The serene sea approach to Cagliari is an exquisitely beautiful way to first lay eyes on the city’s mesmerising interplay of colour, spires and domed churches. Sat on Sardinia’s south coast, Cagliari is the island’s largest city, and a sun-blessed escape of beaches, architecture and Mediterranean food – where stress evaporates on contact. That first sight of Cagliari’s mosaic of architecture reveals much about the island’s history, and is a living document of the civilisations and influences that have passed through. Combining Byzantine churches with crumbling Roman ruins and Pisan towers, it’s an elegant, beguiling place to explore.
Usher in the morning with a short, sharp espresso hit, before wandering along to San Benedetto market’s bustle, crammed full of overflowing heaps of local produce. Taste crisp, freshly-baked bread, thin shavings of sheep’s cheese, and ripe red strawberries, as you wander amid the market’s melody of good-natured bartering. The Castello quarter’s tight, flower-draped streets and salmon-hued brick buildings incline up above the Med’s softly lapping waves. Climb Bastione di Saint Remy staircase to Terrazza Umberto’s views of the turquoise Gulf of Angels. Next, Cathedral of Santa Maria awaits, with its marbled interiors, elaborate side chapels and intricately decorated crypt.
Once you’ve unravelled Cagliari’s historical tapestry, Poetto Beach invites you to find a spot on almost five miles of uninterrupted sand, met by a dazzling expanse of turquoise water. On a hot summer’s day, soak up some sun before saluting the sunset with an ice cold Spritz at a beachside bar. Spaghetti with salted bottarga and artichokes will keep the good times rolling, perfectly accompanied by a glass of ruby-coloured Cannonau wine.