Cagliari

Cagliari

[kahl-yuh-ree; It. kah-lyah-ree]
Cagliari, city (1991 pop. 204,237), capital of Sardinia and of Cagliari prov., S Sardinia, Italy, on the Gulf of Cagliari (an arm of the Mediterranean Sea) and at the mouth of the Mannu River. It is the largest city in Sardinia and is a modern port and an industrial center. A flourishing Carthaginian city, it was taken by Rome in 238 B.C. Cagliari endured Arab invasions in the 8th and 9th cent. A.D. The city was a Pisan stronghold during the wars with Genoa (11th-14th cent.); its subsequent history is largely that of Sardinia. Cagliari was the site of a submarine base in World War II and was heavily bombed by the Allies. Noteworthy structures include the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral (13th cent.), the Basilica of San Saturnino (5th cent.), a large Roman amphitheater, and the massive tower of St. Pancras (built by Pisans in 1304).
ancient Caralis

City (pop., 2001 prelim.: 158,351), capital of Sardinia, Italy. Located on the southern coast of the island of Sardinia, Cagliari was founded by the Phoenicians. Held successively by Rome, the Saracens, Pisa, Spain, and Austria, it passed with the rest of Sardinia to the house of Savoy in 1718. Long the military headquarters of the island, Cagliari was bombed heavily in World War II. The rebuilt harbour is Sardinia's principal port.

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Cagliari (Casteddu) is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means the castle. It has about 160,000 inhabitants, or about 500,000 including the suburbs (metropolitan area): Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu Sant'Elena.

History

Early history

Cagliari has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It occupies a favourable position between the sea and a fertile plain, and is surrounded by two swamps (which afforded defences from enemies from inner lands) and is close to high and green mountains (to which people could evacuate if everything else was lost). Some testimonies of prehistoric inhabitants were found in Monte Claro and in Cape Sant'Elia.

Under the name of Karalis it was established around the 7th century BC as one of a string of Phoenician trading colonies in Sardinia, including Sulcis, Nora, and Tharros, that were founded from Tyre. Its foundation is expressly assigned to the Carthaginians (Paus. x. 17. § 9; Claudian, B. Gild. 520); and from its opportune situation for communication with Africa as well as its excellent port, it doubtless assumed under their government the same important position it occupied under the Romans. It passed with the rest of the island first sothhe ther utyr they. No mention of it is found on the occasion of the Roman conquest of the island; but during the Second Punic War, it was the headquarters of the praetor, T. Manlius, from whence he carried on his operations against Hampsicora and the Carthaginians (Livy xxiii. 40, 41), and appears on other occasions also as the chief naval station of the Romans in the island, and the residence of the praetor (Id. xxx. 39).

Florus calls it the urbs urbinum, or capital of Sardinia, and represents it as taken and severely punished by Gracchus (ii. 6. § 35), but this statement is wholly at variance with the account given by Livy, of the wars of Gracchus, in Sardinia, according to which the cities were faithful to Rome, and the revolt was confined to the mountain tribes (xli. 6, 12, 17). In the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey, the citizens of Caralis were the first to declare in favor of the former, an example soon followed by the other cities of Sardinia (Caes. B.C. i. 30); and Caesar himself touched there with his fleet on his return from Africa. (Hirt. B. Afr. 98.) A few years later, when Sardinia fell into the hands of Menas, the lieutenant of Sextus Pompeius, Caralis was the only city which offered any resistance, but was taken after a short siege. (Dion Cass. xlviii. 30.)

No mention of it occurs in history under the Roman Empire, but it continued to be regarded as the capital of the island, and though it did not become a colony, its inhabitants obtained the rights of Roman citizens. (Plin. iii. 7. s. 13; Strabo v. p. 224; Mela, ii. 7; Itin. Ant. pp. 80, 81, 82, etc.) After the fall of the Western Empire it fell, together with the rest of Sardinia, into the hands of the Vandals, but appears to have retained its importance throughout the Middle Ages.

Claudian describes the ancient city as extending to a considerable length towards the promontory or headland, the projection of which sheltered its port: the latter affords good anchorage for large vessels; but besides this, which is only a well-sheltered road-stead, there is adjoining the city a large salt-water lake, or lagoon, called the Stagno di Cagliari, communicating by a narrow channel with the bay, which appears from Claudian to have been used in ancient times as an inner harbor or basin. (Claud. B. Gild. 520-24.) The promontory adjoining the city is evidently that noticed by Ptolemy (Κάραλις πόλις καὶ ἄκρα), but the Caralitanum Promontorium of Pliny can be no other than the headland, now called Capo Carbonara, which forms the eastern boundary of the Gulf of Cagliari, and the southeast point of the whole island. Immediately off it lay the little island of Ficaria (Plin. l. c.; Ptol. iii. 3. § 8), now called the Isola dei Cavoli.

Giudicato of Cagliari

Subsequently ruled in turn by the Vandals and the Byzantine Empire, Cagliari became the eponymous capital of an independent kingdom or giudicato, ruled by a giudice or judike (literally "judge"). However, there is some evidence that during this period of independence from external rule, the city was deserted because it was too exposed to attacks by Moorish pirates from the sea. Apparently many people left Cagliari and founded a new town (named Santa Igia) in an area close to the Santa Gilla swamp on the west of Cagliari, but distant from the sea. The giudicato of Cagliari comprised a large area of the Campidano plain, the mineral resources of the Sulcis region and the mountain region of Ogliastra. There were other three independent and autonomous giudicati in Sardinia: Logudoro (or Torres) in the northwest, Gallura in the northeast, and in the east the most famous, the long-lived Giudicato of Arborea, with Oristano as its capital.

11th century

During the 11th century, the Pisan republic which had previously seized the Sulcis region in the south east, conquered the Giudicato of Cagliari and re-built the town itself. Pisa was one of the four Italian "maritime republics" that during the Middle Ages fought for control of the Mediterranean Sea and its commercial routes. The other maritime republics were the short-lived Duchy of Amalfi, Genoa, and Venice. Pisa and Genoa had a keen interest in Sardinia because it was a perfect strategic base for controlling the commercial routes between Italy and North Africa.

Some of the fortifications that still surround the current district of Castello (Casteddu 'e susu in the Sardinian language) were built by the Pisans, most notably the two remaining white limestone towers designed by architect Giovanni Capula (originally there were three towers that guarded the three gates that gave access to the district). Together with the district of Castello, Cagliari comprised the districts of Marina (which included the port), Stampace and Villanova. Marina and Stampace were guarded by walls, while Villanova, which mainly hosted peasants, was not.

In 1089, Constantine Salusio de Lacon appeared with the title of rex et iudex Caralitanus ("King and Judge of Cagliari").

14th century

During the 14th century the kingdom of Aragon conquered Cagliari after a battle against the Pisans and advanced its plan to conquer all of Sardinia. When Sardinia was finally conquered by Aragon, Cagliari (during the Catalan domination the city was called Càller), became the administrative capital of the vice-kingdom of Sardinia, which later came under the rule of the Spanish empire. Many agree that the Spanish domination was a period of decadence for Cagliari and Sardinia.

18th century

During the 18th century, after a brief rule of the Austrian Habsburgs, Cagliari and Sardinia came under the House of Savoy in 1720. As ruler of Sardinia, the Savoys took the title of kings of the Sardinian kingdom. The Sardinian kingdom comprised Savoy and Nice (currently in France), Piedmont and Liguria, as well as Sardinia. Although Sardinian by name, the kingdom had its capital in Turin, in mainland Italy, where the Savoys resided. The parliament was also in Turin and its members were mainly aristocrats from Piedmont or the mainland.

By the end of the 18th century, after the French Revolution, France tried to conquer Cagliari because of its strategic role in the Mediterranean sea. A French army landed in the Poetto beach and moved towards Cagliari, but the French were defeated by Sardinians who decided to defend themselves against the revolutionary army. People from Cagliari hoped to receive some concession from the Savoys in return for their defending the town: for example, aristocrats from Cagliari asked for a Sardinian representative in the parliament of the kingdom. When the Savoys refused any concession to the Sardinians, inhabitants of Cagliari rose up against the Savoys and expelled all representatives of the kingdom and people from Piedmont. This insurgence is celebrated in Cagliari during the "Die de sa Sardigna" (Sardinian Day) on the last weekend of April. However the Savoys regained control of the town after a brief period of autonomous rule.

Modern age

From the 1870s, with the unification of Italy, the city experienced a century of rapid growth. Many outstanding buildings were erected by the end of the 18th century during the office of Mayor Ottone Bacaredda. Many of these buildings combined influences from Art Nouveau together with the traditional Sardinian taste for flower decoration: an example is the white marble City Hall near the port. Ottone Bacaredda is also famous for the violent repression of one of the earlier worker strikes in the beginning of the 20th century.

During World War II Cagliari was heavily bombed by the Allies in February 1943. In order to escape from the bombardments and the misery of the destroyed town, many people left Cagliari and moved to the country or rural villages, often living with friends and relatives in overcrowded houses. This flight from the town is known as "sfollamento" (deserting).

After the Italian armistice with the Allies in September 1943, the German Army took control of Cagliari and the island, but soon retreated peacefully in order to reinforce their positions in mainland Italy. The American Army then took control of Cagliari. Cagliari was strategically important during the war because of its location in the Mediterranean Sea. Many airports were near Cagliari (Elmas, Monserrato, Decimomannu, currently a NATO airbase) from which airplanes could fly to Northern Africa or mainland Italy and Sicily.

After the war, the population of Cagliari rebounded and many apartment blocks were erected in new residential districts, often created with poor planning as for recreational areas.

Projects for the future

In the last years a great urban development was started in Cagliari. New projects include the new Betile museum for Nuragic and modern art, designed by the Prizker Award winner Zaha Hadid: it will rise on the Sant'Elia promenade. Another already started project is the Cagliari metro: the first line is already running from Piazza Repubblica to Monserrato, one of Cagliari suburbs, and will be soon connected to University campus; works for other lines to all the city suburbs and the airport will be soon started. The promenade from the old harbour to Sant'Elia will be totally restored. The old port in Via Roma, now to be used only as tourist and cruise port (where the cruise terminal is already finished), will be closed to ferry-boats, which will be moved to the new port in “porto canale”.

All Sant'elia district will be changed, the old ruined palaces will be demolished and a new district designed by Rem Koolhaas will rise. Also the Stadium will be demolished and rebuilt as a new stadium, with 25,000 covered seats, usable for concerts and events too. On the promenade will also rise a great amphitheatre (20,000 seats) for concerts, as well as an aquarium where now is the old salt production plant. Other projects include the new district near the Santa Gilla pond (Piazza Santa Gilla), a luxurious beauty-center on the Poetto beach, where now is the old abandoned “Marino” hospital, the new university campus, designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and the new “Parco della musica”, a great park with an amphitheatre and fountains, channels and water-games, between T-hotel and the Civic Theatre; the latter will be finished by the end of the year, while the other works will be finished by 2010-2011.

Demographics

In 2007, there were 158,041 people residing in Cagliari, located in the province of Cagliari, Sardegna, of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 13.36 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 21.87 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Cagliari residents is 46 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Cagliari declined by 3 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent. The current birth rate of Cagliari is 6 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. This trend is proportionally inverse with Cagliari metropolitan areas and suburbs, where most younger families move.

As of 2006, 98.09% of the population was Italian. The largest immigrant group came from East Asia: 0.72%, and other European nations: 0.50%. The overwhelming majority of persons are Roman Catholic.

Main sights

The old part of the city (called Castello, the castle) lies on top of a hill, with a wonderful view of the Gulf of Cagliari (also known as Angels Gulf). Most of its city walls are intact, and feature the two 13th century white lime-stone towers, St. Pancras Tower and the Elephant Tower. The local white lime-stone was also used to build the walls of the city and many buildings. D. H. Lawrence, in his lively memoir of a voyage to Sardinia, Sea and Sardinia, undertaken in January 1921, described the effect of the warm Mediterranean sun-light on the white lime-stone city and compared Cagliari to a "white Jerusalem".

The Cathedral was restored in the 1930s turning the former Baroque façade into a Medieval Pisan style façade, more akin to the original appearance of the church. The bell tower is original. The interior has a nave and two aisles, with a pulpit (1159-1162) sculpted for the Cathedral of Pisa but later donated to Cagliari. The crypt houses the remains of martyrs found in the Basilica of San Saturno (see below). Near the Cathedral is the palace of the Provincial Government (which used to be the island's governor's palace before 1900). In Castello is also the Sardinian Archaeological Museum, the biggest and most important regarding the prehistoric Nuragic civilisation of Sardinia. Finally, Castello hosts many craftsmen workshops in its tightened and scenic lanes.

The Basilica di San Saturnino is one of the most important Palaeo-Christian monuments in Sardinia. Dedicated to the martyr killed under Diocletian's reign, Saturninus of Cagliari (patron saint of the city), it was built in the 5th century. Of the original building the central part remain and the dome, to which two armes (one with a nave and two aisles) was added. A Palaeo-Christian crypt is also under the church of San Lucifero (1660), dedicated to Saint Lucifer, a bishop of the city. This has a Baroque façade with ancient columns and sculpted parts, some of which found in the nearby necropolis.

The Chiesa della Purissima is a church from the 16th century.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria was built by the Aragonese in 1324-1329 during the siege to the Castle in which the Pisan had took shelter. It has a small Gothic portal in the façade and in the interior houses a wooden statue of the Madonna, which was thrown off by a Spanish ship and landed at the feet of the Bonaria hill. The cloister of the convent is home to the Marinery Museum.

The other early districts of the town (Marina, Stampace, Villanova) retain much of their original appeal and still seem to function as distinct villages within the town.

Considerable other remains of the ancient city are still visible at Cagliari, the most striking of which are those of the Roman Amphitheatre, carved into a block of rock (the typical lime-stone on which Cagliari is built), and of an aqueduct; the latter a most important acquisition to the city, where fresh water is scarce. There exist also ancient cisterns of vast extent: the ruins of a small circular temple, and numerous sepulchres on a hill outside the modern town, which appears to have formed the necropolis of the ancient city. (Smyth's Sardinia, pp. 206, 215; Valery, Voyage en Sardaigne, c. 57.) The Amphitheatre still stages open-air operas and concerts during the summer.

The districts built in the 1930s spot some nice examples of Art Deco architecture and some controversial examples of Fascist neoclassicism, such as the Justice Court (Palazzo di Giustizia) in the Republic Square. The Justice Court is close to the biggest town park, Monte Urpinu, with its pine trees and artificial lakes. The park includes a vast area of a hill. The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Cagliari, the city's botanical garden, is also of interest.

Cagliari has one of the longest beaches in an Italian town. The Poetto beach stretches for 13 km and was famous for its white fine-grained sand. A recent controversial intervention to save the beach from erosion has slightly altered the original texture of the sand.

Economy

Cagliari has one of the largest fish markets in all of Italy with a vast array of fish for sale to both the public and trade. It's the main commercial and industrial center of the island, with many major Italian factories within its provincial boundaries, the great communications provider Tiscali has its headquarter in town, and one of the biggest container terminals of the Mediterranean sea.

Tourism is also one of the main economical intakes of the city.

Transport

  • International Airport (Cagliari-Elmas, Mario Mameli)
  • Passengers and commercial port, cruise terminal
  • Highway to Sassari - Porto Torres (SS131/E35) and Olbia (SS131 Diramazione Centrale Nuorese)
  • Train station, connected to Iglesias and Carbonia, Olbia and Golfo Aranci and to Sassari and Porto Torres through Ozieri-Chilivani joint
  • Metro, from piazza Repubblica to Monserrato; by 2009 it will reach the university campus and the Policlinico Hospital. Then it will connect all the suburbs.
  • Bus and tram transport into the city and suburbs operated by C.t.m. Spa.
  • Coach transport for all regional destination operated by ARST/FdS/FMS

Sport

Cagliari is home to the football team Cagliari Calcio, winner of the Italian league championship in 1970, with the team led by one of the greatest Italian strikers of all times, Gigi Riva. Cagliari is an ideal location for water sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and sailing due to strong and reliable favourable winds. Hiking is also popular.

Sport plans

Sport plans in Cagliari:

  • Sant`Elia stadium
  • PalaRockfeller
  • Terramaini Olympionic pool

Climate

Cagliari has a Mediterranean Climate, with hot and dry summers and very mild winter. Its climate is comparable to the South-Californian one, but it is often refreshed by north-westerly winds. It is close to other beautiful seaside locations, such as Maddalena Beach, Chia or Villasimius, still relatively unspoilt by tourism and is also close to mountain parks, such as Monte Arcosu or Maidopis, with large forests and wildlife (Sardinian deers, wild boars, etc.).

Culture

Cagliari has some peculiar gastronomic traditions. Many dishes are based on the wide variety of fish and sea food available, for example, burrida. Although it is possible to trace influences from Spanish cuisine, Cagliaritanian food has a distinctive and unique character. Very good wines are also part of Cagliaritanians' dinners: excellent wines are in fact produced in the nearby vineyards of the Campidano plain.

Life in Cagliari has been vividly depicted by Sergio Atzeni, who set many of his novels and short stories, such as Bakunin's Son, in ancient and modern Cagliari.

A church in Cagliari gives its name to Buenos Aires. The Spaniard who founded Buenos Aires visited the church of Bonaria (fair winds) and asked for help from the Mary of Bonaria, to whom the church is dedicated. The church faces the sea and was allegedly built where a sailor landed after the Mary of Bonaria appeared in the midst of a tempest and saved the sailor and his ship from sinking.

It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cagliari.

The main opera house of Sardinia, Teatro Lirico, has its quarters in Cagliari.

Sleep

  • Hotel Tarthesh Guspini Sardinia – Via Parigi 3, – Cap: 09036, Guspini (Ca) Sardinia - Italy. Telephone +39 070 9729000 • Fax +39 070 9764003. In this luxury four star hotel, guests can find the best beaches in the world and wide selection of activity (massage, reflexology, etc) and bedrooms. The Tarthesh Hotel is located in Guspini, a little Sardinian town, 40 miles away from the Airport of Cagliari.

Nightlife

Cagliari is a tourist city, and especially in summer a lot of clubs and pubs are goals for youth and tourists, pubs and night-clubs are concentrated in the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a central street in Stampace district, near to the port and Castello district, as for clubs they are mostly on the Poetto beach, or in Viale Marconi. Very famous are clubs outside the city, just like "Tsunami" in Santa Margherita di Pula, and "Peyote" in Villasimius.

Consulates

Consulates located in Cagliari:

Sister cities

Image gallery

References

Notes

External links

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