“I do things, I see people” – it was Nanni Moretti’s cult phrase that gave me the idea of creating the Facebook page ‘ Facendo cose a Cagliari’ – “Doing Things in Cagliari”, because in that sentence I found myself there, and I also found my fellow citizens.
We people from Cagliari like to go around the city, we like to meet, have a chat and have a drink. And we like to combine verbs with gerunds when we speak, this is how the page is born.
I am Sonia Carta, I lived for 44 years in Cagliari, I am a mother and I deal with professional training. ‘ Doing Things in Cagliari ‘ was born in October 2017. Today it has over 20 thousand followers and wr became a real team, in fact from this summer Nicola Montixi, Gian Marco Tocco and Francesco Congiu joined me, and together we gave life at the site www.facendocoseacagliari.com that we update daily with news or curiosities that are reported to us or that we ourselves discover. In the last few months, new collaborations were born, such as the project “Facendo cose di Moda e bellezza” with my super female shoulder Alessandra Margi or the city tours in “let’s browse the neighborhoods” style with the guide Fabio Brundu. Cagliari is a city of colors, scents and moods.
If Cagliari were a season it would be spring, like the jacarandas with intense purple flowers that in summer form a real carpet on Largo Carlo Felice, the large avenue that climbs from the port to Piazza Yenne, an excellent location for an aperitif or an after dinner, but not before having taken a break at the “Caffè Svizzero”, a historic place where you can still breathe an atmosphere of other times. In front of Piazza Yenne, the statue of King Carlo Felice indicates with his arm Via Manno, defined as the shopping street, while on the other side, there is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the ideal place to extend the evening in a bar or restaurant and a wine bar. Here I recommend the typical brewery “Brew bay house”, a craft brewery, with Sardinian specialties (culurgiones and meat)
Crossing the square we head towards Via Azuni where we find, majestic and imposing, the Church of Sant’Anna and its imposing staircase, an excellent backdrop for selfies with a slightly different perspective. This church is also linked to a well-known saying from Cagliari “Sa Fabbrica de Sant’Anna” – the Sant’Anna factory – a way of saying that suggests that the renovation of the church did not properly respect the initial schedule . We are in the heart of Stampace, and a little further on there are the church and the prison of Sant’Efisio, the martyr who is celebrated every 1st of May with a procession between the sacred and the profane that sees festively decorated floats and hundreds of people parade coming from all over Sardinia wearing the ancient traditional clothes in a riot of shapes and colors. Here in Stampace we find the Santa Chiara civic market is the oldest of the Cagliari civic markets. The market, in which a dozen boxes operate: that of meat, fish, vegetables, has been transformed into a tourist market, today it has become a pole for tasting quality food and wine products, thanks to the restaurant located inside “Santa Chiara restaurant Banco e cucina”.
If Cagliari were a book, leafing through it you could read the history of the inhabitants of the Castello district who have lived here since the 13th century. It is in fact the oldest of the four historic districts (the others are Stampace, the Marina and Villanova) and stands on one of the seven city hills.
Walking through its streets means going back in time, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see how the old alleys and streets once were, now embellished with flower pots, first of all Via Stretta, now transformed into a real mini -urban garden. However, the traces of a stratification of eras give the Castle the appearance of a real open-air museum: the towers that once guarded the city walls, the Tower of San Pancrazio, of the Elephant and of the Lions, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Palazzo Viceregio.
I advise you to “get lost” in the many streets that go up, down and meet. Once there were many artisan shops here, today the neighborhood follows the common fate of many historic areas that are becoming depopulated, neighborhoods that lose their shops and their historic inhabitants to make way for holiday rentals.
Another tip is to visit Biba’s “La Bottega delle meraviglie” in Via Lamarmora 82/84, a shop that offers a journey through time, with antique furniture and chests of drawers full of lace, bijoux, clothing accessories and unique objects. A real old curiosity shop where you can get lost and where time has really stopped.
Continuing along Via Lamarmora you will reach the Bastion of St Remy to enjoy the city and the famous “Cagliari sunset” from above, and with a little luck you will also be greeted by the flight of pink flamingos returning to the pond.
If Cagliari were a sensation it would be the “serenity” that reigns in the Villanova district, with colorful houses reminiscent of Notting Hill, and street lamps that make you think of Montmartre, but with an imprint that is all Cagliari, made up of inhabitants who decorate the streets of flowers and plants in a real competition of skill, and where every hour is marked by the colorful bell tower of the church of San Giacomo. If Cagliari were a culinary dish, it would be “sa burrida” cold dish made with catfish and covered with a sorrel sauce and shelled and chopped walnuts. There is a district in Cagliari, that of the Marina, which is a large open-air kitchen, with tables and chairs positioned in all the streets. Here, in addition to the typical “casteddaia” cuisine, you can find cuisines of various ethnic groups.
If Cagliari were a perfume it would be that of the saltiness of the sea. 10 minutes from the city center is the Poetto beach, 12 km of sand extending from the Sella del Diavolo to the Quartu coast. Pride of the inhabitants of Cagliari who visit it not only in summer but, thanks to the spectacular climate, enjoyable all year round for long walks or rides and runs on the special tracks. A stop in one of the many kiosks is a must, for a coffee, an aperitif or a lunch by the sea.
If Cagliari were a color it would be the pink of the flamingos of the Molentargius-Saline Regional Natural Park, “Sa genti arrubia” – the red people – as they are called by us Cagliari. One of the most exciting times of the year in which to observe pink flamingos in Sardinia are the first weeks of June, when these beautiful birds begin to nest in their protected areas. Cagliari is the only city in the world where pink flamingos nest permanently, and the sight of the intense splashes of color in one of the ponds that surround the city is an unforgettable sight.
My advice is to spend a whole day inside the park, which can also be visited by bicycle. For information or reservations for guided tours, simply contact the Infopoint located on the ground floor of the “Sali Scelti” building, by calling: +39 070 379191. Finally, if you are looking for something different, something truly experiential and away from the noise, I recommend a visit to the Sant’Elia district with the Ediciclo Editore “Non Turismo” guide, where in addition to the stories about the place and its inhabitants you can a sensory experience listening to podcasts created specifically to accompany the visitor to the discovery of augmented audio reality. In May 2021 a Non Tourism guide will also be available for the Giorgino district with its Fishermen’s Village. Thanks to the free Loquis app it is possible to listen to the audio and catapult yourself into these wonderful places, breathing the stories and traditions of the people who live here. If Cagliari were the final sentence of a book it would be: “Cagliari is an Island … a distance suspended in the wind that opens the heart and mind, an outpost of new discoveries” cited Barbara della Notte. Leaving Cagliari on the ship, the eye can still enjoy the colors of the city, with a fabulous skyline.
We are waiting for you in Cagliari and in the meantime follow us on our social channels to stay informed about what happens here. I suggest you “Always do things” which is becoming a philosophy of life, a general attitude of living life especially in this period of great social upheaval.
In Cagliari with this look
Sonia Carta, has lived in Cagliari for 44 years, is a mother and deals with professional training. Doing Things in Cagliari was born in October 2017. Today it has over 20 thousand followers and has become a real team, in fact from this summer Nicola Montini, Gian Marco Tocco and Francesco Congiu joined her, and together they gave life at the site www.facendocoseacagliari.com which they update daily with news or curiosities that you report or that they themselves discover.