Poetto many years ago

The history of Poetto, one of the dearest and most frequented beaches in Cagliari, is a long and turbulent one. In 1912 they introduced the first steam trolley car which took people from the city centre to the beach. This innovation started the opening of the first bathing establishment.

The newspapers of that period describe it as a beautiful beach, a sweep of white sand lapped by a limpid sea and scattered with bathing huts known as “casotti”. They built pile dwelling huts along the shore, to lodge both people from Cagliari and tourists who came to the beach and stayed there for a few days. It is an evocative indelible image in the heart of people who saw the birth of Poetto, but now it can only be a memory. Those huts were destroyed in 1985 to obey an order of demolition by the port captain’s office and they were not reconstructed any more.

The deterioration of the beach went hand in hand with the building of a new residential area just behind the shore. The massive and  sometimes indiscriminate use of sand as a building material seriously damaged the seaside and arouse bitter controversy, but luckily these problems haven’t really affected the deep and long lasting relation of people from Cagliari with their beach, more than 7 km. of coast below Sella del Diavolo headland (the Saddle of the Devil)which gave its name to the Lido, too. Maybe its origin depends on the so called “Torre del Poeta” (the poet’s tower), an Aragonese building whose ruins are  still visible today just on the promontory known as  “Sella del Diavolo”.