Cagliari, Sardinia

Cagliari, Sardinia

This week I’m in the Sardinian capital of Cagliari to talk Italian gelato, hidden terraces, and maggot filled cheese with local Simona Campidano.

So, you’ve brought me to your favourite cafe/bar – tell me about it.
The bar is Bar Centrale, it is a pretty typical kind of bar, but what makes this one different is the location. The bar is in Piazza Yenne, one of my favourite places in town. It’s a lovely square in the heart of the city, which in summer is very lively and vibrant. Next to Bar Centrale is also one of my favourite ice-cream places – L’Isola del Gelato. No doubt this is why I like it so much!

Mmm… this is good, what are we drinking?
A real Italian espresso of course, and we’ll finish it up with a mirto – a typical Sardinian liqueur made from the myrtle plant. You cannot find this anywhere else, so I’d definitely try it whilst in Sardinia. We usually have it very cold from the freezer, at the end of the meals and after a good coffee.

What are your favourite local dishes?
Oh, there are so many! Malloreddusu, which is a very particular Sardinian pasta, usually eaten with tomato sauce, sausages and Sardinian pecorino cheese. I also love culurgiones, a kind of ravioli filled with potatoes and cheese, and proceddu, which is roasted pork. Obviously pizza too, which you can find all over Italy.

And where would you suggest I go to find these?
I would suggest Ristorante Ippodromo, which is close to the beach and serves delicious food. For pizza definitely try Pizzeria Roma in Cagliari’s city centre. It has been there for decades, and serves the best pizzas in town! And don’t forget some real gelati at the place I mentioned before, or at Peter Pan in Roma St.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining, what’s the best thing to do on a day like today?
Very easy. Whether is summer or winter, you should head to Poetto Beach. From June to September you better bring your swimming suit and a towel with you, while the rest of the year you can enjoy a lovely lunch on the beach like a local!

And if it rains?
Cagliari has a lot of museums, churches and galleries that are worth a visit, but one of my favourite things to do in the rain is to sit in one of the bars on Roma Street and enjoy a warm drink while you watch passers by.

If there’s one thing I should do while I’m here, what is it?
Try cazu marzu, it’s a kind of cheese filled with maggots that is apparently considered one of the most dangerous and weirdest foods in the whole world, but I actually love it!

Give me a local tip that other tourists wouldn’t usually know…
There is a beautiful place called La Paillotte, which is literally a terrace overlooking the sea. It has a restaurant and bar, and during summer nights it becomes a club too, with access to a small white stone beach. You get a gorgeous view and awesome cocktails too.