This week, we journey to the third largest town in Spain, the birthplace of paella, which has notable examples of both old and modern architecture: Valencia. We love this vibrant, livable city so much that we named one of our mantels after it.
The birthplace of paella!
Getting to Know Valencia
Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain, where the Turia River meets the Balearic Sea. All this water means both beautiful beaches and lots of greenery. The surrounding region, known as Huerta de Valencia, is full of orchards. Surprisingly, Valencia oranges were developed in California and named after Valencia, known for producing sweet oranges.
What to Do in Valencia
Valencia can keep you entertained for a long time. Here are a few top picks of things to see and do if you plan to visit:
Visit Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
This futuristic cultural and science complex is mostly the work of hometown architect Santiago Calatrava and includes an opera house, 3D cinema, science museum, and Oceanografic, Europe’s largest aquarium.
Shop for silk.
From the 15th to 18th century, Valencia was a European leader in silk weaving. In the mid-1700s, five thousand silk looms worked in a single neighborhood. The tradition continues. If the 10.000 Euro price tag for a fine silk gown strains your budget, consider taking a silk route cultural walking tour and learning about silk rather than purchasing it.
People-watch in a plaza.
Valencia has lovely tree-lined city squares, the perfect places to relax in the shade on a hot summer day.
Behold the Holy Grail.
Valencia’s cathedral makes the controversial claim that it possesses, the goblet that Jesus drank from. In addition to seeing the alleged Holy Grail, you can climb the bell tower for city views and admire two Goya paintings that hang in the cathedral’s San Francisco de Borja chapel.
Get wild at Fallas Festival.
If you like crowds, explosions, action, and quirky traditions, come in March for the Fallas Festival. This semi-religious annual event features enormous statues, dressing up in ornate costumes, parading, and people throwing firecrackers at each other. At the fiesta’s finale, all the statues are burnt.
Our Valencia mantel reminds us of this lively, sun-kissed Spanish city. It’s a simple, straightforward beauty with columns that whisper of the Mediterranean. Do you need a little Valencia in your life? Call us and we’ll help you bring a bit of Valencia home to your hearth.