A Travellerspoint blog

Off to a new part of Italy

Sardinia day one


View Cagliari 2024 on ToonSarah's travel map.

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Panorama from the Bastion Saint Remy, Cagliari

It’s been a few years since we were last in Italy and we were craving good food, gelati, wine and 9in my case) Aperol Spritz! Wanting to explore a new area, we settled on a city break in Cagliari, capital of Sardinia.

We had spent the night at Gatwick Airport's Premier Inn as our flight was such an early one. It was only a short walk from the hotel to the North Terminal but unusually for EasyJet we were departing from the South so had to get the monorail. Once in the terminal we were soon through security and had time for breakfast before boarding. We had paid extra for speedy boarding to ensure there would be room for our cabin bags but when we got to the gate everyone was being allowed to board. Once on the plane of course we discovered that the overhead compartments by our seats were full, and Chris had to take our bags way back in the plane to find space for them. That meant that on landing we would have to wait for others to disembark before we could retrieve them. I wondered if we had got to the gate too late but the couple in the row in front of us were already complaining to one of the cabin crew. She was very apologetic about the fact that speedy boarding hadn’t been called and said she had already noted it for her report. I resolved to complain and try for a refund (a request that was later to be refused, perhaps unsurprisingly).

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Take-off from London Gatwick

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Landing in Cagliari

Apart from that the flight went well. I read for much of the time (a little over two hours) but stopped to take some photos on our approach to Cagliari. As predicted we had to wait to disembark but thankfully we had no reason to rush. Passport control was quite quick, despite the post-Brexit requirement to have our passports stamped.

We found the train station, just outside the terminal, and bought tickets from the machines – just €1.30 for the short journey to the city centre. We had to wait almost 30 minutes for the next train but there were benches to sit on and we weren’t in a rush.

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Our train approaching

Once on the train I messaged the owner of the apartment we were renting, Claudio. He told me it would be ready sooner than the 15.00 official check-in time, but not quite yet as it was being cleaned. So we agreed to get some lunch and then contact him again.

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1928 locomotive on display at the station

Arriving at the station our attention was caught by an old 1928 locomotive on display. We then walked the c. 10 minutes to the Pizza Yenna near our apartment and found the Cafeteria Tiffany on a side street nearby where we got sandwiches for lunch. By the time we’d finished Claudio confirmed the apartment was ready and sent instructions for the key safe and entry. We climbed the 47 steps (!) to our street and a short steep slope to the front door. Inside we found a cosy space with a small kitchen/ sitting area, bedroom with large bed, and small bathroom. It was nicely if simply decorated and had lovely old, beamed ceilings.

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Our rental apartment

We settled in and went for a walk further up the hill, through the Porta dei Leoni.

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Detail on the Porta dei Leoni

We were now in Castello, the oldest part of the city, once home to nobles and still protected in places by old walls and fortified gates. But we left most of this area to be explored tomorrow and for now contented ourselves with enjoying the views from the Bastion Saint Remy, just above the Lion Gate.

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The Bastion Saint Remy

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Looking up at the Bastion Saint Remy from below, and a street musician by the steps

After talking some photos we walked down the steps on the far side. Looping around we came to the church of San Sepulcro. It was open so we went in. There was a service in progress, but we were able to look around the back area and descend to the crypt below, carved out of the limestone. This was only discovered in 1992 during renovation work. Human bones were found here; it was clearly a burial place at one time. We also saw a Paleo-Christian baptismal basin in the sacristy which had been uncovered during a recent archaeological excavation.

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Crypt of Santo Sepolcro

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Inside the church, and the Paleo-Christian baptismal basin

By the time we left the church the clouds which had been building were covering the sky. I revised my ideas on gelato, thinking that best left for another day. We checked out a nearby restaurant, Impasto, and it looked so promising that we made a reservation for this evening. We then walked on to the Piazza Yenne where we settled on coffee rather than ice cream! Our caffe macchiato was great and at only €3 for two, much cheaper than at home.

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Caffe macchiato in the Piazza Yenne

We went back to the apartment after that, to catch up on messages and finish unpacking. In the evening we went for a drink at the Bar Maverick, next door to the Tiffany where we’d had lunch. I had a very good (and generous) Aperol Spritz while Chris had a pint of the local beer. We were served not only crisps and olives but also some cold meats and small sandwiches.

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Snacks with drinks in Bar Maverick, and interior of Impasto

We then had dinner at nearby Impasto where we’d made the reservation earlier. My cacio e pepe was excellent, my wine (a local Vermentino) equally so and the bread fantastic. My dessert of millefeuille with sage in the crème pâtissière was also good if a little dry – I preferred Chris's lemon granita!

Posted by ToonSarah 14:10 Archived in Italy Tagged trains food views church flight italy city station coffee sardinia cagliari

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Comments

We are off to Italy also...next month. We will be in Milan and taking days trips to many new places, to us, in Northern and Western Italy. I too was am craving Aperol! Enjoyed the block. Enjoy the VT meeting. Sorry we could not make this year.

Larry

by littlesam1

Have a wonderful time in Italy - but such a shame you can't make Kotor. Hopefully next year - it's been too long :(

by ToonSarah

Sardinia looks and sounds great so far. I'd love to go there at some point.

by irenevt

I can definitely recommend Cagliari Irene, although we didn't see a lot else of the island - one day trip out to document however :)

by ToonSarah

great start of a new "adventure"!

by Ils1976

It was a mini-adventure I guess Ils, only a few days :)

by ToonSarah

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