Italy’s Last Bastion of Catalan Language Struggles to Keep It Alive

ALGHERO, Italy — The first Catalans reached Sardinia in the 14th century, when troops sailed from the eastern coast of what is now Spain as part of an expansion into the Mediterranean.

After an uprising slaughtered the forces garrisoned in this northern port on the island, King Peter IV expelled many of the locals. In their place, he populated Alghero mostly with convicts, prostitutes and other undesirables, many of them Catalans.

Today, Alghero is a linguistic anomaly. This walled and picturesque city is, quite literally, the last bastion of Catalan in Italy.

In an age when people cling ever more tightly to national identity, the lingering use of Catalan in Alghero is a reminder of the ways Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries, rendering identity a fluid thing.

But while the traditional insularity of Alghero has helped to preserve Catalan, the language is struggling to survive even here.

Read more: NY Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

8 + eleven =