Lonely Planet review for Il Castello
The precipitous white stone walls of medieval Cagliari, with two of the grand Pisan towers still standing, enclose what has always been known as Il Castello. The Sardinians call it Su Casteddu, a term they also use to describe the whole city. The walls are best admired from afar - one good spot is the Roman amphitheatre across the valley to the west.
Inside the battlements, the medieval city reveals itself like Pandora's box. The university, cathedral, museums and Pisan palaces are wedged into a jigsaw of narrow high-walled alleys. Once the stately residence of officials, the old town is now strung together by lines of washing, with the shops shuttered and many of the houses in a sorry state of repair. Still, some modest restoration is taking place, and a tight-knit community of artists and students is slowly making the area fashionable again.