Alghero, in the north west of the Italian island of Sardinia, is probably one of the island’s most attractive coastal resorts. It has a distinctive Catalan character with a lovely location, an old walled town with a labyrinth of narrow lanes by the sea front and a thriving marina.
Alghero has truly ancient roots, starting with the Late Neolithic Ozieri village dwellers and farmers whose necropolis is at nearby Anghelu Ruju. Later (from 1500 BC) the Nuraghic patriarchal warrior society who’s circular stone towers are present throughout Sardinia, dominated. The town’s modern era begun in 1102, when the Genoese Dorian family founded the fortified old town (present currently) and ruled until 1353.
Aragonese and Venetians then defeated these Genoans at Porto Conte. Catalan settlement through mass migration from Spain followed, imparting the town’s distinctive Spanish feel. The House of Savoy ruled from 1720 and the town declined until the fascist era, followed by heavy destruction during WW2. However, to its credit, the town has slowly built itself up and preserved its best features since that time.
Enjoy a stroll along the city walls and stone alleyways behind the Cathedral in the old town, while taking in the views towards forlorn Cappo Caccia. There are also many wonderful buildings of historic interest in the centre, some pretty churches, as well as a good selection of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants with excellent seafood.
There are several day trips possible from Alghero. Neptune’s Grotto, 15 km to the West on the peninsula of Capo Caccia and is one of the most astounding caves in Italy. Stintino, at the north western tip of Sardinia, is famed for its excellent beaches.
Venturing South of Alghero along the beautiful coastline of Oristano, eventually leads to the medieval town of Bosa. Industrial archaeology in Sardinia is represented by the Argentiera abandoned mine, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Posted : Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 13:13
Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.