Strolling and relaxation along the ancient walls
Areas for strolling and relaxation along the ancient boardwalks along the evocative panoramic city walls along the sea. Coffee shops and restaurants animate the streets, characteristic outdoor spaces where you can sip on a drink or taste typical local dishes while basking in the light sea breeze.
You may begin your city tour from the historical land entrance of the city, The Torre di Porta Terra, which plays host to a multimedia itinerary that tells the history, habits and customs of the city from its origins to the present day. From Porta Terra, we carry on to Torre di San Giovanni, now an exhibition hall for modern works, up to Torre dello Sperone (Esperò Reyal), better known as “Torre di Sulis', which with its 22 meters of height is the most imposing of the city walls. The tower overlooks one of the main squares of the city, Piazza Sulis. Historical meeting point for Alghero nightlife, the square is the location of many of the oldest and most prestigious local symbols of the Catalan tourism boom of the 60's, when Alghero achieved the title of the “Golden gate of island tourism'. Modified in places, with the adding of new youth-centred, fashionable clubs and restaurants the historical “piazzetta' (little square) is still today a landmark for residents and tourists alike. Most people's nightlife starts here.
We continue our visit along the Bastioni Cristoforo Colombo. Upon passing the Torre di San Giacomo, you enter into one of the most distinctive areas of the city, the Bastioni Marco Polo, where a succession of colourful architecture typical of seaside residences lends a Mediterranean air to everything.
Frequented by Algheresi and tourists alike the bastions are one of the favoured places for relaxation, entertainment and taking a stroll: a long seaside promenade with incredible views of the habour. Coffee shops and restaurants animate the way with open-air verandas for sipping on a drink or tasting local delicacies while warmed by the sweet sea breeze.
At the end of the Marco Polo bastions you will meet on the right the cylindrical Torre della Polveriera and on the opposite side the Garita Reial or Torre della Lanterna, once a signalling lantern for vessels in the harbour. After a few metres, you will reach Torre di Sant'Elmo, which is known as “la Madonnina' because of the statue of the Virgin Mary above it. Having completed the final stretch of the bastions, the one facing the city overlooking the tourist port and which during the summer is filled with street artists' stands, you will reach a staircase that leads – through the Porta a Mare (Porto Salve) – into the heart of Alghero: Piazza Civica. On this square are located what were once the most representative governmental institutions of Alguer; from the Gothic look of Palazzo de Ferrera, often mansion to the city governor or to nobility during official occasions, to the Casa de la Ciutat, city council's seat, to Palazzo della Dogana (Duana Reial, Customs and Duties Palace), obligatory stopping point for skippers moored in the Alghero harbour.
Shopping enthusiasts will not be bored. The centre of Alghero has some of the most exclusive ateliers, shops and workshops in the entire city. The stylist Antonio Marras has chosen the Catalan Plaça Civica for his boutique, where his original collections are on display among antiques and furnishings.
Stories of journeys, of persons and cultures. This too is Alghero, this is Sardinia.