Girona and Dali's Figueres
Girona with its rich history, is one of the most interesting cities in Catalunya. Walking all along its medieval walls and the Força Vella (Roman Foundation) you will be immersed in its more than 2000 years of History. You can’t miss the Jewish district, el Call, a labyrinth of narrow streets still in perfect condition, that will bring you remains of the past.
Figueres is at 40km from Girona. Well-known ciy thanks to Salvador Dali and his Theater –Museum, built in XIX and considered the bigger Surrealist object. Same artist, Salvador Dali, was in charge of the construction. He lived his last days in the buiding and ordered to be buried in there.
If you want to enjoy this route, you can do it with Catalunya Bus Turistic, one visit around Girona and the Surrealistic Universe of Salvador Dali in Figueres.
On Catalunya Bus Turístic you will be informed in different languages. Also you will get brochure with detailed information about places to visit, maps and several discounts for places of interest, restaurants and shops.
Departures from Barcelona.Prices: Adult: 73 €/ Child (0-7 years old): 0 €
Picture from Luidger
The Best ‘Ramen’ in Barcelona: Ramen-ya Hiro
Long queues have begun to form lately outside Nº 164 on Calle Girona in Barcelona with dozens of people, half of them Japanese, waiting patiently for Ramen-ya Hiro to open its doors. It’s the latest buzz on the streets of Barcelona: Hiro makes the best ramen in town.
‘Ramen’ is a type of soup that is served in a bowl with noodles. The dish, originally from China, has become one of the most popular in Japan and the small restaurant run by Hiroki Yoshiyuki has captured the very essence of Japan. To start with, they only serve one culinary speciality – as is the case in most restaurants in Japan. The focus here is on two varieties of ramen: one with miso stock and another with soy sauce stock, accompanied with vegetables, some meat and a naruto. Gyozas (small meat and vegetable pasties) are the perfect side dish for ramen and are served five at a time on a Japanese ceramic dish.
Among other things, the menu also includes edamame, onigiri, kimchi and chasu-don (a bowl of rice with strips of pork and onion). Also on the menu is a small selection of typically Japanese desserts, such as strawberry daifuku and green tea ice-cream.
So, what is the secret to the success of Ramen-ya Hiro? The excellent culinary skill and the tradition that goes into preparing the food. The noodles are prepared traditionally every day, as is the stock which is cooked for over ten hours. The flavour of the ramen at Ramen-ya Hiro is so good that just tasting it will transport your mind to Japan.
Address: 164 Calle Girona, Barcelona.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 13:30 to 15:30 and from 20:30 to 23:30. Closed Sundays and Wednesday lunch-times.
Price: basic ramen €7.50; plate of gyozas €4.50. They offer a set lunch menu for €10.50 with ramen and gyozas.
By Isabel Romano from Diario de a bordo
We’ll be there, if you want to come too check out our flights here.more info
The Infiorata di Genzano – a Street Become Artwork
Genzano is a charming town built on one of Rome’s hills. Every year it hosts the Infiorata di Genzano, when its main street, the Via Italo Belardi, is carpeted by 2,000 square metres of enormous tapestries adorned with flowers. This artwork uses up nearly 500,000 petals, flowers and seeds meticulously placed to form intricate pictures inspired by religious themes. It is a collaborative venture involving many of Genzano’s inhabitants. Just as painters have their palette, for the Infiorata, different types of flowers are selected according to each colour – carnations are used for reds, broom for yellows.
For the three-day duration of the festival, the town’s shopkeepers set up their marquees from where they sell the region’s typical food products, such as olive oil or pane casereccio, a famous crunchy bread and one of the most emblematic of local gastronomic products. TheInfiorataremains on the streets until the so-called Spallamento, the moment when the music bands and the town’s children walk over the infiorata, until the whole carpet is trampled underfoot.
The Origin of the Flower Carpets
These colourful flower carpets are laid down in many other towns around the world. Notable examples are the Temps de Flors in Girona and the Alfombras de Sal in Lanzarote. Their origins go back to theCorpus Christicelebrations of the 13th century, when flowers were thrown during the Holy Week procession in Rome, a tradition that then spread to many other Catholic countries. Other towns in Italy also have their own infiorata, but the one in Genzano is the oldest and most famous, dating back to 1778.
The Historical Towns of Castelli Romani
Genzano is one of thirteen historical towns that make up the so-called Castelli Romani (Roman castles), which roughly correspond to the area of Colli Albani (Albanian hills) south-east of Rome. For centuries it has been a favourite spot for well-heeled Romans seeking a more temperate climate, to escape from the often suffocating heat of Rome and also to get away from the city bustle and dense traffic. The towns in the Castelli Romani Regional Park stand out for their medieval and Renaissance buildings and for their excellent wine, the so-called white Frascati. You can taste this wine, accompanied by olives, cheese andporchetta– a roast pork dish with herbs – at the local taverns or fraschette.
Genzano – A Charming Setting
Genzano, like other towns in the Castelli Romani, is set on the external slope of the Lake Nemicrater. Indeed, the volcanic origin of the soil is what endows the grapes used in the wine-making with their excellent quality. Its historic centre has a large number of historical and art vestiges for a town of its comparatively small size, including the Collegiata della Santissima Trinità (Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity), the Annunziata, the Church of the Cappuccini, and the Sforza Cesarini and Villa degli Antonini palaces. Lake Nemi’s claim to fame is that two of the largest and most luxurious vessels from antiquity were found in the crater – both had belonged to Caligula. For 2,000 years they rested at the bottom of the lake before eventually being salvaged in perfect condition, on account of the mud found caked around them. You will delight in the natural surroundings of the Genzano area, which is ideal for cycling. A bike tour will take you along scenic routes featuring lakes, craters and forests.
If you don’t want to miss this year’s Infiorata di Genzano, prepare your trip to this picturesque Italian town for 13, 14 and 15 June 2015. You will enjoy a spectacular event that draws thousands of visitors. Check out our flights here.
Text by Scanner FMmore info
Catalonia in 7 Coastal Routes
In the following we reveal seven routes in which culture, gastronomy, enotourism, sport and adventure come together to transform your visit to the Catalonian seaboard into an unforgettable experience.
Route 1 - From Sant Carles de la Ràpita to L’Ametlla de Mar (98 km)
Our point of departure is tinged with the marine flavour of oysters and mussels, which you can taste at La Caseta del Parrillo farm, part of the Ruta de las Bateas (Route of the Rafts), which involves a boat ride across the Alfacs bay in Sant Carles de la Ràpita. At Amposta, be sure to sign up for a tour of the Ebro Delta Nature Park with MónNatura Delta del Ebro. You can visit their interpretation centre, the salt marshes, the hides for observing estuary birdlife, as well as ride in the traditional punts. The finishing touch is supplied in L’Ametlla de Mar by the team at Tuna Tour, who will take you diving among red tuna, which you will also be able to taste at the end of the excursion.
Route 2 – From Tarragona to Gratallops (73 km)
Tarragona is the first stop on this second route, which includes a tour of the city guided by Icono Serveis, while Tarragona Experience goes a step further by taking you into their Roman kitchen workshop, Domus Apicius. After this heady dose of culture, it’s time to head for the Port Aventura amusement park, where thrills and excitement are guaranteed. How about a day’s fishing in a genuine fishing boat? The experience is yours at Pesca Turismo Cambrils, so make sure you don’t miss out on it! A stopover at Reus is the perfect excuse for visiting the Gaudí Centre, where you can follow the first few steps of one of the most outstanding and unique architects in this land. The itinerary ends in the Priorat region and their magnificent DO wine, which you can taste in such wineries as Clos de l’Obac, located in Gratallops.
Route 3 – From the Prades Mountains to Vilanova i la Geltrú (112 km)
Awaiting you in the Prades Mountains are villages like Farena, Alcover and Capafonts. You can also join some of the activities offered by Brogit Guiatges, including dramatised excursions, homemade cheese and honey tastings or walking with a shepherd. When you feel like a break, we recommend heading for one of the three monumental complexes making up the so-called “Ruta del Cister” (Cistercian Route), notably the Monastery of Poblet, where you can also stay the night. Wine lovers can take the opportunity to visit Pacs del Penedès and indulge in an enotouristic experience at the Torres Winery. We wind up this third itinerary at the town of Vilanova i la Geltrú, where you can observe a splendid sunset from a yacht. What more could you ask for?
Route 4 - From Sitges to Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (74 km)
In such an inspiring place as Sitges, one good option is to rely on AGIS to take you on a stroll through artists’ workshops. And, if you’re hankering for something racy, why not drop in on Casa Bacardí and learn how to make cocktails? The town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló is a must for devotees of Gaudian architecture, as there you can visit the Güell Colony and Gaudí’s Crypt. And, needless to say, this trip also includes a jaunt through the Penedès DO region where you can stop off at an organic wine cellar like Albet i Noya, or proceed to Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, home to the main cava wineries such as Codorníu.
Route 5 - From Montserrat to Caldes de Montbui (61 km)
One site you simply cannot afford to miss is Montserrat, a major symbol of Catalonia. There you can visit the monastery and the art museum, as well as hike through the amazing nature park. After this immersion in raw nature, you could head for Terrassa, which boasts a number of first-rate museums, notably the Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya, (Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia) Museu Tèxtil (Textile Museum) and Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya (Audiovisual Park of Catalonia). This itinerary winds down in “relaxation mode” at the Termes Victòria spa hotel, or the Broquetas Spa, both located in Caldes de Montbui.
Route 6 - From Montmeló to Palamós (155 km)
Are you a speed freak? Then the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, located in Montmeló, is the place for you, where you can get to drive your dream car. And, if you have any energy to spare for more excitement, at Globus Voltor, in the town of Cardedeu, you can sign up for a hot-air balloon ride, or visit the Can Vila horse-riding school in Sant Esteve de Palautordera and explore the Montseny Nature Park on horseback. This route comes to a close in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, where a walk along the coastal footpath comes highly recommended, and Palamós, where you can take part in a seafood cookery workshop in the Espacio del Pescado.
Route 7 - From L’Estartit to Girona (149 km)
Our final route starts with a diving excursion led by the Aquàtica crew in the waters around the Medes Isles off the coast of L’Estartit, while the wetlands of the Empordà region are ideal for ecokayaking with the SK Kayak team. On the outskirts of the nearby village of Sant Martí d’Empúries you should make a point of visiting the Greek and Roman ruins, and a heady dose of culture awaits you in the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes – dramatised visit included – the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, the Salvador Dalí House-Museum in Portlligat and the historic centre of Girona, which you can tour on a segway. The final flourish on this route is provided by the Empordà DO wines – you are urged to visit Empordàlia, located in the town of Vilajuïga, where you can taste wines, oil and the region’s typical dishes.
Text by the Agencia Catalana de Turismomore info