Talk of marketing draws one back to the town centre, where shops and stalls inevitably comprise a fundamental component. Cagliari's shopkeepers as a rule are not content merely to ‘keep’: they propose their wares. Fortunately though, they wait to do this until you are inside their emporia, unlike their pushier counterparts in, say, Naples or Rome, who will clamour for your custom out on the pavement. You don't risk being a victim of such off-putting selling techniques when out and about in Cagliari, an altogether more laid back experience. And one too that gives you the chance to meet and observe the local citizenry.
Except for the inevitable grumpy kins with a communication problem, people in Cagliari are polite and friendly - pleased, for example, to answer a puzzled tourist's queries, and probably greatly amused to gossip later about their encounter! Cagliaritani look good too. With their dark radiant complexions, neat well-proportioned physiques, Pepsodental smiles and possessed of a natural grace, gravitas and poise (as D.H. Lawrence noted when he visited Sardinia ninety years ago) wandering around Cagliari is as satisfying aesthetically as it is socially.
While Cagliari can be a feast for the eye and the soul, it is also for the nose. Cagliari likes its food, is prepared to pay for it, and is adept at cooking it. This means lots of delicious smells and aromas, and not only as you pass a restaurant or a trattoria but also when exploring those areas of central Cagliari where people are still living. Fish being grilled over little charcoal fires outside a shadowy doorway in Castello; the sweet reek of browning garlic wafting from the open window of an invisible kitchen in Stampace. But most evocative of all perhaps are the mingling smells of the tomato sugo being prepared for a bowl of pasta. A nexus of a centuries old culinary tradition and present necessity: one must eat to survive but let's eat in a certain way so as to survive in a certain way! Cagliari understands this as it hopes its visitors will too...
So come and see for yourself! This southern city will not disappoint.

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