WHAT TO SEE IN CAGLIARI: Devil’s saddle and promontory of Capo Sant’Elia
For sea enthusiasts, the Devil’s saddle and the promontory of Capo Sant’Elia are among of what to see in Cagliari.
Cagliari is settled right where the flatland Campidano ends in front of the Mediterranean sea. Between the flatland and the sea we can find two wet areas on both sides of the city: the Santa Gilla lagoon and the marsh of Molentargius, and the pond of Salt marshes of Quartu S. Elena.
Apart from the salt works you can see Poetto and the sea. The Promontory that delimits the beach on the right is called Sella del diavolo (devil’s saddle) and it is part of the limestone promontory of Capo Sant’Elia that separates Poetto beach from the port. It’s easy to understand why it was given this name: in fact this limestone high ground resembles a saddle.
A legend tells that Lucifer’s saddle fell during a battle between angels and demons. The angels had received this gulf as a gift from the Lord and the demons were trying to take possession of it. The angels won the battle thanks to the Archangel Michele who cut the strap on Lucifer’s saddle throwing him off his horse.
The promontory of Sella del diavolo and its surroundings have been for long considered strategic sites: sort of natural fortifications against hostile actions from the sea. This was certainly not their purpose but they worked as protection for the natural environment. On the promontory we can still enjoy the thick Mediterranean bush and some deserted coves accessible only on foot. The cliffs and the sea have saved their ecosystem alive and vital. The sea in front of Poetto beach is also a lively environment. Even at a few meters from the shore we can find striped bream, sole fish and starfish. Further in high waters we can find much bigger fish.