Local delicacies in Catalan Italy
The sea is turquoise and the beach is pearly white. Rugged cliffs and small sandy bays change into the green hillside of the inlands. Rosemary, myrtle and wild thyme grow abundantly and spread a wonderful smell. Sardinia has much to offer…
Because of its strategic location, Sardinia was frequently visited by foreign powers in the course of centuries. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Byzantines made their homes there, followed by settlers from Valencia and Barcelona in the 12th century. They were the ones who founded the city of Alghero. Their influence can still be felt in many ways such as in the language: in this Italian city people speak Catalan.
Due to the city’s military past, Alghero possesses impressive city walls that nowadays invite you to take a stroll and enjoy the city. In the city centre you can wander through narrow alleys that are connected by picturesque squares. A visit to the Duomo – the cathedral of Santa Maria – is a must: the outside appears ‘Pisan’ whereas the interior is beautifully baroque. Also take note of the street names, as these reveal the origin of Alghero. Each street carries both an Italian and a Catalan name. Surprisingly, these names often have no connection.
Those who enjoy fresh fish will be fully satisfied here. Crayfish is a local delicacy, but the cucina pastorale (shepherd’s cuisine) offers something for everyone. In many dishes local ingredients are used, such as salami, pecorino (sheep cheese) and gattò (honey). Accompanied by a strong Sardinian wine, these make for pleasant dining.
Alghero has an entirely individual character: you can hear it in the language, you can see it in the monuments and you can taste it in the kitchen. All the more reason to experience this city yourself.