Situated in the north-western coast of Sardinia, Alghero lies in a propitious position; it is 300 miles far from Spain, just in front of Barcelona, in the direction of the prevailing winds, the West Wind and the Mistral, but at the same time, it is sheltered from the northern winds by two promontories: Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio.
History and culture
According to historians the origins of the town date back to the first half of the 11th century when the influential Doria family from Genova fortified a fishing village along the north west coast of Sardinia. It was called L'Aleguerium due to the large quantities of sea vegetables up on the shores by the currents. Thanks to its geographical position Alghero held a very important role in trading in the Mediterranean, therefore it had to be defended frequently by the Genovese from the attacks of Pisan and Aragonese ships. The town remained Genovese until 1353, when the Catalan-Aragonese allied to the Venetians were victors against the Genovese Admiral Antonio Grimaldi at a naval battle just off Porto Conte, thus occupying the stronghold. In November 1354 Pietro IV of Aragon, known as the "Cerimonioso" or "Punyalet" repopulated Alghero with Catalans forcing the Sardinians and the Ligurians to flee. At the same time the town became part of the Kingdom of Aragon and remained such for four centuries, first under Catalan domination and then Spanish. Alghero today, conserves the characteristics of the Catalan-Aragonese period, which can be saw in the architecture of the churches, of the buildings and of the fortifications and also in the Catalan language which is still spoken.
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