About the city

About the city

Sardinia is the second largest island (23813 Km2) of the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous region in Italy, which belongs to the European Union. Its capital is Cagliari, a town of nearly 300.000 inhabitants, situated in the extreme south of the island.

Alghero is one of the most important cities of Sardinia. It’s situated on the north-west coast and, thanks to the Airport located nearby Fertilia, happens to be one of the gateways to the island. Further, it’s considered the capital of the Coral Riviera (Riviera del Corallo in Italian) because the waters of its roadstead have plenty of red coral colonies of the most precious and finest quality. This coral is still harvested by coral divers whom, together with manufacturing and selling, make this business very important from both a cultural and economic perspective. The coral branch has also been put in the City coat of arms.

Additionally, Alghero is a fortified city and it is considered a pure architectural jewel. The promontories of Capo Caccia and Punta del Giglio protect it from cold winds of the North, while the neighboring hills constitute a barrier against the southern and oriental winds. Founded around the twelfth century by the genoese Doria’s family, it was won next century by the Catalonian which entered the city in August 1353. From 1354, the city has been repopulated thanks to the arrival as a whole of Catalan populations which from their earth of origin brought their traditions, their culture, and their language with which they maintain even numerous relations of exchange today.

To be admired are the remains of the medieval wall: The Towers of Porta Terra, S. Giovanni, S. Giacomo, and dello Sperone. The latter rises on a lovely tree-lined avenue. Walking along the impressive ancient streets of the old centre, one comes across the The Cathedral of S. Maria, with its magnificent bell tower and impressive portal, and its neo-classic facade, added in 1820. Then, there is the Church della Misericordia and, above all, the Church of S. Francesco that, with the adjacent Romanesque cloister and the bell tower, all in sand stone, makes it the most important monument of the city. The 17th century bastions are another must-have walk, in order to enjoy the magnificent view towards the north, dominated by the headlands of Capo Caccia and Punta del Giglio. Also, near the port can be seen the small Polveriera Tower and the Bastion della Maddalena.

Leaving in the direction of Porto Conte, after passing the hamlet of Fertilia, it can be visited the imposing Palmavera Nuraghe, one of the most interesting of the Island, with two towers and an adjoining Nuragic village. The road passes along the coast of Porto Conte, a large bay and natural port which can be said to be the most beautiful of Sardinia, formed by Punta del Giglio and Capo Caccia. Farther north the road continues to Capo Caccia.

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