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The red coral of Alghero

An ancient tradition that gives its name to the entire Riviera

the red coral of alghero

The Alghero coastline is known as the Riviera del Corallo because of the large red coral reefs that colour the caves and seabeds of this corner of Sardinia. The coral that grows in the sea around Alghero belongs to the Corallium rubrum species, commonly known as red coral, considered one of the most valuable in the Mediterranean.

The tradition of coral harvesting and processing in Alghero has ancient origins. In fact, it seems that Alghero coral was already being used in Roman times to make ornamental objects such as necklaces and jewellery.

For a long time, coral was harvested with rudimentary techniques and means which affected the delicate ecosystem of the seabed. Today, harvesting t techniques have evolved and are extensively regulated with the imposition of strict controls to protect the marine ecosystem.

Alghero coral is particularly renowned for its compactness and characteristic deep red colour. Its workmanship has become increasingly precious and elaborate and has allowed the birth of a fine goldsmith tradition that transforms the raw material of the coral shaft into precious and unique jewellery. There are numerous artisanal shops and goldsmith shops in the centre of Alghero that work with coral and that fascinate all visitors to the city.

You can also visit the MACOR (Coral Museum), housed in a beautiful Liberty villa at the gates of the historic centre, which tells of the magical link between the city and this precious resource for our area.