A parallel city exists inside modern-day Cagliari, partially set into the urban weave and entirely visible, and partially hidden from sight. Cagliari’s thousands of years of history is a constant journey of discovery, to be studied, to be admired. Karales was one of the most important – if not the most important – Roman city of Sardinia. Set in a strategic position, it was an essential stop on the Mediterranean Sea and a flourishing city of commerce during Rome’s Imperial Age. Its original Phoenician name was Karalis, bearing witness to the town of vicus Karalis built adjacent to the pre-existing Punic city just after the Roman conquest of Sardinia in 238 BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, its name changed from the singular (Karalis) to the plural (Karales) indicating that the two cities had become one single urban centre. The city’s architecture then underwent further change partly due to Roman emperor Octavian’s statute, the municipium Julium civium Romanorum (38 BCE). During Rome’s Imperial Age, it enjoyed a tremendous burst of urban development with the construction of public buildings and private residences.