With all that is going on in the world today, it almost seems strange to continue with our popular City Guide series. However, since we are all stuck inside going stir crazy, maybe daydreaming of new destinations is just what we need. Our guest today is melodic techno producer Carlo Whale, hailing from Cagliari, a southern port city in Italy. Ahead of his forthcoming EP via Einmusika on April 10th, which you can pre-order here, we invited him for the latest installment of the series. Below, he takes us through his hometown, highlighting the local hotspots and more. Please note this was done prior to the lockdown.
Words Carlo Whale, photos by Anonickmouse
We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?
Sure we like it! There’s plenty of good places to have a drink in Cagliari, but my absolute favorite is Rafè Coffe & Shop. This is hands down one of the best in town when it comes to mixology, combining revisited classics and their own creations based on high-quality ingredients. Definitely a must for an Aperitivo or before a night out! Thinking about another good place to go for something easier and chilled, Old Square is the answer: craft beers and great music selection!
Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town? Photo n.02
The '80s and '90s were Cagliari’s golden age. The city hosted so many cool events, concerts and club nights, while nowadays there’s a lot of small clubs throwing mainly commercial parties. However, there are still some promoters making their way in the underground scene, like Basstation or Night Sounds which keep it on within the techno scene. Mood Club is one of the most rated venues, but my all favorite one is definitely La Paillote a gorgeous place on the beach of Calamosca. The setting is simply breathtaking and on summertime Sundays it becomes the perfect scenario for terrific house and techno parties with international guests for the likes of Claptone, Little Louie Vega, Hector Romero, David Morales and our own Dusty Kid.
Brunches are a weekend staple; which spots stand out to you?
When it comes to brunch, Le Palmette is the place to be! A terrace on the beach with a nice view and fine cuisine that worth a visit in winter as much as in summer. There’s also a place called Good, which is a nomen omen! The spot is known for “pinsa” which is something in between a pizza and a focaccia, usually without tomato sauce, enriched with all the kind of dressing that you can fantasize about.
Best dirty late-night street food option?
You can enjoy a very dirty sandwich (or, as we say, panino) from one of the countless food trucks (the raw ones, not the fancy ones) in the Poetto area.
If you’re looking for some sugar there is a nice pastry shop in San Benedetto which, while preparing the day after delicacies, opens its back door to the night warriors and sells treats like Nutella bomboloni. This place is a true Cagliari late-night tradition.
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Cagliari?
Oh, you kinda hit a nerve here! Unfortunately, nowadays we haven’t so many relevant spots for music shopping anymore; sadly, the market is not so crowded as it was used to be. However there’s one that is still fighting for resistance: Alta Fedeltà, you can find it in the central district of the city, near the Tribunal. Despite this, Cagliari can boast fairly high ratio of music producers, from amateurs to professionals, which are keeping things interesting! One of the direct consequences to this “abundance” is a quite thriving trade of secondhand music hardware.
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
Definitely the countryside. Especially on winter Sundays, when it’s easy to bump into country fair and fest with the finest local products and foods, you should give it a try! Even if I adore the countryside I can’t stay away from the sea for too long. I have my special and favourite hidden spots for a getaway which are Chia and Porto Paglia. They’re both quite far from the city, especially the second one, but there is where I love to go and be inspired by silence and nature. Once there, I often take the chance to make some good field recording that I like to play within my tracks, as I did with Lonely, to give you an example.
Something everyone should do when visiting Cagliari, but probably hasn’t?
Mercato di San Benedetto, which is simply the biggest indoor food market in town. You’ll find any kind of local goods, from the finest freshly fished seafood to our great variety of cheese and charcuterie. Sardinian people are always warm and friendly and especially there you will always feel welcome, although you might have some lost-in-translation troubles. If you feel adventurous, I’d definitely recommend a trip to Sella del Diavolo, a cliff overlooking the sea on the Poetto beach, which shape reminds of a saddle. The path is easy and it takes 2 hours to walk, but once there, you’ll enjoy the best view ever!
If you’re lazy and prefer to stay in the city centre, Bastione Saint Remy is the place for you, great historical place with 360 degrees view on the whole city and seaside.
A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city? (If not originally from this city, a song that reminds you of when you first moved here)
Mi Ritorni In Mente by Lucio Battisti, one of the greatest Italian singers and songwriters of all time. I remember when my parents used to play it softly out of the living room stereo on sunny Sunday mornings.
What are other great exports that come from Cagliari?
It may sound weird, but one of the most famous Sardinian products is the casu martzu, which is basically ultra-aged cheese with worms. I know it sounds disgusting, but it tastes amazing, you can’t really leave Cagliari without giving him a chance! We also have great wines and canteens, such as Cannonau and Carignano del Sulcis.
A gift you can’t leave Cagliari without taking home for friends?
Anything but the sand from our beaches, that has been a very popular souvenir for years and now became illegal to preserve our natural environment.
I’d say honey. We’re famous for having a great honey production and it’s always a nice present. Or a Gigi Riva jersey, our local hero who brought the Cagliari football team to the national title in 1970!