History and traditions


Cagliari is a city full of history. It was founded by the Phoenicians 700 b.c. as a strategic supply base for the Phoenician fleet and given the name "Karalis".

According to archeological excavations at the "Tuvixeddu" necropolis, the Carthaginians took control over the area 200 years later. Within the course of the Punic war the Roman empire conquered the city in 238 b.c. and dominated the island within the costal regions.
Later the island was divided into four areas of jurisdiction (Judicati), where a judge governed as highest political power. Cagliari was nominated capital of the four areas and the four moors (Quatro mori) became the insignia of Sardinia. The persistent Saracen attacks were defeated with the help of the sea powers of Pisa and Genoa which took control over the city and started to fortify the "Castello" hill. Later the Aragonians continued to make Cagliari become a fortress in the Catalonian style. The following feudal reign of Piermont - Savoy was characterized by popular uprisings, nonetheless Cagliari was nominated their capital and official residence of the king. With the unification of Italy the kingdom was dissolved and Sardinia became one of Italy’s regions.
The island served as a strategic base in the Mediterranean during WWII and was therefore razed to the ground by allied bombing (80%). These traces are still visible in the city centre. In 1948 Cagliary was officially nominated capital of the island.
The city celebrates many fascinating traditional and religious festivities in the course of the year. They are not only a great chance to admire the traditional colored costumes of the inhabitants but also to get to know their ancient customs and old traditions.