Valencia: the perfect place where to live in
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The first time I visited Valencia was in October 2013 with my dear friend Manuel. We visit Valencia during a weekend and from the first time this city captured me especially for the contrast between modern and ancient.
Valencia is located on the east coast of Spain and is the third largest city after Madrid and Barcelona with around 800,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the homonymous Valencian Community and is a bilingual city: the population speaks both Valencian and Spanish!
In 2015 I applied for a program of "Traineeships abroad" choosing Spain as the host country. Guess which city has been assigned to me? VALENCIA!
I carry out my 5-month internship in 2016 at Turismo Valencia, to which I am very grateful. It was a unique experience with special colleagues as well. And it is this second time that I lived this city fully and I fell in love with it.
To visit Valencia, you have to start from its historical centre and then move into various districts (barrios) that make Valencia a multifaceted city! Valencia also overlooks the Mediterranean Sea with its famous La Malvarrosa beach! (http://www.marsontheroad.com/en/destinazioni/37/valencia-dove-la-storia-incontra-il)
But what characterizes Valencia for me are these 2 following things:
1. City of Arts and Sciences: an immense architectural complex built by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava in the late 90s. The structure, of about 350,000 square meters, is divided into 6 large sections: Palace of Arts, Umbracle, Hemispheric, Museum of Science, Oceanographic and Agora. It takes at least two full days to visit the City of Science in Valencia. But if you don’t have enough time, also the view from the outside will amaze you.
For those who are looking for entertainment, there are the nightclubs Mya and the Umbracle. From the first moment you will be impressed by the fantastic terrace with conical shapes, palm trees, and fantastic Gardens. The restaurant is connected to the Mya Club which is located on the basement of the building (open all year-round).The Umbracle is not only the place with the latest hits, Latin music, R & B and house music, but offers also a relaxation area with comfortable sofas and with a pleasant soft lighting. This restaurant, open approximately from May to October, is the perfect place for anyone looking for an open-air disco to spend a great summer evening in Valencia. Also, an elegant dress code is very recommended.
2. The Turia Gardens: 9 km of pure escape to practice sport, pedal or simply for a walk. It is a true "green lung" of the city! These gardens are born in the old bed of the river Turia, deviated south of the city because of disastrous floods (like the one of the 1957, which killed more than 400 people and pushed the Francoist regime to make radical decisions).
It is my favourite place in Valencia where, after work, I trained running to take part in the Nocturna Valencia
(15 km of evening running in the city of Valencia that takes place during the first week of June every year). Unforgettable experience and the park is an incredible place for personal recreation.
Also for the little ones, there is the Gulliver Park where we find a large-scale representation of the giant Gulliver, with the difference that his clothes and his hair form ramps, slides, and stairs with which the children can have fun and play. You can visit the park every day from 10 am to 8 pm, admission is free. Besides the purpose of a playground, the Gulliver Park has the function, like other points inside the ancient riverbed, of rainwater’s drainage, to ensure that, in cases of heavy rainfall, water does not accumulate on the surface.
To the east of the park lies the City of Arts and Sciences, while to the west the Bioparc. It is a 100,000 square meter zoological park that recreates various African ecosystems.
Not to be missed during the month of March is the celebration of Las Fallas, declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016. It is characterized by the construction of wooden sculptures that are built in various falleras communities and are exhibited in the streets of each district. At the end of this celebration, they are burned during the night between March 19th and 20th. It may seem absurd that after a year of work they come up to this conclusion but this is their purpose and, at the same time, their magnificence. You must live it to really understand of what it is about!
So why Valencia is a perfect place to live in?
First of all, for not being a big city like Madrid or Barcelona. But above all for the presence of the sea, its small historical centre, the City of Arts and Sciences and the Turia Gardens. It is a very livable city where you can always use the bike thanks to the numerous km of cycle paths also with ValenBisi (the city’s bikes), and full of events, especially in summer. In short, it is a city that does not let you to get bored in any time!