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Top Rated Attractions in Quartu Sant'Elena

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Cagliari Cathedral has been dedicated to St. Mary since 1258, following the abandonment of Sant'Igia, capital of the giudicato of Cagliari, where the bishop's palace used to stand. Between 1664-67, it underwent its first transformation following which the facade was renovated in 1702 in Baroque style by the architect Pietro Fossati. This was then replaced by the current facade in Neo-Romanesque style in 1930. The pulpit is of especial quality: originally part of a single ambo, it was made between 1159-62 by Maestro Guglielmo for the cathedral of Pisa but was donated to Cagliari in 1312. In the right transept of the Gothic chapel built during the Aragonese era, the Clement VII triptych is of uncertain attribution (Gerard David or the school of Roger Van Der Weyden). The fine mausoleum of Martin II of Aragon, built by the Genoese architect Giulio Aprile, stands in the left transept in a chapel built during the Pisan domination. The sanctuary built below the presbytery in 1618 holds the reliquaries of Christian martyrs found in the churches of San Saturno and San Lucifero.

Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari

If you are into history and archaeology, then Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari will pique your interest. Founded in the 19th Century, the present repository is a result of the dedication and passion of its past curators. Set in the former armory and mint, it is spread across four levels and boasts an impressive collection that spans across several millennials. Trace the history of the region from the Pre-Nuragic Age till the 18th Century. From archaeological remnants to relics, artefacts to figurines and artworks, the displays are chronologically exhibited. Get to know the story of various civilizations and people who occupied this land and shaped it into the region it is now.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria

This complex is dedicated to the Madonna, protector of sailors and reason, for pilgrimages. It has an imposing Basilica with a modern façade. It is located at the top of a monumental staircase which leads up from the sea. According to legend, a ship which ran into difficulty during a storm threw a box containing a wooden effigy of the Madonna into the sea. The box was washed up right in front of the hill where the Basilica is today. This event was understood to be a miracle and the statue was placed in a church, and various other miracles were later attributed to it. The Basilica was built in the 18th Century, and is next to the the ancient sanctuary of the 14th Century, built by the Aragonese. Inside the building you can see the tablet which depicts the Madonna del Cardellino by Michele Cavaro, it was part of a dismantled altarpiece dating back to the 16th Century. There is also an interesting collection of models of period boats, and of gifts offered by sailors throughout the centuries. It is located in the Bonaria district.

Spiaggia di Porto Giunco

Nestled between the Pond of Nottieri and Mediterranean Sea, Spiaggia di Porto Giunco is among the best beaches in the area. Framed by rocky cliffs that protect it from strong winds, this beach has a lovely white sand shoreline. The varying hues of blue of the ocean makes it look like the Caribbean. Teeny pink granite stones tucked beneath the lucid seawater gives it a certain pinkish sheen. During winters, flamingos nest at the nearby pond. The beach is popular among snorkelers and swimmers. For replenishment, there are plenty of options close to the beach.

Bastione di Saint Remy

The Umberto I Terrace is better known as the Bastion of Saint Remy. It is an important architectural remain of the era of Umberto and was built between 1899-1902 incorporating the ancient buttresses of the Mint. The terrace was meant as a lookout area and was built in Corinthian style. The monumental flight of steps is most impressive; halfway up, the Covered Walkway is used to hold temporary exhibitions. The 4600 square meters (50,000 square feet) terrace gives a superb view over the city and represents the uppermost section of the Castello district. Seriously damaged by Anglo-American bombing raids in 1943, it has been faithfully rebuilt to its original design.

Poetto Beach

Poetto Beach is a surprising corner of the city and easily reached within minutes from the center. The long beach of fine sand stretches a good distance, joining the promonontory of the Devil's Seat to Margine Rosso, an area in the district of Quartu S. Elena. In all probability, the beach was named after the tower of the Poet that stands on the headland of Sant'Elia. Visitors are attracted by its clear water in all shades of green. A popular haunt among tourists and locals alike, it is a favorite spot for water sports such as windsurfing, sailing and kite surfing. From beach kiosks to eateries, you will find several establishments dotted along this beach. During summers, it is the entertainment hub of the area. Seasonal discos and live music enliven this place.

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