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Alghero
L'Alguer
—  Comune  —
Comune di Alghero

Coat of arms
Alghero is located in Italy
Alghero
Location of Alghero in Italy
Coordinates: 40°33′N 08°19′E / 40.55°N 8.317°E / 40.55; 8.317
Country Italy
Region Sardinia
Province Sassari (SS)
Frazioni Fertilia, Guardia Grande, I Piani, Loretella, Maristella, Sa Segada, Santa Maria La Palma, Tramariglio, Villassunta
Government
 - Mayor Marco Tedde (since 10 June 2002)
Area
 - Total 224.43 km2 (86.7 sq mi)
Elevation 7 m (23 ft)
Population (1 January 2009)
 - Total 43,831
 Density 195.3/km2 (505.8/sq mi)
 - Demonym Algheresi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 07041
Dialing code 079
Patron saint St. Michael
Saint day 29 September
Website Official website

Alghero (l'Alguer [ləlˈɣe] in Catalan and S'Alighèra in Sardinian), is a town of about 42,000 inhabitants (down from 54,300 inhabitants since early 20th century) in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the sea.

Contents

History

Nuraghe Palmavera near Alghero.

The area of today's Alghero was settled since pre-historical times. The so-called Ozieri culture was present here in the 4th millennium BCE while the Nuraghe civilisation was present from around 1500 BC for, and traces of, Phoenician buildings have been found not far from the city.

Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea, Alghero was born around a fortified port, founded around 1102 by the Genoese Doria family. The Doria ruled it for centuries, apart from a brief period under the rule of Pisa (1283-1284). In 1353 it was captured by the Aragonese under Bernardo de Cabrera, and could later grow thanks to the arrival of Catalan colonists: in the early 16th century Alghero received the status of King's City (ciutat de l'Alguer) and developed economically.

The Catalano-Aragonese were followed by the Habsburgs Spain, whose dominion, ended in 1702, brought some decadence to the city. In 1720 Alghero and Sardinia were handed over to the Piedmont based House of Savoy. Around 1750 a wide channel was excavated to improve the defensive stand of the peninsula. In 1821 famine led to a revolt of the population, which was bloodily suppressed. At the end of the same century Alghero was de-militarized and, during the Fascist era, part of the surrounding marshes was reclaimed and the suburbs of Fertilia and S.M. La Palma were founded, although the presence of malaria in the countryside was finally overcome in the 1950s. During World War II (1943) Alghero was bombed, and its historical centre suffered heavy damage.

After the end of the war Alghero became a popular tourist resort.

Language

A minority of people in Alghero speak a Catalan dialect, introduced when Catalan invaders repopulated the town after expelling the autochthonous Sardinian population in 1372. Catalan was replaced as the official language by Spanish in the 17th century, then by Italian. The most recent linguistic research conducted showed that 22.4% of the population speak Algherese Catalan as a first language and around 90% have some understanding of the language.

Currently, there has been a revival of the arts in Algherese Catalan, with notable singers as Franca Masu performing original compositions in the local dialect.[1]

Main sights

The beach in Alghero.
A street in Alghero.
  • Palazzo Carcassona.
  • Alghero Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Immacolata di Alghero). Begun in 1570, it was opened in 1593 but finished and consecrated only in 1730. The church original was in Catalan-Gothic style, as it can be seen in the five chapels of the presbytery, which also include the base of the bell tower. The nave and the two aisles are instead in Late Renaissance style. In the 20th century a Neo-Classical narthex was added to the façade, changing abruptly its appearance.
  • The church of St. Francis (1360, rebuilt in the late 16th century). Original Catalan-Gothic parts can be seen over the high altar, the presbytery chapels and the San Sacramento Chapel. The bell tower is from the first half of the 16th century.
  • The church of St. Michael.
  • The Madonna del Santo Rosario.
  • The Torre del Portal, built at the expense of the Jewish community of Alghero in 1360, and the Tower dell'Esperò Reial (16th century).
  • Palazzo D'Albis (16th century), a typical example of Catalan-Aragonese architecture of the 16th century. In the October 1541 it housed the Emperor Charles V.
  • Neptune's Grotto
  • Porto Conte
  • Capo Caccia

The area northwest of Alghero Bay with Porto Conte and the relatives Punta Giglio and Capo Caccia limestone promontory offer several fields of study and activities, from geology to biology studies and researches, to sport and adventures like caving scuba diving and cave-diving, trekking and climbing. There are more than 300 discovered caves upon and under water and semisubmerged. Neptune's Grotto is the most famous and visited, thanks to the accessibility and connection by ferries and stepped path from land. Underwater the Nereo Cave, considered the biggest and spectacular marine underwater cave of the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, is the most visited by scuba-divers.

Some 100 Nuraghe remains can be seen in the neighbouring areas of Sant'Imbenia (including also a Phoenician necropolis and Roman remains near the airport of Alghero), Palmavera and Anghelu Ruju.

Books

About Alghero one of the world best seller in the 1930's years, was the book of the swedish writer Amelie Posse Brazdova "Sardinia side show", where she report the complete story of the 2 years passed "interned" in the old fashionable town, during World War I.

See also

References

  1. ^ Songs in Algherese available on official website francamasu.com

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Italy : Sardinia : Alghero

Alghero is a beautiful destination in Sardinia, Italy. It is best known for its beautiful beaches, very good food at reasonable prices, and its catalan origin, in fact it was known in the past as little Barcelona.

Get in

Alghero is serviced by several airlines including:

  • Air One
  • Ryanair

Get around

By train

There is a station about fifteen minutes walking distance from the center of the town and marina. To get to the town from the station simply turn left out of the station on Don Minzoni, go straight for five blocks or so until you hit the beach and go left along Via Garibaldi. Alghero station runs trains operated by Ferrovie della Sardenia, not to be confused with Ferrovie dello Stato (Trenitalia). These are two separate companies, and you will have to take one of the many daily 35-minute trains from Alghero to Sassari in order to catch a connecting train operated by Trenitalia to another destination such as Cagliari. Tickets must be purchased separately at their respective stations. Ticket price Alghero-Sassari is Eur2.20. Sassari-Cagliari at standard fare second class will run you Eur13.65 each way. No student or age discounts.

By bus

There is a direct bus from Cagliari to Alghero. It costs €20 and takes 3.5 hours

See

The Palazzo d’Albis is a worthwhile historical site.

Don't miss Neptune's Grotto located at Cappo Caccia, a vast grotto reachable by boat trip. However, on bad weather days you can`t take the boat. Hiring a scooter is a fun way of getting there! It takes about 45 minutes, and on the way there, you should stop for lunch at Ristorante La Nuvola (about 35-minute drive from Alghero towards the Cappo Caccia, just on the right side of the road). When you arrive at the Cappo Caccia, it takes about 10 minutes to walk down to Neptune`s Grotto, and it is worth the view! 10 euros entry is paid at the entrance of the cave, and you get a half-hour guided tour in the cave in Italian, English and German. There is also the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju and Nuraghe Palmavera, two of the most important archeological sites of Sardinia.

Do

This historic town has become one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Sardinia. The car free narrow lanes of the atmospheric old town contain numerous bars and cafes whilst the restaurants are renowned for excellent seafood. The surrounding area brings many delights for those who venture out of the city. These include the famous beaches at La Pelosa - Stintino, the eerily abandoned mining town of Argentiera and the ancient palace complex at Nuraghe di Palmavera.

The coastal road south of Alghero is beautiful, an unspoilt and protected panorama of sparkling sea, lush vegetation and rocky mountains. It leads to Bosa, a small medieval town, which has a distinctive and living historic centre and many points of interest. Bosa is an ideal spot for a relaxing holiday, as it is friendly and has a character and economy which is not based solely on tourism.

  • Scuba diving - The area with the Marine Reserve is one of the best dive destination in Europe.
  • Caving
  • Climbing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Hunting
  • Archeology
  • Botany
  • Pintadera is a language school offering a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for learning the Italian language and gaining a unique insight into Sardinian culture. The school is located in a picturesque alley in the heart of the old town. The group courses have between 3 and 6 persons and the four hours each morning are divided between two teachers - one is in charge of the grammar and the other of the communications. So, you learn the rules and regulations in the first part of the class and how to apply them in the second. It's a very effective method. For further information.

Eat

As in most parts of Italy food in Alghero is an important thing. The town's fishing port provides seafood fresh from the sea. Make sure that you try Catalan lobster, lobster salad with raw tomatoes and onion. Ricci (sea urchins) are also very popular in Alghero with a festival being held in their honor around febraio sagra"Boga Marin".

Drink

Take in the beautiful views at cafe Latino located on the battlements overlooking the harbour. There are also lots of late night bars on the lungomare valencia that get going at around about midnight. Local drinks are Limoncello, Mirto and some local wines that they serve in all restaurants.

Sleep

There are a whole number of possibilities for accommodation in Alghero from bed and breakfasts to Agroturismos(farm stays) and hotels. You can pick up a list of B&Bs at the friendly Tourist Information office. In the offseason, rates range from E25 - E50 for one person. Expect prices to double in July and August. If you want to book something on line, contact stay@algherorelax.info - they offer some very special apartments in and around the old town at very competitive prices.

  • Aigua Alghero (aigua alghero), old town alghero ambrogio machin , 22, +39 340 0777688 english contact +39 3395912476 (). Typical architecture Latin Euro: 60-100.  edit
  • Villa Las Tronas Hotel & Spa (Hotel Villa Las Tronas - 5 star), Lungomare Valencia, 1, +39 079 981818 (). checkin: 15 p.m.; checkout: 12 p.m.. Once the residence of Italian Royalty during their holidays in Sardinia, Las Tronas conserves the historic atmosphere of the aristocratic buen retiro, renewing the tradition and charm of the ancient residence. A spectacular position, on the sea-shore. A peaceful, exclusive oasis on a private headland. Euro: 220-450.  edit
  • El Faro Hotel (El Faro Hotel), Porto Conte, 52, Alghero, +39 079 942 010. checkin: 15 p.m.; checkout: 12 p.m.. Luxury seafront hotel strategically located in Porto Conte Bay. The 5-star hotel has the shape of an ocean liner, with its stern laid down on the rocks, enriched by Spanish-style arches and balconies. min €190 - max € 350.  edit

Get out

Capo Caccia - see Neptune's Grotto, which includes the "Goat's Staircase" and under water the limestone cliffs continue creating the most vaste underwater marine cave system, Nereo Cave is the bigger and famous with its huge halls and tunnels.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ALGHERO, a seaport and episcopal see on the W. coast of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari, 21 m. S.S.W. by rail from the town of Sassari. Pop. (1901) 10,77 9. The see was founded in 1503, but the cathedral itself dates from the 12th century, though it has been reconstructed. The town was strongly fortified by medieval walls, which have to some extent been demolished. It was originally founded by the Doria family of Genoa about 1102, but was occupied by the house of Aragon in 1 354, who held it successfully against various attacks until it fell to the house of Savoy with the rest of Sardinia in 1720. Catalonian is still spoken here. Charles V. visited Alghero on his way to Africa in 1541. The coral and fishing industries are the most important in Alghero, but agriculture has made some progress in the district, which produces good wine. There is a large penal establishment containing over 700 convicts. Seven miles to the W.N.W. is the fine natural harbour of Porto Conte, secure in all weather, and on the W. of this harbour is the Capo Caccia, with two stalactite grottos, the finest of which, the Grotta di Nettuno, is accessible only from the sea. The important prehistoric necropolis of Anghelu Ruju was excavated in 1904 62 m. N. of Alghero (Notizie degli Scavi, 1904, 301 seq.).


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