ALGHERO, 40km southwest of Sassari, is one of Sardinia’s most charming towns, and one of its busiest resorts. The predominant flavour here is Catalan, owing to a wholesale Hispanicization that followed the overthrow of the Doria family by Pedro IV of Aragon in 1354, a process so thorough that it became known as “Barcelonetta”. The traces are still strong in the old town today, with its flamboyant churches and narrow cobbled lanes named in both Italian and Catalan, all sheltered within a stout girdle of walls that now hold bars and restaurants – a fine venue for watching the sunset.

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