ALGHERO is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in the Italian insular province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the Mediterranean Sea. Part of its population descends from Catalan conquerors from the end of the Middle Ages, when Sardinia was part of the Crown of Aragon. That is why the Catalan language is co-official in the city, unique in Italy, taking the name of alguerès dialect. The name Alghero comes from the medieval Latin Aleguerium, meaning stagnation of algae.
The origin of coral is explained in Greek mythology by the story of Perseus. Having petrified Cetus, the sea monster threatening Andromeda, Perseus placed Medusa's head on the riverbank while he washed his hands. When he recovered her head, he saw that her blood had turned the seaweed (in some variants the reeds) into red coral. Thus, the Greek word for coral is 'Gorgeia', as Medusa was one of the three Gorgons.
Poseidon resided in a palace made of coral and gems, and Hephaestus first crafted his work from coral.
The Romans believed coral could protect children from harm, as well as cure wounds made by snakes and scorpions and diagnose diseases by changing colour.