Metropolitan City of Cagliari

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Metropolitan City of Cagliari
Metropolitan City
The Royal Palace of Cagliari, the Metropolitan City seat
The Royal Palace of Cagliari, the Metropolitan City seat
Location of the Metropolitan City of Cagliari
Location of the Metropolitan City of Cagliari
Country  Italy
Region Sardinia
Established 4 February 2016
Capital(s) Cagliari
Comuni 17
 • Mayor Massimo Zedda
 • Total 1,248 km2 (482 sq mi)
Population (2015)
 • Total 431,657
 • Density 350/km2 (900/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

The Metropolitan City of Cagliari (Italian: Città metropolitana di Cagliari) is one of the major key cities made up of 17 cities metropolitan cities of Italy, and is located on the island of Sardinia along the coast of the gulf Golfo degli Angeli also commonly known as Bay of Angels. It was established by law in 2016, and replaced the Province of Cagliari.[1] It's population comprises 431,000 "inhabitants" and Its current president is the mayor of the Cagliari town, Massimo Zedda. According to Eurostat, the population of the Functional urban area, the commuting zone of Cagliari, rises to 476,974[2]


Cagliari metropolitan area by night
The Metropolitan city in alluvial plains between Variscan orogeny mountains

The Metropolitan City of Cagliari extends over the plain of Campidano, between two mountain ranges. The Sulcis Range is to the west and includes Monti Arcosu, Mote Serpeddi (it), and Punta Sebera. To the east is the Monte Linias Range, including Punta Serpeddì (it) and Sette Fratelli. These mountains are composed of Ordovician shale and Carboniferous granite, and do not exceed 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). An exception is Monte Is Caravius (it) which is 1,116 m (3,661 ft).

The city is spread over and around ten limestone hills of the middle-late Miocene, with heights of 76–145 metres (249–476 ft), on the plains of Campidano.[3] It covers the area on the plain of Campidano between the large basins of the Santa Gilla lagoon, ponds and mountains.

The hills of Cagliari are:[4]

  • Mount Urpinu - from the Sardinian word for fox, a park in the city center
  • St. Elias Hill - also known as Devil's Saddle for its shape
  • Tuvumannu
  • Tuvixeddu - the highest of the hills with the remains of a Roman necropolis on top
  • Bonaria Hill - site of the Monumental Cemetery of Bonaria, built on the ruins of an earlier necropolis
  • San Michele Hill - on top of this hill is San Michele Castle, dating back to the 13th century
  • Castle Hill - a number of towers on top, including the Torre dell'Elefante (Elephant Tower), date from the 14th century and that were part of a fortress
  • Sant'Elia
  • Buoncammino Hill - site of an old arsenal, now the National Archaeological Museum
  • Monte Claro Park - located in the city center

The modern city has occupied the flat spaces between the hills. The sea is to the south and south-east, along the Poetto beach. The lagoons and ponds of Santa Gilla and Mandolentargius, are wildlife areas, and were named international sites of importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1976.


The municipalities of Cagliari are as follows:

1. Assemini 2. Capoterra 3. Decimomannu 4. Elmas 5. Maracalagonis 6. Monserrato 7. Pula 8. Quartu S. Elena 9. Quartucciu 10. Sarroch 11. Sestu 12. Selargius 13. Settimo San Pietro 14. Sinnai 15. Villa San Pietro 16. Uta 17. ...


Cagliari is said to mostly consist of a Mediterranean climate and the Campidano plain have a Mediterranean climat ) with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The extreme values in summer are over 40 °C (104 °F), often with high humidity, while in winter, the record lows are below zero. Heavy snowfalls occur, on average, every thirty years.- Extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters. The average temperature of the coldest month, January, is about 10 °C (50 °F), and that of the warmest month, August, about 25 °C (77 °F). However, heat waves can occur, due to African anticyclone activity, starting in June. From mid-June to mid-September, rain is a rare event, usually storms in the afternoon. The rainy season starts in September, but the first cold days come in December, which is usually the wettest month. Winds are frequent, especially the mistral and sirocco; in summer days a marine sirocco breeze (s'imbattu) lowers the temperature and the humidity.]]

Climate data for Cagliari
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.9
Average low °C (°F) 5.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 49.7
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 6.8 6.8 6.8 7.0 4.4 2.1 0.8 1.3 4.3 6.5 7.4 7.4 61.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 136.4 139.2 186.0 213.0 269.7 288.0 334.8 310.0 246.0 198.4 147.0 127.1 2,595.6
Source: Servizio Meteorologico,[5]

On the mountains, the climate is very different, with plentiful averages rainfalls, cold winters, and mild warm summers (Csb in the Köppen climate classification).

Climate data for Is Cannoneris near Punta Sebera m. 716 on sea level
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.7
Average low °C (°F) 3.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 156
Source: Servizio Meteorologico

Metropolitan Municipalities[edit]

Satellite view of Cagliari
Aerial view of Cagliari
Municipality (in Italian and Sardinian) Area (km²) Census 2001 January 2016 % Inhab./km² Distance from city center (km)
Cagliari / Casteddu 85.45 164,249 154,460 -6,0 1, 808 0
Quartu Sant'Elena / Quartu Sant'Aleni 96.20 68,040 71 125 4,5 739 9
Selargius/Ceraxius 26.71 27,440 28,975 5,6 1,085 9
Assemini / Assèmini 117.50 23,973 26,686 11,3 227 14
Capoterra / Cabuderra 68.25 21,391 23,661 10,6 347 20
Sestu 48.32 15,233 20,786 36,5 430 11
Monserrato / Pauli 6.50 20,356 20,055 -2,5 3,085 7
Sinnai / Sìnnia 223.38 15,235 17,225 13,0 77 15
Quartucciu 27.87 10,766 13,224 22,8 474 9
Elmas / Su Masu 13.70 7,930 9,395 18,5 686 10
Uta / Uda 134.46 6,692 8,553 27,8 64 29
Decimomannu / Deximumannu 28.05 6,836 8,139 19,1 290 19
Maracalagonis 101.60 6,731 7,912 17,5 78 18
Pula 138.79 6,535 7,422 13,6 53 33
Settimo San Pietro 23.21 5,949 6,697 12,6 289 13
Sarroch / Sarroccu 67.88 5,243 5,244 0,0 77 25
Villa San Pietro / Santu Perdu 39.61 1,778 2,098 18,0 53 21
Total 1,248.42 414,377 431,657 4,2 346

As 470 km² are covered by forests, lagoons, ponds and salt marshes, the really populated area is 777.8 km². So the real population density rises to 553 Inhab./km².

In 1861, the year of unification of Italy, the municipalities of the current metropolitan city had 67,063 inhabitants, while the city proper had 33,491. Since then the city had a population growth of 461%, while the metropolitan municipalities as an all had an increase of 644%. In that year Cagliari had a population that was the 50% of the metropolitan area, while now it is only the 36%.

Other municipalities that in recent years have had a considerable increase of the population (in a region where most of the inland municipalities are going depopulated) will accede, as a result, to the metropolitan city. These municipalities are: Villaspeciosa (Bidda Spitziosa) (2516 inh., increasing 29%), San Sperate (Santu Sparau) (8314 inh., 22%), Ussana (Ùssana) (4208 inh.,12 %), Dolianova (Patiolla) (9707 inh.,22 %), Serdiana (2655 inh.,16 %), Soleminis (Solèminis) (1912 inh., 20%), Monastir (Muristenis) (4577 inh., 1,8).


Saras oil Refinery
Tiscali Campus

According to 2014 data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance,[6] the per capita income of the residents of Cagliari was 122% of the national average, for the metropolitan area it was 103%, and for Sardinia as a whole, it was 86%. The 26% of the island population that lives in Cagliari Metropolitan City, produces 31% of the island's GDP, and the urban-area income is greater than that of the rest of Sardinia. According to Eurostat, in 2009, the metropolitan area of Cagliari had a per capita purchasing power standard (PPS) of 21.699 euros, which is 92.4% of the European Union (27) data.[7]

On the other hand, the Metropolitan City suffers an high unemployment rate, 17,7%, higher not only of that of the national one, 12,2%, but of that of the regional one as well, 17,5%.[8]

The traditional economy is based on agriculture: the cultivation of wheat, olive groves and vineyards, gardens and orchards where there was plenty of water in the dry summer. The mountains were exploited for firewood and coal that were sold at Cagliari. There were mines, particularly the Iron mine of San Leone in the territory of Assemini. There are, also, large salt pans east and west of Cagliari.

Currently, the capital city holds most of the administrative offices, the retail trade (particularly in the historic center), financial services, professional offices, and health services. Industry, warehousing, and major shopping centers are concentrated in the other municipalities of the metropolitan area. Tourism is concentrated along the coast.

In 2014, the Cagliari-Sarroch port system was the third largest in Italy, as measured by amount of goods transferred.[9]

The Macchiareddu-Grogastru area between Cagliari and Capoterra, in conjunction with the Port of Cagliari, is the most important industrial area of Sardinia. The port includes the Cagliari International Container Terminal (CICT) at Giorgino, which had an annual traffic capacity of 1,000,000 TEU's in 2002.[10] Multinational corporations like Coca Cola, Heineken, Unilever, Bridgestone and Eni Group have factories in this area. Within the metropolitan area at Sarroch, there is one of the six oil refinery supersites in Europe, called Saras. The communications provider, Tiscali, has its headquarters in the boroughs of Cagliari.

Main sights[edit]


Saint Helena Empress Basilica, Quartu Sant'Elena
Romanesque church of Saint Mary, Uta

In the municipalities of the metropolitan area there are religious buildings that date back to the beginnings of the Christian presence in Sardinia. The crypts of the churches of Santa Restituta and Saint Ephysius in Cagliari are examples of cave churches officiated in the first centuries of the Christian era. The first church built after the Edict of Thessalonica of Theodosius I, who made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire, was the church of Saint Saturninus in Cagliari. Little now remains of the Byzantine period: the only building arrived up to us, is the small church of San Giovanni in Assemini. However many are the Romanesque churches, among which stands out the church of Saint Mary in Uta.

Archaeological sites[edit]

Is Concias Giant's Grave
The Roman Theater at Nora
Nuraghe Antigori

In the metropolitan area there are ruins of neolithic and chalcolithic villages, and several domus de Janas. There are also many nuraghes; the Nuraghe Diana on the coast of Quartu Sant'Elena and the nuraghes Sa Domu de S'Orcu and Antigori on the coast of Sarroch are particularly important. A deep, sacred well is located in Settimo San Pietro and a giants' grave, Is Concias, in the territory of Quartucciu. In the city of Nora, there are ruins of the Punic and Roman periods. The Tuvixeddu necropolis and a Roman Amphitheatre are located in Cagliari.

Metropolitan forests[edit]

Seti Fradis (Sette Fratelli) Mountains
Sebera Peak
Monte Arcosu, WWF reserve
Forested areas near Cagliari

The metropolitan area is delimited to the east and west by high mountain ranges, largely covered by Mediterranean forests, dominated by evergreen, oak, cork oak, and arbutus. The forests are managed by the Regional Forest Agency and extend for 273 km2 (105 sq mi), about 22% of the total surface. To the west is the Monte ArcosuPiscinamanna Forest which is 35,000 hectares (86,000 acres). Within this forest is the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Monte Arcosu Oasis, created to protect the subspecies of Sardinian deer (Cervus elaphus ssp. Corsicanus). The oasis is 3,600 hectares (8,900 acres).

The Regional Agency manages other forests west of Cagliari City: Is Cannoneris is 4,768 hectares (11,780 acres), Monti Nieddu is 2,451 hectares (6,060 acres), and Gutturu Mannu is 4,768 hectares (11,780 acres).[11] To the east, the Agency manages the Campidano Forest which is 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), and the forest of the Sette Fratelli ("Seven Brothers") which is about 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres). The mountain of Sette Fratelli, which is covered by the forest, is a vast massif with many crested peaks, seven of which are visible from Cagliari.

The environment of the metropolitan city varies with altitude in both temperature and precipitation. In the municipality of Pula, for example, the coastal plain has an annual average rainfall of about 450 mm (18 in), while the mountains (Is Cannoneris, about 800 meters above sea level) have more than 1,200 mm (47 in). The forests are populated by Sardinian deer (Cervus elaphus corsicanus), now saved from near-extinction, the fallow deer, reintroduced after its extinction from the area, wild boars, foxes, and European pine martens.

Metropolitan beaches[edit]

Tuaredda beach, Sardinia, Italy

In the municipalities of the metropolitan area there are numerous beaches. One of the biggest is the Poetto beach of Cagliari and Quartu Sant'Elena, 10 km (6.2 mi) of fine sand in front of the Sella del Diavolo. To the east of Cagliari are the beaches of Geremeas (commune of Maracalagonis) and Solanas (commune of Sinnai), and to the west are the beaches of Nora and Santa Margherita (commune of Pula).The surrounding municipalities of Villasimius, Castiadas and Domus de Maria possess some of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.

Folk customs and traditional dresses[edit]

Quartu S.Elena: traditional dress
Religious festival of Sant'Efisio
Sestu Carnival: Is Mustaionis e s'Orcu Foresu
Selargius - traditional dress

The Sagra or feast of Saint Ephisius, 1 May, is the most gorgeous folk customs of the zone. The statue of the saint, loaded on a pompous carriage, travels from the church in Cagliari, in which crypt he was being held, to Nora where he was martyrized. Its carriage, accompanied by Sardinian militiamen, from the ALTER NOS, the representative of the mayor, by folk groups in their traditional clothes, on foot or on elaborately decorated waggons (traccas), and, finally, by believers, travels for 32 km. Thousands of citizens, peasants and tourists attend the event. On May 4, at dusk, the saint returns to the city, in a more intimate and beloved by citizens procession. Another beautiful folk custom is the "coia antiga" (in Sardinian; antico sposalizio selargino in Italian), the ancient marriage of Selargius. Accompanied by religious songs in Sardinian, the engaged couple approaches the altar, where they sign the marriage contract with the exchange of a love written promise that will be unveiled only after 25 years of marriage.

After the ceremony, the groom puts his pinkie in the ring of a chain that surrounds the waist of the bride, ancient sign of bond.


The typical language of the metropolitan city is the Campidanese Sardinian , but Italian is the most spoken language everywhere.



External links[edit]

Media related to Metropolitan City of Cagliari at Wikimedia Commons