Taking on the steep ascent is no easy task, but it’s certainly worth the effort, because from the top the view is truly breathtaking.
Built in the early 14th century and designed by the great architect of the time, Giovanni Capula, the Tower has served several functions over the centuries.
It was commissioned by the Pisans, who were occupying the island in that period, to defend against attacks by the Aragonese.
It then became a residence for rich Aragonese families, before being transformed into, respectively, a prison, a magazine and an armoury.
Today, it is one of the most famous symbols of Cagliari, and it is impossible not to discern its presence as you walk through the old town. It is located at the entrance to the Castello quarter, and remains that quarter’s most ancient and evocative gateway. Restored in the early 20th century, it has reached the modern age entirely intact, and even contains part of its ancient barricades.
On the southern façade, and still in excellent condition, is the statue of the elephant that gives the tower its name, along with the coats-of-arms of the Pisan castellans of Cagliari.