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Villanova is the quarter of Cagliari which is developing towards the countryside in such a way, that every now and then, alongside the typically low houses, gardens and orchards are still unexpectedly incorporated into the fabric of the quarter. It is delimited from Castello by Viale Regina Elena, also known as Terrapieno, an elegant promenade offering panoramic views of the city, Poetto beach and of the entire eastern arc of the Golfo degli Angeli. This is the quarter which hosts the most heartfelt rites of Holy Week. These rituals of direct Spanish derivation, are organised by a number of confraternities and immutably repeated year after year. Two examples of famed beauty are the Church of S. Mauro (dating back to 1650) and the nearby Gothic-Catalonian style Convent of S. Domenico (XV century), rebuilt after the bombings of 1944. The parish church of S. Giacomo is not be missed and is one of the first examples of Gothic-Catalonian architecture in Sardinia. It stands alongside the “Anime” and the “Crocefisso” oratories with their precious wooden and marble furnishings.

The Stampace quarter is separated from the Marina quarter by the Largo Carlo Felice and lies in the western part of the town. This is the area where the most heartfelt cults are kept alive. The Church of S. Anna, built in 1785 on the site of a church documented since 1263, was only opened for worship in 1818, which gave rise to the turn of phrase, "sa frabbica 'e S. Anna", meaning “a job that never ends”.
The Baroque church of S. Michele is not far away and the little churches of S. Efisio and S. Restituta are also to be found in this quarter. The former is linked to the history of Cagliari’s most venerated saint. All these churches have an underlying crypt, originally conceived as a tuff pit and then becoming over the course of time, a cistern and finally a place of worship. The Town Hall in Neo-Gothic style rises on the corner of Via Roma and dates from the beginning of the last century.

Over the course of time the Marina quarter sprang up towards the sea at the foot of the Castello area. It was originally meant to be a fishing village or more generally a dwelling place for the common people of Cagliari.
It is laid out in a number of parallel and perpendicular roads and delimited towards the port by the spectacular Via Roma, whose arcades and early 20th century buildings provide the first impression of the town for visitors arriving by sea.
Perpendicular to Via Roma, its boundaries are marked by the Largo Carlo Felice, which with Piazza Yenne is one of the classic meeting points of the city and also by Viale Regina Margherita, site of one of the most extensive Imperial Roman necropolises of the Island. On this road only the exterior of the ex “Scala di ferro” Hotel remains, where as the plaque tells us, D. H. Lawrence stayed during his voyage to Sardinia.
Within this neighbourhood several architectural gems stand out, like the Gothic Catalonian church of S. Eulalia, under which archaeologists have brought to light an interesting archaeological area dating back to Imperial Rome, discovered during restoration work carried out in the nineties. The building next to the parish church houses the “Museo del Tesoro di S. Eulalia” (Museum of the Treasures of S. Eulalia).

Urbanisation of the hill started in 1217, the date on which Cagliari’s “giudicessa”(judge or ruler) Benedetta of Lacon-Massa donated Castrum Calaris to Lamberto Visconti. The area thus became the capital of the Pisan colony and also housed the bishop’s seat after the destruction of the Santa Igia citadel at the hands of the Pisans in 1258.
The church of Santa Maria, located on the eastern side of the hill, thus became a cathedral and inherited the ancient title of Santa Cecilia. Alongside the cathedral we find the bishop’s palace, the old Palazzo di Città and the Palazzo Regio.
The present quarter of Castello has preserved a radiating urban layout, characteristic of the urban scheme of Tuscan communes. The area is articulated in three parallel roads: the "ruga mercatorum", today’s Via La Marmora; the "ruga marinariorum", Via Canelles and the "ruga fabrorum", Via Martini, which are all connected transversely.
In the early part of the fourteenth century under the direction of the architect Giovanni Capula, the city walls were strengthened with ashlars of Bonaria stone and endowed with L or circular-shaped towers. Both the Tower of San Pancrazio built in 1305 and the Elephant Tower inscribed with the date 1305, are still intact. The walls were protected by other towers of which one, (the Aquila (Eagle) Tower) , is today incorporated into Palazzo Boyl.
In the nineteenth century, a number of parts of the walls were demolished when they no longer had a defensive function. The panoramic Umberto I terrace was built at the beginning of the twentieth century in place of the S. Remy bastion and is still today one of the favourite meeting places for the people of Cagliari.
The Cittadella dei Musei, once the old Royal Armoury, was renovated in the seventies and now houses the National Archaeological Museum containing a wealth of remains from all over the Island, the National Gallery, the “S. Cardu" Museum of Siamese Art and the "C. Susini Museum of Anatomic Waxworks ".











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