Cagliari- How is the lifestyle living there?


Can anyone give me some information of lifestyle living in this location?

Cost of living?
Shared accommodation?
Expat community?
Things to do /see?


Hi Claire, bit late probably but I just joined the forum.

Are you planning on living in the city or outside, to be honest the city unless you are in the historic area is pretty crap IMO, Italians like to live on top of each other and I find it can get a little claustrophobic and also in winter everyone burns wood in their fires and you end up with a nasty smog that burns the eyes and must be very unhealthy.

I live in the mountains outside of the city where the air is super clean and this is where the area shines, lots of expats  prefer the countryside or the coast and so you get a lot more of them, this is also where property is the least expensive. Italians seem to be scared to be out of the town so generally only have holiday homes here although this is changing and so you can pick up some real bargains although you are likely to need to do some work.

Those Italians who do live outside the town tend to be artists/musicians,  alternative life-stylists or farmers ..

All in all I love the area, the people and the lifestyle but if I was living  in town it would be a much different story.

Let me know if you make it over and we can meet up. I live here with my partner and our two kids on the side of a hill. :)

Hi, could you let me know specifically which areas you talk about when you say mountains or beach areas. I'd be very interested to take a look at living outside Cagliari but with the option of commuting in for work. Thanks

Okay well the good thing is that Cagliari is a lowland basin mainly surrounded by mountains so almost any direction east or west is going to get you into mountains or beach areas. The east coast is best and further away from the petrochemical Saras factory and so my preferred direction. I live up the ss125, it goes northeast out of cagliari from the ss554 into the Sette Fratelli mountains (a national park) and has a number of communities dotted along the first 30km. Plenty of low cost (ex-holiday home) housing and lots of new families moving here. it is lush and surrounded by trees and hills and only about 25min by car to central Cagliari or the airport.

Hope that helps.


Hi Sam, thank you. that's really useful :)


Hello Claire, I have been living in Italy for 3 months and since I went there alone not knowing the language which was more important than I tought, not all of them knew how to speak English, I accidentally found this little book that saved my life in some situations
I bought a paperback but I read somewhere that the e-book will be available again. I found it helpful, I hope you will too.

We are thinking of  moving  near Cagliari to retire. At the moment we live in the Hills of Turin.  My husband is Italian, I speak fluent Italian. we prefer the country side. I saw the Sette Fratelli area, which country but not far from Cagliari.
We are thinking of renting to begin with. Any sugestions of reliable agent. We would need a house with garden as we have 2 big dogs.
What are the winters like ?. as we are outdoor sporty ,it sounds a great place.
We are going there in June to suss out the area. We only know the North of Sardegna where we have spent many summer holidays..
Any advice on other areas would also be useful.

Sam , where are you originally from?
How long have you been living in  the sette fratelli area ?


As a native of Cagliari where I spent 19 years of my life I can give you an overview of what is like to live there:

Cagliari is a comune of around 160,000 but the actual city is much bigger and population is over 400,000 - this was because in the past centuries many areas were made independent towns and are now part of the metropolitan city.
As the capital of Sardinia and its biggest city (almost 1/3 of the Island's population lives in the metropolitan area of Cagliari) you will find that most services and offices are concentrated here, the city is big enough to have everything in terms of entertainment and necessities (cinemas, opera theatres, shops, malls, supermarkets, pharmacies, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and so-on).

Downtown area is the area is the area around the passenger harbor, Via Roma, where the townhall and the train station are. This area is known as "Marina" and you will find here all the upscale stores (from "La Rinascente" department store to "Via Manno" and "Via Garibaldi" with their boutiques), restaurants (both local Sardinian food and Italian or exotic cuisines (Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Korean, Thai, you can find most international restaurants). Corso vittorio Emanuele is also located close-by, here you'll find many restaurants as well as pubs and bars and it's one of the main nightlife areas of the city, particularly in winter. The old city is towering over the "Marina" neighborhood and is called "Castello" (Castle), here you have the cathedral, the medieval town with its walls and towers, the royal palace (the Savoia family used to be based here during the Napoleonic wars), as well as many monuments from Roman times (like the amphitheatre). It's a nice area to visit, with many churches and museums and the University of Cagliari has a few faculties here so there are a lot of students, including foreigners. Closeby you have Tuvixeddu hill (Cagliari was built on 7 hills, like Rome), where the largest Punic necropolis still standing is located.

The city is very safe, you can go around at night in most areas of the city. There are only a few areas you need to be careful when visiting: one is Sant'Elia neighborhood, where the Stadium is located (Cagliari football club plays in serie A if you like football), the other is San Michele, around the homonymous castle (you may visit the hill on top of which the castle is located, it's a nice park, the castle itself is now a museum).

One good thing of living in Cagliari is the climate, with over 300 days of sun and very mild winters you can enjoy 5 months of summer (May to September included). There are two main beaches, Poetto, a very long (8 km) beach that spans from the Sella del Diavolo hill, you have many cafes, bars and clubs on the promenade and the beach is  beautiful with white sand and clear waters and while inside the urban area not polluted (sea turtles nested here this summer and 200 turtles were born on this beach). Behind the Sella del Diavolo hill you also have Calamosca and Cala Fighera beaches, those are more protected coves with very beautiful crystal waters and are less crowded, there are also a couple of bars here such as "Le Terrazze" or "La Paillotte".

Cagliari is very close-by to some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia such as Villasimius (40 km), Mari Pintau (around 15 km) and Chia (50 Km), famous for their white sands and turquoise waters.

You have a lot of parks, such as Monte Urpinu (another hill), on top of it you have a very good view of the city and the bay. Cagliari is built around a wetland area called Molentargius, which is a protected natural reserve, pink flamingos nest here, one of the very few places in Europe and bird-watching is very popular.

Life is not expensive compared to similar sized cities in Italy, you can rent an apartment for 500 euro and cost of living is quite low. The mood is very relaxed in general, which makes the city very calm and relaxed but may be quite boring if you are used to the buzz of bigger cities. Public transportation is good, Cagliari has a modern fleet of buses and trolley buses as well as a tramway network, trains connect downtown to the airport as well as other main cities in the Island, buses to beaches and villages are available.

The main businesses in town are the Saras oil refinery, Tiscali (one of Italy's internet service providers), and several businesses in the food industry are located around the city: some famous wineries such as Argiolas, dairy companies (Sardinia is famous for sheep cheese: Pecorino Sardo, Pecorino romano, Fiore Sardo), Heineken has a local brewery (they purchased local beer Ichnusa), Coca Cola has a production site and Amazon has the Customer Service department, Huawei has a research center as well. All in all Cagliari is one of the cities in Southern Italy where you have the best chances of finding a job, however it was also affected by the 2008 crisis and still hasn't fully recovered. Wages are lower than in Northern Italy as well as EU's average, however cost of living is lower too.

Hope it helps...

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