Alghero is situated in north western Sardinia in the Province of Sassari, within a homonymous gulf.
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Location and climate
A large part of its geographical area is situated on the Nurra plain. Alghero is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The town has a sub-tropical climate. Trade winds are less occurring during the summer time, and libeccio and western winds bring down rain in wintertime. Mistral wind may blow strongly any time of the year. Between December and February, eastern winds bring clear and cold weather. This period is called “secche di gennaio” and it is considered as a prelude of summer in the middle of the winter. Summer heats can sometimes reach over 40 degrees, particularly in the south, though 30-35 degrees is more common in that time of the year. Sea temperatures close to the coast are commonly fine for swimming from the beginning of June until October.
History and sights
The area of Alghero has been inhabited since the prehistoric times. Traces of the Nuraghe culture and of the Phoenicians can be found in the neighboring area. Alghero was founded around 1100 by the Genoese Doria family. Pisa ruled it briefly, from 1283 to 1284. It was captured by the Spanish in 1353. In the early 16th century the town received the status of the King’s City and grew economically. In 1720 Alghero and Sardinia were handed over to Piedmont. In 1821 the famine-led people of Alghero revolted and were bloodily suppressed. At the end of the 19th century, Alghero was de-militarized. During World War II, Alghero’s historical centre suffered heavy damage.
Alghero today is a town of 42.000 inhabitants. It is a fishing port, unspoilt by mass tourism. Being invaded and influenced by the Catalan colonists in the 14th century, Alghero offers an interesting mixture of Spanish and Italian culture; delightful Catalan culinary art served in Italian public squares, impressive structures during the Aragonese rule and Italian vineyards. The ruling families gave Alghero the nickname Barcelonetta (“Little Barcelona”), and all the street signs are bilingual. Alghero’s beautiful sand beach is long and pine forests give it shade. Throughout the year, there are carnivals and different events. While visiting, Alghero offers some interesting views of cathedrals in styles ranging from 1530's Gothic up to 20th century neoclassical, and an impressive Baroque church of San Francisco. One of the most visited places is an extraordinary cave called Grotta di Nettuno. It is covered with stalactite and located at the foot of cliffs near Capo Caccia. Once there, you can find guided tours through the cave system on an hourly basis. The other exceptional attraction close to Alghero is the Nuraghe di Palmavera, with the remains of a 14th century palace surrounded by a constellation of round stone habitations, dating back from the Bronze Ages.
How to arrive?
There are airports in Alghero, Cagliari, Olbia and Sassari. Sardinia transportation Trains on Sardinia connect the whole island. International airport with direct flights to some European destinations (Ryan Air, Thomson, Easy Jet). There is also a bus service. Buses from the ARST company provide connections to other towns on the island.
Ferries leave from Civitavecchia, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Palermo and Trapani for Cagliari, Golfo Aranci, Olbia, Porto Torres and Arbatax.