14 Dic The sky over Valencia
by Martina Favretto from Italy
I didn’t arrive at Valencia to have a holiday, but for love. My boyfriend was studying here, so I could visit this beautiful city, alone and with him. I didn’t know this city, but it was a pleasant surprise: a romantic, modern, interesting and amazing place. Valencia is a rich city in many ways, that never stops to astonish you. History and modernity, nature and technology blend into a city that is an authentic wonder. Further the prices are very cheap so Valencia becomes a perfect destination to have a little holiday.
I was literally in love with the “ciudad vella”, the old town of the city: charming little streets, squares and churches, historical buildings, many little craft shops, several cafes. The historical center is a romantic place where to lose hours: an intertwining of alleys and hidden squares where you can spend a whole afternoon. Two neighborhoods very beautiful are “Barrio del Carmen” and “Seu”: I suggest visiting them in the afternoon, when the light makes gold the ancient palaces. It is a magic atmosphere!
Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias and Oceonographic
Valencia is a very modern city too: the “Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias” is a great example. It is an incredible compound designed by Santiago Calatrava between 1998-2005. There are a lot of attractions: the science museum, museum of art, the music hall, a theater, the planetarium, and the Oceanographic, the biggest aquarium in Europe. You can buy a discounted ticket to see some attractions together. A single ticket is expensive. I bought one ticket to visit the science museum and the Oceanographic, and I have to say that it was a good idea, because we were there in late morning (11.00), and the attractions closed at 18.00, we had only the time to visit these two attractions.
Valencia, Oceanogràfic by Martina Favretto
Jardin del Turia
This is one of the biggest park in the whole Spain. The avenues are surrounded by citrus trees and palms and there are spectacular fountains: when you are here, you can forget to be in the city for a moment. It’s perfect place where you can go if you want escape from the city life. The most particular part is the part dedicated to the children: inside these great gardens, there are the Guilliver park, based on the homonymous Johnathan Swift novel, where there is a gigantic representation of the protagonist where the children can climb up.
Valencia, Rio de la Turia by Martina Favretto
Markets and shopping
In Valencia there are many markets, where you can find fresh products and unique craft products. I suggest you visit the two principal markets of the city: the “Mercado Central” and the “Mercado de Colon”, not just for the large quantities of wares and goods, but also for the charm of these two places. The Mercado Central is one of the oldest food market in Europe. Here you can find fish, meat, fruit and a great deal of spices (a set of spices to make the typical valencian Paella too, a good idea as a souvenir). The Mercado de Colon is in a beautiful modernist building. Here you can found a lot of cafes, pubs and restaurants and stands with jewelry, clothes. Both the markets are absolutely to visit!
Mercat Central de Valencia by Martina Favretto
Beach and Sea
Valencia is a tourist destination not only for the historical places and the modern attractions, but also because this city is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. I was only on the Playa Malvarrosa, because it is easily served by public transport: you can arrive in the beach from the city center with tram. The beach is big and clean, the sea too, and on the street (nearby the beach) there are a lot of restaurant, shops and pubs. In the night, this is the place for the vibrant Spanish nightlife. Finally, the sunsets here are gorgeous.
Valencia, Playa de la Malvarrosa by Martina Favretto
This area is near the University, so it is the center of the student movida. There are a lot of pubs open until late night and the prices are very cheap. Furthermore, this place is perfectly served by the public transport.
In Valencia, keep your eyes on the sky. It has beautiful colors, so intense, so I spent much of my time looking up. The pink sunrises, the light blue of the morning, the intense blue in the afternoon and the fiery sunsets. Wonderful.