#13 / Keeping one foot in Spain
On this latest leg of our trip to Sardinia we are accompanied by our production manager, Fausto. He is the one who coordinates the entire production cycle of each and every one of our shoes, from the raw material to when the shoes are boxed up ;) As we walk along the ramparts of Alghero – gazing at the view of the sea that stretches endlessly to the horizon – I ask him if he has a favorite MarcoMoreo style of shoe.
And indeed he does! ;)
But let’s get back to our Alghero, to the ramparts and the sea. Walking along the thick walls that still enclose the old town is particularly fascinating.
The walls are dedicated to the great Italian explorers – Marco Polo, Cristopher Columbus, Magellan and Pigafetta – and the original footprint, which dates back to the 16th century, can still be seen. This layout was an enlargement of the original plan from when Alghero was first built, between the 11th and 12th centuries, by the Genoese Doria family. Equally stunning are the 8 watchtowers with the Torre Garibaldi (also known as Torre Maddalena) where you can still see the projecting parapets from which boiling water or oil were poured to "greet" the enemy…. Just as well we come in peace then. ;)
Looking down from these ramparts I am struck by the light stone that runs through the old town, along the alleys wedged between buildings once owned by nobles and aristocrats. A few steps further on and we find ourselves in front of the beautiful church of San Michele, with its characteristic multicolored cupola – made up of tiles of a thousand colors. It was built around the mid nineteen hundred, although the church itself dates back to the sixteen hundreds.
Have you noticed the names of the streets (the Italian word via or street is replaced here by carrer)? The names are shown in two languages – Italian and Catalan – because in Alghero they speak Catalan not Sardinian! This is a consequence of the conquest of the city in 1350 by the House of Aragon, when the population of Sardinians and people from Liguria (who had arrived with the Doria family two centuries earlier) was entirely replaced by Catalan settlers.
And keeping one foot in Spain, we sit down to savor a typical Catalan dish with a Sardinian twist: paella. Here, instead of rice, they use fregola – do you remember? It’s the grain-shaped pasta that we ate in Cagliari. We round off the meal beautifully with a recommendation from Fausto: a slice of Dolcemangiare (known here has Menjar blanc and originating from Andalusia). This is a puff pastry tart filled with lemon cream. Well done Fausto, really delicious!
Bye for now!