I’m posting 14, 15, 16 & 17 today, so please read them in sequence
Cagliari was an interesting stop along our way. The island has the usual history of this part of the world, held by Aragon for a brief time, independent, and finally in 1718 the entire island was acquired by the Savoys. During it’s history (about 900AD) the Byzantine Governor delegated domestic and military to his four lieutenants in the Sardinian districts. The (independent) lieutenants each named himself judice (king) of his logu (state). Sardinia was a kingdom for a time, but after the Italian Wars of Independence (1848) the island became a part of Italy.
We asked our bus driver if he was Italian, and he didn’t say no, but what he did say was “I’m Sardinian”. We had the feeling this was the same as Sicily; people have an allegiance to their island, then when it benefits them they are Italian.
Let’s take a look at the Cagliari port:
Again, as in Palermo, Susy and I decided to go by foot to explore the port. A shuttle bus took us from the ship to the port entrance. This was the main terminal:
The old part of Cagliari is in a district called “Castello” (castle) and it is high above the port. We were fortunate to catch a tour bus which took us right to the top and dropped us in the principal square of that district:
The view of the city below and the view of the port laid out around us was magnificent (forgive me if I use that word a lot, but what can I say?):
We spoke of Kings over the years, and the first building we came to was the Royal Palace:
Not very imposing, and the inside wasn’t either, as we took a short tour (no photos allowed). Right next to the Royal Palace was the “Duomo”, the Cagliari Cathedral, a pink cathedral dating back to the 13th century, but re-build in the 1600’s. Here we hit a jewel, because not only was it a beautiful cathedral but the Pope had just visited it in September, and it was meticulously clean, almost appearing brand new. The outside:
The view of the front below at the plaza level:
And then the striking view inside:
Not being a large cathedral, it only had six side alters, but each one of them was beautiful:
The crypt below the main alter was magnificent (there I go again):
Back in the main church, you look up at the ceiling and gasp:
In addition to the six side alters, off to the side of the main alter was this large alter:
By the way, that is a polishing machine on the floor in front of the alter. The reason the fellow is not running it is that Susy had to confer with him on what kind of cleaner he was using to polish the marble, it looked so good (only Susy would think of that).
As we leave the cathedral, one last look at the central nave:
The marble is so white and clean that I felt like I was in heaven (probably the closest I’m going to get).
Outside and in the same plaza was another small palace:
We took the tour van back to the port and on the way viewed an old amphitheater used in the Roman times, where as many as 10,000 people watched as the Christians were tossed in the arena with live animals. They also had a Botanical Garden which covered a huge area. Here’s a few of the streets:
And to end the day my faithful traveling companion is still trying to get a bargain:
As she walked away her comment was: “cheap imitations”.
That’s it for Cagliari, now it’s on to Tangier, with thankfully a day at sea to recuperate.
Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)