Alghero

Mettiti comodo, Il tuo viaggio verso la Riviera del Corallo inizia ora.

Alghero

Mettiti comodo, Il tuo viaggio verso la Riviera del Corallo inizia ora.

History

First established as a prosperous Nuragic village, Alghero saw the Punics and Romans come and go, developing a solid economy in the process. The city was an essential staging post, well-known to merchants travelling from the main trading ports of the ancient world.

 

But to chart the origins of Aleguerium and of the fortified city as we recognise it today, we must return to the first half of the 12th century.

 

 

In 1102, the Genoese House of the Doria, fortified what was a small fishing village on the north-western coast of the island and, shortly thereafter, made Alghero a military landing place and a trading centre of considerable strategic importance in the Mediterranean.

 

The political vicissitudes that saw every aspect of the city transformed occurred under the domination of the Crown of Aragon.  Within the city walls, the Aragonese reigned supreme for a full four centuries, during which time Alghero enjoyed substantial economic wellbeing. The port reached the apex of its splendour in this period, becoming a royal city and a bishop’s seat, gradually developing a geopolitical position markedly different from that of the rest of the island.

 

The Catalan colonisation left an indelible imprint on the customs of the city, and on the language of its inhabitants, who – to this day – still use and proudly pass down their ancient llengua (language). The first important turning point came in 1700, when Alguer (the Catalan name for Alghero) passed into the hands of the Austrians, before subsequently falling into Castillian hands. In 1720, Sardinia swore allegiance to the new king, Victor Amadeus II.

 

The Savoy regime saw Alghero undergo further changes: the focus of the agricultural landscape was shifted from the cultivation of vines to the cultivation of olives; the Piedmontese discovered the trade in the highly prized coral that abounded along the Riviera; and the port became a hub for the exportation of foodstuffs bound for the Italian peninsula.

 

Alghero’s profile as a military stronghold continued to lessen, as the city’s vocation for tourism began to grow, with visitors becoming ever more fascinated by its Catalan character. Towards the mid-19th century, in a calmer political and economic climate, the city’s productivity was boosted and the population increased accordingly.