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A Catalan soul

30 August 1353: in the bay of Porto Conte, 45 Catalan galleys, flanked by 25 Venetian galleys, under the command of Bernardo Cabrera, emerge victorious over the Ligurian fleet led by Antonio Grimaldi. The Aragonese occupation signalled the beginning of the history of L’Alguer – a city marked by the Catalan flavour that has permeated its streets, architecture and civic life.

To this day, in what is a unique instance of the conservation of a foreign civilisation in Italy. Indeed, in Alghero, everything “speaks Catalan”: the streets and the shops, the language, the lifestyle, the cuisine and the traditions.
This is the heritage of the long period in which the destiny of Alghero – a city state during the centuries of Aragonese domination – was very firmly intertwined with that of the Iberian countries.

Aragonese tales tell of the criss-crossing of the carrers (the alleys ventilated by the sea breeze), the mullioned windows of the monumental palaces, the great fan-shaped sandstone doors, the bell towers with their spires standing out against the sky and the ancient Occitanian dances.

The “cittadina bonita y bien assentada” – meaning “gracious and well-fortified city”, as it was defined in 1541 by Emperor Carlos V on his visit to Alghero – continues to this day to fascinate and surprise, as it politely invites visitors to stroll around its streets and to discover, in the process, its remarkable natural and historical riches.

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