Cagliari – walking around Quartiere Marina

I’ve broken my Cagliari posts down to make them more readable. Please see my separate posts on eating in the Marina area and for other neighbourhoods. My Google map of the city is here.

For some, Cagliari is a little disappointing in terms of things to see given its ancient history, although personally I quite enjoyed walking around the citadel (see Castello posts).

Quartiere Marina is one of the oldest districts and there are a few gems here too if you look for them.

I particularly like the sad angels above the doorway of the Chiesa de Sant’ Agostino at 80 Via Lodovico Baylle.

20150602_193752

These cherub-like angels (or are they ‘putti’?) seem to be a popular theme.

20150602_193815

Cappella dell’Asilo della Marina next door also has some nice ones.

20150602_194010

Most of the streets on the lower slopes of the Marina district are organised on a more modern grid pattern although higher up towards the citadel the roads become steeper and a bit more maze like.

20150604_064755

Chiesa di Santa Rosalia is built into the gradient of Via Principe Amedeo.

Chiesa Santa Rosalia

On one of these higher streets, at 2 Vico del Collegio, is the Museo del Tesoro e Area Archeologica di Sant’Eulalia.

The museum is an archaeological site in the basement of the Sant’Eulalia church. Metal catwalks above the site allow you to walk around and gaze down at the various phases.

20150602_190006

‘Karalis’, the first name for Cagliari, was established by the Phonecians around the 8th and 7th centuries BC and the Carthaginians built a fortified settlement in the Marina area in the 5th century BC.

Under the church remains can be seen of a 4th to 3rd century BC Punic shrine, a pre 5th century BC water cistern, a 4th century AD road with houses and a well, a possibly 6th century AD Roman-era wall and then the 14th century AD Catalan-Aragonese church (St. Eulalia was the patron saint of Barcelona).

20150602_190033

Under the road was a sewage conduit and storm drain, which was accessed for maintenance via this manhole.

20150602_190429

Apparently more subterranean passages were discovered down here.

20150602_190504

At some point the drain was blocked by mud from a storm. The everyday objects carried by the storm flood were locked in the mud creating a fascinating snapshot in time. The objects date from the late 7th century AD which was the last time the drain was in operation.

Similarly coins found in the cistern date it to having been in use up until the 5th century BC. I had the pleasure of excavating a well in my teens (my dad is an archaeologist) and found it fascinating to discover all the junk that had piled up in it during the years it was in use.

20150602_184152

Since my pop will probably be reading this I should perhaps issue a disclaimer that the photos don’t necessarily represent what I’m writing about!

20150602_184610

Quartiere Marina is also known as the shopping district, especially along Via Roma on the waterfront. However wandering around the back streets I stumbled upon Durke, an old shop selling Sardinian cakes at 66 Via Napoli, www.durke.com.

20150618_111733

The lady working there was very friendly and allowed me to sample some of her wares including the famous Pardule,  a special cake made with ricotta for Lent.

20150618_111927

Her beautifully-wrapped amaretti were very nice too.

20150618_111754

This publicity shot shows her working in the shop with her mum and sister and their two-hundred-year-old oven in the background.

20150618_112127

To be honest though, some Sardinian cakes seem to be more about form than function. I wasn’t too impressed by these traditional Tilicas (the squiggly ones) made with almond paste and honey, which were given to me at a school I worked at. They looked lovely but were quite dry and hard when eaten.

20150603_151210

Similarly the local bread can be quite pretty to look at but has more crust than soft parts.

20150602_194132

Other than this, there are a few modern sculptures dotted around, like this one in Via Dettori.

20150602_193722

At the end of Via Sardegna you come to the incongruous Consiglio Regionale della Sardegna (Regional Council of Sardinia) which has some modernist sculptures beside it, such as ‘Figura Maschile’ (Male Figure) dating from 1987.

20150604_065125

In nearby Piazza Giovanni Amendola there are some nice Jacaranda trees, which reminded me of Buenos Aires.

20150604_082315

Restaurants next!

4 Responses to “Cagliari – walking around Quartiere Marina”

  1. Bummed to hear that Cagliari wasn’t as good as it could have been. I lived with a Sardinian art student while studying in Umbria, and ever since I’ve wanted to get to Sardinia (and Cagliari, where he was studying). Oh well. Looking forward to restaurants!

    • Oh, sorry, it wasn’t my intention to give too much of a negative impression. Cagliari is absolutely worth visiting as I hope my next few posts will show, it’s just that you only need a couple of days there to see everything. I think it got hammered by allied bombing in the war, and wasn’t as big or as rich as other Italian cities to begin with. The citadel, the archaeology museum and the market are definitely worth seeing though and you can use it as a base to go to other places nearby, like the beautiful beaches at Pula (avoid the ones in Cagliari which get too busy). I didn’t have the chance sadly because work got in the way. There are heaps of other wonderful places to go in Sardinia so I’d recommend spending your time seeing them rather than lingering in the cities. Please don’t be put off!🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: