British media counts down Valencia’s Top 10

August 31, 2010

According to British journalist, Stuart White, there are numerous reasons to visit Valencia (we could have told him that long ago) but he eventually managed to restrict himself to a Top 10.

Describing Valencia as “Spain’s third largest, most exciting and wonderfully diverse city”, White starts out by singing the praises o paella, a local dish that most now realise originated in the city, the world famous Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias and the imagination of Santiago Calatrava and the Turia Gardens. This 10km stretch of former riverbed, created when the Rio Turia was diverted out of the city, sports a network of wonderful nature paths, popular with walkers, joggers, dog owners and skateboarders. 

The marvellous sandy beaches also merit a mention, along with Valencia’s historic Mercado Centrico. Covering 8,000m2, this bustling market is a splendid introduction to the best of valenciano produce; from the scent of roasted nuts and spices to the heady aroma of fresh fish it clearly enchanted Stuart White. City traditions also feature strongly on his list. His examples of civic excellence are wide, from the coat of arms to the local tipples, horchata and Agua de Valencia. The fallas merit a mention of their own, the combination of fire and fireworks exciting the author a much as it does the locals.

Rounding off the list are three very disparate elements of Valencian life: White praises the historical aspects of the city, paying particular attention to its medieval highlights, from the gothic city gates to the Water Court, he also mentions La Catedral de Valencia as the final home of the Holy Grail and rounds off his list with sport. Starting with the Plaza de Toros (Spain’s largest) White name-checks Valencia’s Formula One street circuit, the Marina Real Juan Carlos I and the city’s beloved football team. There’s no publicity like free publicity and Stuart White’s article, covering so many aspects of valenciano life, is a particularly welcome boost to the city’s profile in the UK.

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