ALGHERO: A TASTE OF ROMANCE

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ALGHERO  – A TASTE OF ROMANCE

Everybody loves Italy for its tranquil lifestyle, delicious food and historical treasures. The most popular destinations are surely world-wide known, however, not many travellers get the chance to visit this very unique historical pearl with an extraordinary romantic ambience. Alghero; an ancient town found on the North-West coast of the magnificent Island  Sardinia.

Port of Alghero

This idyllic island with year-around nice weather attracts visitors by its pristine turquoise waters and free wilderness but there is much more then that hidden in its implicit isolation, a marvellous historical and cultural patrimony that nowhere else in the island you can find more than in Alghero;  town which once belonged to the Crown of Aragon in the Spanish Empire.

ASTONISHING PORT OF ALGHERO

I travelled in Sardinia many times in my life, yet somehow always missed visiting Alghero. This time I did not want to skip this interesting place at any condition. So, after landing in the capital Cagliari me and my girlfriend headed out to the North right away. Driving up the West coast of Sardinia took us around 3 hours and we arrived in Alghero. I parked the car at the main car park  “Parcheggio Viale della Pace” situated a walking distance from the old town. You will definitely not regret leaving your car there and walk along the waterfront towards the main port on foot.

Alghero waterfront

Views  from the Harbour front are phenomenal and it almost makes you feel like living in the middle of ‘500 when the locals would await the merchant ships from the top of numerous towers surrounding the town. Streets and lanes are  full of both, Sardinians and tourists walking, chatting and dining at a very slow relaxed pace. Mostly families and couples are to be seen and after being part of it I realized that I was not the only one feeling the incredibly romantic atmosphere of this special place.

Alghero harbour front

STRIKING SPANISH INFLUENCE IN THE OLD TOWN

After the staggering scenery at the harbour we were curious about what was hiding behind the mighty city walls. The old town has got a very unique character and its medieval architecture will instantly amaze you. Alghero manifests a very impressive pedestrian area dotted with stylish boutique shops, antique churches and charming restaurants.

Between the walls of the historic town of Alghero it seems that you are walking somewhere in the middle of Andalucía. In fact, Alghero was founded by the “Doria” family from Genoa but in the middle of the 14th century the town was conquered by Spaniards and they evidently left here their footprint. You will quickly notice that the streets are first named in Catalan and then in Italian language. Local dialect is incredibly similar to the ancient “Spanish one” as they explained us at the  Tourist Information Centre.

Back street of Alghero

Do not miss out on visiting the imposing “Santa Maria Cathedral” and  the historic towers surrounding  the township: “Torre San Giacomo”, “Torre dello Sperone”,  “Torre della Polveriera”, “Torre di Sant’Erasmo” and “Torre della Maddalena”;  the view from there is just jaw-dropping.

 ALGHERO`S  TRADITIONAL HANDWORK

Now, let` s  get back to shops. I have never seen so many eye-catching shop windows and workshops in my entire life. Alghero is famous for its art and handcraft  and  now I know why. Having seen all that wonderful detailed and precise craft work, fashionable bags, purses, wallets and quirky earrings, necklaces and bracelets, all that artistry left me literally speechless. The most popular appeared to be the goldsmith` s art  which uses mainly gold, silver and coral to create very distinctive jewels.  Worth of mentioning is also Alghero` s pottery which goes to prehistoric times, as well as weaving and tailoring. Carpets, covers, curtains and towels are produced utilizing amazing designs and weaving techniques .

Local tailor workshop in Alghero

 

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AN  UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT IN ALGHERO

I spent my first evening in Alghero enjoying a delightful view of the horizon from Torre San Giacomo at sunset with my beloved one and we will surely remember this moment for ever. Reflecting on beauty of this world and  how wonderful life is in its simplicity, my mind got so lost in contemplation, when suddenly, a subtle “whiff” of grilled seafood pleasantly interrupted my deep thoughts and I realized that I was starving. There we go, it’s time to find a nice restaurant to keep the romance going!

Alghero, Torre San Giacomo

 

Actually,  If you happen to be Alghero  you will almost immediately realize how difficult it is to decide where to eat. Every restaurant exhales charm, grace, passion and romance at the same time and the irresistible fragrance of delicious foods makes it unbelievably hard to choose a restaurant where to spend an intimate night.

It took us a good hour cruising around the town  before we finally took a decision and walked in the “Osteria Barcellonetta”. Thanks to a nice gesture of the owner, who invited us to taste a glass of prosecco when passing by his restaurant, we finally took a seat outside in the middle of a small square. The sound of church bells and the scent of food coming from the kitchen besieged us completely and we surrendered.  A candle on the table supported the grace of the night and we felt like living our own fairytale.

A SECRET BLEND OF SPANISH AND ITALIAN COOKERY

Although the Spanish influence in this part of Sardinia is quite obvious, Alghero is still an Italian town and guess what? It has one of the best food I have ever tried; trust me I am Italian!  One can find an outstanding mixture between Italian, Spanish, Arabic and the local Sardinian cuisine. The unique combination of these  ingredients not to be found anywhere else in the world will certainly not leave you disappointed.

Italian dining is very particular – before you place an order, some bread and olive oil is complimentary served and our case was not an exception. Besides, we got the local “Pane Carasau” –   crunchy and very thin flat bread. It did not take very long and we had our drinks and food on the table; fried mixed seafood “Fritto Misto di Mare” as a starter, followed by  traditional Sardinian “Malloreddus alla Campidanese”, and “Culurgiones di Patate e Menta”  accompanied by a bottle of local “Vermentino”. It was absolutely delicious! The ingredients were so fresh that we could not get enough.

Romantic dining in Alghero

After that we order some desserts;  the local sweet “Seadas“, which is a filo pastry  filled with cheese and drizzled with honey and the famous  “Crema Catalana”,  a cream cooked  the Spanish way.  YUM!

Regardless of the fact that we were quite full, we could not resist temptation of the  Artisan Gelato at “Gelateria Igloo“.  Sensational!

We spent the rest of night sauntering along the beach and relishing the splendour of Alghero before we kept on travelling to the North of the island.

ADIOS  ALGHERO

Our amazing discovery of this “little Spain” of Sardinian paradise  came to an end but we left a big piece of our hearts there and took one of the most romantic memories with us and so will you If you decide to get lost in the ” pearl of romance ”  Alghero

NOTE

Suggested time to spend in Alghero is 3 days

Best time to visit is July-August  (high season, hot weather, vibrant atmosphere) and June or September-October (warm days with less crowds)

Sardinian flag

NOTE

Suggested time to spend in Alghero is 3 days

Best time to visit is July-August  (high season, hot weather, vibrant atmosphere) and June or September-October (warm days with less crowds)

 

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