Cagliari is home of the University of Cagliari, the first university in Sardinia, founded in 1620. Cagliari has some peculiar gastronomic traditions. Many dishes are based on the wide variety of fish and sea food available, for example, burrida. Although it is possible to trace influences from Spanish cuisine, Cagliaritanian food has a distinctive and unique character. Very good wines are also part of Cagliaritanians' dinners: excellent wines are in fact produced in the nearby vineyards of the Campidano plain.
Life in Cagliari has been depicted by many writers, such as Giulio Angioni, Giorgio Todde, and vividly by Sergio Atzeni, who set many of his novels and short stories, such as Bakunin's Son, in ancient and modern Cagliari.
The Basilica of Bonaria in Cagliari gives its name to Buenos Aires. The Spaniard who founded Buenos Aires visited the church of Bonaria (fair winds) and asked for help from the Mary of Bonaria, to whom the church is dedicated. The church faces the sea and was allegedly built where a sailor landed after the Mary of Bonaria appeared in the midst of a tempest and saved the sailor and his ship from sinking.
It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cagliari.
The main opera house of Sardinia, Teatro Lirico, has its quarters in Cagliari