Cagliari is called Casteddu (literally the castle) in Sardinian language. It has about 165,000 inhabitants, or about 300,000 with its suburbs (metropolitan area) (Elmas, Pirri, Quartucciu, Quartu Sant'Elena).
It was a substantial Phoenician trading town (under the name of Karalis). It passed with the rest of the island to Rome in 238 BCE. Subsequently ruled in turn by the Vandals, Byzantine empire, Genoa, Pisa, Aragon (during the Catalan domination the city was named CÓller), Spain and briefly Austria, it came under the duchy of Piedmont in 1720. From the 1870s the city experienced a century of rapid growth.