However neither the Romans nor the Goths put up much resistance to the Arab conquest of Medina Laqant in the 8th century.
The Moors ruled southern and eastern Spain until the 13th century Reconquista (Reconquest).
In recent years, the Port Authority has established it as one of the most important ports in Spain for cruises, with 72 calls to port made by cruise ships in 2007 bringing some 80,000 passengers and 30,000 crew to the city each year.
Until the global recession which started in 2008, Alicante was one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain.
The Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca established the fortified settlement of Akra Leuka (Greek: Although the Carthaginians conquered much of the land around Alicante, the Romans would eventually rule Hispania Tarraconensis for over 700 years.
By the 5th century AD, Rome was in decline and the Roman predecessor town of Alicante, known as Lucentum (Latin), was more or less under the control of the Visigothic warlord Theudimer.
The campus of the University of Alicante lies in San Vicente del Raspeig, bordering the city of Alicante to the north. Since 2005 Ciudad de la Luz, one of the largest film studios in Europe, has had its base in Alicante.
The Rif War in the 1920s saw numerous alicantinos drafted to fight in the long and bloody campaigns in the former Spanish protectorate (Northern Morocco) against the Rif rebels.
The political unrest of the late 1920s led to the victory of Republican candidates in local council elections throughout the country, and the abdication of King Alfonso XIII.
El Barco) and Playa de San Juan, with the benign climate being the biggest draw to attract prospective buyers and tourists who kept the hotels reasonably busy.
New construction benefited the whole economy, as the development of the tourism sector also spawned new businesses such as restaurants, bars and other tourist-oriented enterprises.