Lobster Catalan style and Igp Sardinian lamb, prepared with artichokes and wild fennel. These are just two of the typical dishes of the area of Alghero and of the Riviera del Corallo (Coral Riviera). An itinerary to be tasted slowly with a good glass of Vermentino wine.
In Alghero the ancient dominations have left a strong mark. The Spanish origins of the small town are evident in the typical dialect - of Catalan origin - spoken by its inhabitants, in the traditions and in the many monuments built in gothic-Catalan style with Arab nuances. Examples of these past hegemonies are the many palazzi strewn in the different quarters, together with the two bell-towers and the most significant architectonic parts of the Cathedral of Santa Maria and of the Church of San Francesco. Alghero is the most characteristic tourist resort of the Riviera del Corallo: rich in beaches, small creeks and cliffs that fall sheer to the emerald-coloured sea, where coral finds an ideal environment for reproduction and from which this part of the coast takes its name. For more than two centuries, in fact, coral fishermen have combed the seabeds of ALGHERO to bring to the surface the red twigs that today are more and more difficult to find, especially of larger size. For this reason, those who search coral need to go deeper and deeper, which leads to the optimal exploitation of even the smallest bits.
Other stars of this Sardinian itinerary are the suggestive Caves of Neptune, accessible both by sea and by land, through long and impervious steps that descend steeply to the sea, known as Escala del Cabirol, built in 1954, with over 650 steps and a difference in elevation of 110 metres; Capo Caccia, the most suggestive promontory of this Riviera and Nuraghe Palmavera - on the road that leads to the beautiful and calm bay of Porto Conte - a testimony of the origins and the tribal communities that once inhabited the island.
Still to be visited is the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju: a pre-nuraghe complex that comprises 37 small artificial funerary caves, called domus de janas, i.e. houses of the fairies.
Among the different roads to cover in Sardinia there are also those dedicated to wines. On the island the most famous are seven, each one named after the wine whose production predominates in that area. The one between Olbia, Sassari and Alghero is the Vermentino route. This route, in addition to the the already mentioned centres located throughout the northern part of Sardinia, also crosses through the minor centres of Telti, Monti, Berchidda, Oschiri, Tempio Pausania, Aggius, Calangianus, S. Antonio, Arzachena, Palau, S. Teresa di Gallura, Vignola, Trinità D'Agultu, Badesi, Valledoria, Castelsardo, Sorso, Sennori, Porto Torres, S. Maria La Palma and Fertilia. More precisely, in the Riviera del Corallo area there is the seat of one of the greatest and most famous Sardinian wine estates, where it is possible to buy and learn the secrets of the preparation of this special drink.
As an alternative, back in Alghero one can sit down in one of the bars that face the harbour and enjoy a good glass of Alghero Doc wine, maybe accompanied by some good Sardinian Pecorino Dop cheese, at home in these places. And if one arrives in this area at the right time, it is possible to attend interesting and savoury events such as the sagra del riccio di mare (festival of the sea-urchin, bogamarì in the local dialect) that gives the start to the gastronomic review dedicated to this savoury sea fruit, fished from November to March and immediately consumed raw on the shore.