien Régime society to a capitalist type society. Sardinian (and non-Sardinian) architects, including Gaetano Cima and Dionigi Scano, redesigned the urban center according to the tastes of the time; the neoclassical and neo-Gothic style imposes itself, the characteristic Art Nouveau buildings arise.


Twentieth century and contemporary history

On 14 April 1899, the first stone of the town hall in via Roma was laid, in the presence of King Umberto I, whose works would end in 1907: this event gave an almost symbolic start to the new century, with the transfer of city power from the old district of Castello to the modern area near the Port, a place of trade and commerce. The palace is among the works created by the administration of Ottone Bacaredda, mayor of Cagliari from 1889 to 1921 almost continuously, recognized as one of the most enlightened mayors of the city. On 14 May 1906, strikes against the high cost of living broke out in Cagliari, causing two deaths and several injuries.

In 1924 the Mussolini government launched the so-called Billion Law, allocating more than a billion lire for the modernization of Sardinia, a large part of which will go to Cagliari. Fascism also arrives in the city with its violence, occupying the headquarters of the opposing parties and driving out the opponents, including Emilio Lussu who was attacked in his house in Piazza Martiri on 31 October 1926. At the end of the twenties, with the annexation of the municipalities of Pirri, Selargius, Quartucciu, Monserrato and, subsequently, Elmas (1937), Cagliari reached 100,000 inhabitants. It is in these years that important public works were built, many of which were created by a young municipal designer, Ubaldo Badas, whose original architecture contributed to beautifying the city both in the 1930s and in the post-war period, such as the Parco delle Rimembranze, the Terrapieno and part of the Public Gardens. However, thanks to the careful administration of Enrico Endrich, a convinced but free-thinking fascist, no public works were built in Cagliari that would upset the original city fabric; the works planned after the end of his mandate (1933) did not have time to be built due to the war.

During the Second World War, Cagliari suffered numerous bombings (80% of the city was more or less seriously affected, so much so that Cagliari was declared a Martyr City and received a gold medal for military valor) of which the signs can still be seen in some areas of the historic center. The bombings began on 17 February 1943, with the arrival of around a hundred US planes over the skies of Cagliari. Between 26 and 28 February 1943 the heaviest bombings took place, with the destruction of many important places for Cagliari. In total, the victims of the bombings in the city were more than 2,000.

In 1948 it officially became the capital of Sardinia according to article 2 of the Statute of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia. From the Second World War onwards, the population of Cagliari grew further until it reached a maximum of around 220,000 inhabitants in 1981 and then fell drastically following the referendums held between the mid-eighties and the beginning of the nineties which established the autonomy of the various hamlets of the time. fascist, municipalities strongly conurbed with the historic city in a union that constitutes the fulcrum of the Cagliari metropolitan area.

During the 20th century the urban center extended to the Poetto coast and the Monte Urpinu area, giving rise to the neighborhoods of San Benedetto, Fonsarda, Bonaria, La Vega, Tuvumannu and San Michele.


Languages and dialects

The native language of Cagliari, made co-official in the municipal statute, is Sardinian (sardu) and to be precise Campidanese (sardu campidanesu) in the Cagliaritan variant (casteddaju).

The Sardinian language is known and spoken less and less by the new generations of the area, who now largely use only the Italian one, mostly expressed in its regional variant: in fact, over the course of three centuries and more recently through compulsory education and the means of mass communication, Italian has become predominant in formal and informal social relationships, relegating Sardinian to a marginal role; often young people have only a passive or limited competence in it to a few stereotyped phrases, due to the relationship with elderly relatives who still speak it, while with their parents (by choice of the latter regarding their education) they have spoken only and always in Italian, declined in its regional variant.

The Cagliaritan variant of Sardinian in its high registers has traditionally represented the linguistic model of reference for the entire central-southern area of the island, a high diastratic variant used by the bourgeois class throughout the Campidano domain, as well as a literary model of reference for writers and poets.



The majority of Cagliaritans are Catholic. Among the immigrant population there are also Orthodox and Muslim minorities. The city is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cagliari, which has ancient origins, although not documented, there is news of the first bishop Saint Avendrace already around 70 AD; bishop Quintasio participated in the Council of Arles in 314; There are 133 parishes in the territory under its jurisdiction.

There are numerous saints and blesseds born in Cagliari or Cagliaritans by adoption, witnesses of the Christian faith in Cagliari and Sardinia: we remember the patron saint San Saturnino, Sant'Efisio (to whom the most important festival is dedicated), San Lucifero di Cagliari, Avendrace, San Mauro Martire, Ignazio da Laconi, Salvatore da Horta, Sant'Eusebio di Vercelli and his mother Santa Restituta, Nicola da Gesturi, Sister Giuseppina Nicoli and Sister Teresa Tambelli, Maria Cristina of Savoy.

On 22 September 2013 the city was the destination of one of Pope Francis' apostolic journeys; on this occasion, more than 400,000 faithful flocked to the meeting places. Previously Cagliari had been the destination of the pastoral visits of Paul VI on 24 April 1970, John Paul II in October 1985 and Benedict XVI on 7 September 2008.

Other churches present are the Evangelical Church, the Evangelical Baptist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.


Traditions and folklore

Cagliari and its demographic area present many peculiar anthropological manifestations, legacies of the various peoples who have influenced the history of the city.

There are numerous religious festivals that the city has practiced over the centuries. Many still take place today, while others have only been remembered in oral memory or in literary tradition.
The Cagliari Carnival takes place in February, a parade of masks accompanied by the rhythm of the ratantira, with handcrafted floats and costumes that recall those of Cagliari in a carnival style, especially that of the Panetiera. During the twentieth century, the Carnival tradition was carried forward by the GIOC, an association of the Italian Catholic Workers Youth, based until 2007 in the church of Santa Restituta in Stampace. Since the association no longer has its own headquarters, having been revoked by the then Archbishop, the traditional event had to be temporarily suspended, making way for a more commercial one reserved for children. Since 2017, other associations have revived the tradition.
During the Easter period the various arch-confraternities organize the rites of Holy Week and Easter.
On Easter Monday there is also a procession dedicated to Sant'Efisio, to dissolve the vow for the grace granted in 1793 when through his intercession the French ships bombarding Cagliari were carried away by the stormy wind. Like the other festivals dedicated to the Warrior Saint, it is organized by the Archconfraternity of the Gonfalone.
On May 1st, a religious and cultural event of great importance is celebrated in Sardinia: the feast of Saint Efisio martyr, an annual procession which takes place to fulfill the vow made to the saint by the city during the plague epidemic of 1652. For the occasion, dozens of groups in typical costume from all over the island, hundreds of knights and numerous decorated carts (called traccas) pulled by oxen are concentrated in the capital. All together they participate in the great parade in the center of Cagliari which ends with the arrival in Via Roma of the chariot with the statue of the saint which is then transported to Nora to the church dedicated to him. On May 4th the simulacrum of the saint returns late at night to his church in Cagliari.

Also in May, the celebrations for Sant'Ignazio da Laconi and San Francesco da Paola take place, in the latter case you can follow a suggestive procession by the sea.
In the month of July it is the turn of the celebration with the characteristic sea procession of Our Lady of Bonaria, for the occasion dozens of flag-flagged boats accompany the statue of the Virgin in the waters of the port.
The assumption of Mary is celebrated on August 15th. While in the Italian tradition the Mother of God is depicted as a "living" creature, in Cagliari, and in Sardinia generally, she is depicted as sleeping. The Dormitio of the Virgin is a Byzantine tradition (for the spiritual part) and Catalan (especially for the dressing part). On this date a procession takes place in which the simulacrum of the Madonna is placed as if asleep on a bed, covered by a veil.
The patron saint of the city is San Saturnino, who is celebrated on October 30th.