In Cagliari, in the Castello district, you will find the ancient site of the Regio Arsenale (Royal Arsenal), dating back to the Savoy period, which is now, thanks to complex restructuring work that began in 1950, the Citadel of Museums, the greatest museum complex in Sardinia. Lose yourself completely in the archaeological, historical and artistic treasures of the island, mixed with unforgettable views of the city and the coast.
In the building complex, those that stand out are the Archaeological Museum, a journey back to prehistoric times and to the Byzantine age, with mother goddesses, Nuragic bronzes and Phoenician jewellery, and the National Picture Gallery, where various collections are kept. The 'prelude' is the Ethnographic Museum, where you will be astounded by the Sardinian artefacts and jewellery of the Cocco collection. Going further into the Picture Gallery, take some time to ponder over the details of the wonderful retables, ancient traditional Hispanic altarpieces, made by the Maestro di Castelsardo and by the Cagliari workshop of Pietro Cavaro. The expert hands of artisans have impressed the stories of saints onto wood, with elegant decorations and bright colours.
The first large exhibition centre was supplemented by various donations, among which an ethnographic collection, including splendid fabrics and furniture, pottery, arms and a bronze bird-shaped ewer (12th century), similar to another one kept at the Louvre in Paris. There are another two permanent exhibitions: the Clemente Susini Museum of Anatomical Waxes and the Stefano Cardu Siamese Museum, in which valuable pieces will accompany you on a virtual journey to the East.
The Citadel also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, as well as conferences and cultural events. Inside it, you will find green areas in which you can relax and admire the views of Cagliari from above. This visit will seem like (and is worth) a journey!