A city caught in-between past and future. This is Valencia, the third most populous city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Watershed between the Catalan and the Andalusian culture, Valencia is one of the most important centers of the Mediterranean Sea, the star of significant economic growth the last two decades, driven by ambitious projects of organic architecture. The most famous and impressive is the City of Arts and Sciences, created by the most illustrious son of Valencia, Santiago Calatrava, an architect who in 1995 had already made the Pont de l'Exposició, one of the most elegant bridges in Europe, erected on the dried up bed of the Turia River, and a metro station which is a little artistic gem. You will find a Valencia that looks towards the fture by hosting international sporting events like America's Cup or the Grand Prix of Formula 1 and yet there also exists a Valencia which jealously guards its past.
The historic center of the city has splendid monuments built in its 2.000 years of history, making it a true open-air museum. The Gothic style is shown by the Cathedral, Plaza de la Virgen and the two towers of Serranos, built in the XIV century, which are part of what remains of the Medieval walls. On the other hand, the Baroque is represented by magnificent buildings and palaces.
The traditions continue to have their weight in Valencia, as proven by the Fallas Festival, which is celebrated every year in March in honor of San José. The "fallas" are huge papier-mâché statues made by local artists in each district and then burned in a huge bonfire which lights the city. The traditions here are also culinary. Famous throughout the world, the Valencian paella is a real institution, a delicacy available in two versions: "paella de Marisco", which is cooked with sea products, and "paella mixta" , where they mix meat and fish.
Valencia contends with Madrid and Barcelona also the record of the best Spanish nightlife. The “movida” here is more discreet but no less exciting and start with the famous Agua de Valencia, a cocktail made of orange juice, Cointreau, Vodka and Cava, the delicious local sparkling wine.