ICB

  2-5 June 2009 University of Sassari, Italy

  2009

 

 

The 3rd IAPR International Conference on Biometrics

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The Venue

SARDINIA is a most beautiful island located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks called the island “Ichnusa”, imprint or fingerprint, which already drives inspiration to a major conference theme. The natural beauty of the place, together with the warm hospitality and the advanced technical facilities, will constitute an unforgettable setting for this conference. The Alghero International airport is very conveniently connected with the main European cities, also with low-fares airlines. The connection to other international destinations is also granted through the Milan and Rome hubs.

Sardinia is also one of the largest in the Mediterranean, second only to Sicily. It has more than 1800 km of coastline with over 300 beaches of fine golden sand and countless rocky inlets, some of which are accessible only from the sea. It is an island which harmonises and balances the senses of colour, fragrance and flavour with nature, history and tradition. The azure-blue Mediterranean, speckled with pink from the flocking flamingoes, the intense colours of peony and spring flowers, the warmth of the sun's golden rays, the soft white sandy beaches, the verdant expanses of rich vegetation and the silver sheen of the magnificent rock faces all conspire to create a magnificent rainbow of colours. The maquis, myrtle, cork oaks, juniper and oleander trees all make their individual and distinctive contributions to a wonderfully aromatic atmosphere.

Our sea is an ancient myth: it tells of the wanderings of Ulysses, the enterprising Phoenician traders, the Roman triremes, the agile ships of the Barbary pirates, the ambitious Napoleon, the young artillery captain who failed to conquer the archipelago of La Maddalena and defeat the imposing fleet of Admiral Lord Nelson on the way to Trafalgar. But it is also a young sea, constantly being regenerated: favourable currents and winds constantly purify it, giving it the incredible hue of an emerald. After thousands of years battling with the mainland this young sea has turned out to be the winner, unmistakably modelling the coast: beaches strewn with granite sand finely ground by time alternate with ragged cliffs with fantastic shapes that inspired the English sculptor Henry Moore. Along the 80 kilometres of wildly beautiful shore in the territory of Arzachena there are many well sheltered lonely little coves, each with characteristics of its own.

Even though we cannot list them all, we must mention the splendid sandy beaches of the Piccolo and Grande Pevero to the south-east of Porto Cervo, the famous bays of Capriccioli and, facing them, in the bay of Cala di Volpe, the long stretch of Liscia Rujas. Going back up the coast, to the north-west of Porto Cervo, we come to the clear sea of Baja Sardinia and, continuing along the other side of the Gulf of Arzachena, Mannena, Barca Bruciata - an incomparable natural swimming pool - and finally the Golfo delle Saline. Sardinia is an ideal site for congresses, thanks to its excellent connections via sea and air, its modern, efficient facilities, and capable operators in the sector, as well as its marvelous weatherall year round and the traditional warmth and hospitality of its people. All these qualities make Sardinia an enjoyable destination for both the "classic" tourist and congress participant. Plus, its exceptional natural environment and important historical-artistic patrimony let travelers mix business with pleasure.


The considerable increase of the congress sector in Sardinia is due to the quality of its accommodation facilities (which are at the top of European standards) and the expansion of all affiliated services that vaunt excellent professional and entrepreneurial capabilities. Moreover, these facilities are located in the most important cities and intelligently distributed along the four coastal regions. Modern and efficient, they can handle any type of congress and leave the participant with a pleasant memory of their sojourn.

The venue for the ICB 2009 is the hotel Carlos V, located very close to the Alghero old Cataln center, and facing the magnificent Capo Caccia cliffs.

See also: http://www.sarnow.com/sardinia/


The city of Alghero

Alghero, also known as Italy’s Barceloneta (little Barcelona), was founded in the XII century by the powerful Doria family, who ably exploited the strategic location of Alghero, there building one of the most important examples of military architecture on the island. Despite the various re-workings, the fortifications remain a distinctive presence today, with the defence towers framing the ominous yet harmonious architectonic seafront design.

The town has been occupied by various colonists over the years, but it was the Pisa domination that really altered both the look and spirit of the town, particularly as concerns the language. In 1354 the expansion policy of the Crown of Aragon reached Alghero, which, by the hand of Peter IV the Ceremonious, was then purged and transformed, in just a short space of time, into one of the many colonies that orbited around the central power of the kingdom.

The important examples of Gothic-Catalan architecture located within the urban nucleus, form a unique, lavish, and indelible proof of the Catalan past.

One important example of this is provided by the church of San Francesco, which conforms to the architectonic models of the eastern Spanish, with the characteristic star-shaped vault in the presbytery, and the evocative internal cloisters. The linguistic heritage is yet more surprising: the local variant of Catalan – algherese – is ever more alive and spoken amongst today’s inhabitants.

Although Alguer was founded only relatively ‘recently’, the surrounding area is dotted with settlements of remote and historically important origin, as borne out by the imposing nuragic complex of Palmavera, and that discovered in Sant'Imbenia during the 1980s. Right next to the Sant’Imbenia complex, located in the enchanting bay of Porto Conte (the only natural harbour in Sardinia), previously known as Portus Ninpharum as mentioned in Ptolemy’s geography, we find the remains of a villa dating back to Roman times, and that can still be seen today. Another site of great interest, and the largest of the graveyard complexes of the region, is the pre-nuragic necropolis of Anghelo ruju, located near to the road ‘dei due mari’ running from Alghero to Porto Torres - and within easy reach of the airport.

The historic centre of the town, and in particular the town market, remains today the main hub of commerce and craftsmanship. Of these, apart from the fishing-related activities that often take on an almost ritual-like meaning, one stands out particularly: the working of the precious red coral. Red coral is the symbol of the town which, not by chance, is located within the Coral Riviera. The ancient ciutad becomes yet more appealing during the rites of holy week, that can be traced back to the religious Catalan culture. During this period, the mysteries linked to the cult of passion, with the sacred drama of the desclavament (descending) and Good Friday procession of the image of the wooden Christ, attract visitors from all over the world.



Cultural Itineraries and Excursions

It is in the centre of the city that you can admire the most interesting monuments and the typical products of the local handicraft. Starting from Porta a Terra, a wide stretch in the centre of the town, you will run into the Torre degli Ebrei or Porta Reyal, in whose Gothic arch you can see a war memorial. Going on through via Sassari and via Mazzini, you will reach Largo San Francesco and Torre San Juan (XIV century). Walking through via Regina Elena you will come to Piazza Sulis and to the Esperò Reyal, or Sulis Tower. From Piazza Sulis you can take, southwards, the Lungomare Dante, westwards the Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo, with the Torre di San Giacomo (St. James Tower), in Gothic style, and the church of Nostra Signora del Carmelo (XVIII century); and finally, northwards, the Lungomare Marco Polo, which ends with the Bastione (bastion) del Mirador: here you can admire a wonderful view of the whole bay. Not far from the Bastione there are the port, equipped to receive tourist ships and fishing boats, and the Porta a Mare. Then you will reach Piazza Civica and Palazzo de Ferrera (XVI century). On the opposite side there is Saint Mary's Cathedral, with a beautiful wooden crucifix (XVI century). Farther on, in via Principe Umberto, you will come across Doria's House (XVI century), Palazzo della Curia, Teatro Civico (1862) and Chiesa della Misericordia, with a crucifix of the Seventeenth century. In via Carlo Alberto (Carrer Mayor), you will finally reach St. Francis Church (XIV century, but rebuilt in the XVI century). Alghero's surroundings are rich of interesting places, too. Seven kilometers far from the city there is the sanctuary of Our Lady of Valverde; other interesting lags could be the necropolis of Santu Pedru, with the characteristic Domus de Janas, and of Anghelu Ruju, and the Nuragic complex of Palmavera. As far as natural background, you can't miss the calcareous promontory of Capo Caccia, and the Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune's Caves), among the best natural caves in the Mediterranean Sea. Near Punta Cristallo, about 15 kilometers far from Alghero, you can find the nature reserve called Noha's Arch that boasts the presence of rare species of Mediterranean flora and fauna.


The sea and the coastline: an invaluable heritage

Few areas of Sardinia offer a landscape that is quite so varied and significant. As we leave the previously mentioned Baia delle Ninfe, in the area of Le Prigionette, we absolutely must stop (we are already within the regional Park of Porto Conte) to visit the protected area 'Arca di Noè'. 350 hectares of land provide homes to many different species of animal, such as the beautiful small horses, native to the ‘Giara’. As we continue along our route over the ‘sleeping calcareous giant’ of Capo Caccia (or Caput Hermeum for the Latins), we come across the rather grand vision of the cliffs that drop sheer down to the sea, the nineteenth century lighthouse, and the Foradada island, inhabited by many different species of marine bird (cormorants and andouin's gulls). There is more too: Neptune’s Cave, dating back to the Cretaceous period, is of extraordinary, transcendent beauty. The cave can be reached by descending the 656 steps of the Escala del Cabirol carved out of the cliff wall, down to sea level, or alternatively by an equally spectacular, and no doubt more comfortable, boat trip from the town harbour. The 80 kilometres of coastline, starting from the north western most tip (Capo Caccia) and running to the beach of Poglina, really does have a lot to offer.

When exploring the coasts in a southerly direction, admiring the landscape of the beautiful fine sandy bays (Lazzaretto and Bombarde), we advise stopping by the village of Fertilia – an interesting example of rationalist architecture. Having now left the town behind us, we reach the beautiful Alghero-Bosa coastline. This wild and entirely uncontaminated panoramic route unwinds through hairpin bends around the reef edges. It is named as amongst the most beautiful of Europe.

The golden age of tourism in Sardinia, at a time when it was not expected, and prior to trends of, what was often an elite form of island tourism, brought about an unforeseen season of ‘hollywood stardom’, welcoming the cast of Losey's film Boom! (1968), interpreted by Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.

There are several local attraction and interest places. Among them:

      -  The “Riviera del Corallo” and its beautiful beaches, with water sports and diving
         facilities;
      -  “Capo Caccia” natural park and Nettuno grotto;
      -  Ancient Roman archeologcal site near Alghero, including ancient pre-roman reliques;
      -  Craftsman museums in Alghero and Sassari;
      -  Archeological and Ethnic museums in Sassari and Ozieri;
      -  Several Nuragic pre-historical sites dated 5000 b.C.;
      -  The giant’s graves (Dolmen-like archeological site);
      -  The petrified forest (ancient rests of dried and petrified tress of pre-historical ages);
      -  Romanic, Gothic, Catalan and Neoclassic churches and cathedrals in Alghero and surrounding towns.
      -  And many more … (you may visit:   www.museionline.it   www.sardegna.net   and
         www.sarnow.com )



The conference venue for ICB 2009:
the Carlos V convention center

The conference will be held in a brand new conference center (the hotel Carlos V, a completely renewed 5 stars hotel, re-opened on May 2007), very close to the center of the old town of Alghero. The Hotel complex has been built on a slope of a hill, overlooking the gulf of Alghero and offering a special view of the Capo Caccia cliffs. The hotel is only 15 Km from the airport (15 min. by taxi) and at walking distance from the old town center. The Carlos V Hotel is a modern, elegant, totally renovated establishment with a total of 180 rooms. It offers a lobby with reception, lounge, lifts, bar, 2 restaurants: a buffet restaurant and an a la carte restaurant with international and regional cuisine and conference rooms. Sun loungers with parasols free by the pool. All rooms are equipped with direct dial telephone, wired and wireless Internet connection, safety deposit box, satellite TV, radio, refrigerator and air conditioning, bathroom with shower and/or bath and hairdryer. Every room has a private balcony or terrace. The sporting and fitness include a swimming pool and separate children’s pool in the grounds, two tennis courts, table tennis, fully equipped gymnasium and massage centre. Shiatsu and other massages are available upon request. A buffet restaurant “Il Catalano” with Mediterranean cuisine is located at the first floor, together with a nice a la carte restaurant “Il Carlos V”, serving typical Sardinian dishes and international cuisine. A piano bar for lunch service with a carte menu is located on the terrace in front of the swimming pool. The in-house Convention Center includes a large convention hall and also smaller meeting rooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, which offer a great variety of set-ups and dimensions.





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Last update : December 12, 2007