Cagliari is the main city and port on Sardinia (or Sardegna), an Autonomous Region (island) off Italy's central Mediterranean coast. At the innermost point on the southern Gulf of Angels, Calgiari was founded by Phoenicians in the 9th century B.C., who named it Karalis -- meaning rocky place.
Cagliari's tumultuous history owes to Sardinia's being coveted by every power ever to set sail on the Mediterranean. The island is blessed with a strategic location and fertile volcanic soil. Calgliari flourished especially under Pisan rule during the Middle Ages, evidenced by the city's castle, towers, and many beautiful churches.
While Cagliari's Castello (castle) district may look a little worse for the wear these days, the city still has great appeal for tourists. Local cultural attractions include Italy's National Archaeology Museum and the University of Cagliari.
Shipping and fishing play surprisingly minor economic roles in Sardinia, where agriculture, mining, petrochemical production, and tourism are the main industries. Sardinia is famous for its wines and cheeses, and the island is a boon for anyone who enjoys tromping around prehistoric ruins.