de Silvia Mignarelli
We do not need too many reasons to make the trip. There is always something new to discover and something old to remember. But if someone needs excuses, here we offer 16 cities that have important things to celebrate in 2016 and are more popular than ever.
Toledo, Spanish Gastronomy Capital
Toledo has no shortage of attractions to deserve a visit, but in 2016 it has another one far from negligible. It has been named the 2016 Spanish Gastronomy Capital, and it has also happened to Caceres, Vitoria, Burgos and Logroño than they all have been it in previous years. The common denominator of all these is, of course, care for the cuisine, good products and good work of his cooks and his appointment turns into an increase of more than 20% of visitors and a high impact on the national and foreign medias. 2016 is a special year for the capital of Castilla-La Mancha as it marks the 30th anniversary of its declaration as a UNESCO World Heritage City and the 400th anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’ death.
Based on humble ingredients, Toledo cuisine is as tasty as filling: cocido, migas, gachas, stews made with wild game such as partridge and, of course, their very renowned marzipan sweets. The city of Three Cultures has enormous historical and artistic legacy, in which the figure of El Greco and his fabulous cathedral, one of the most visited in Spain. www.capitalespanoladelagastronomia.es
San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture 2016 is a great opportunity to bet on culture and dialogue as a means to build a better relationship in which mutual understanding and tolerance prevail among the cultures. It will also serve to strengthen ties with the rest of Europe and encourage innovation in the cultural sector. The program that San Sebastian has developed proposes a framework that welcomes artistic and cultural processes emerged from citizen participation initiatives. Projects and initiatives invite to rethink how we relate to ourselves, to society and the environment.
The project has a particular impact in areas that promote the knowledge and use of the technology (Hirikia), enhance mediation in the creative process (Hazitegiak), promote linguistic diversity (284+), facilitate public participation (Bestelab) and promote critical thinking through contemporary art (Pagadi). La Bella Easo will host the largest exhibition of the representation of peace in Europe, and the Antiwar Festival which, during the Holy Week will gather local and international artists and groups, and activists working for peace. << Http://dss2016.eu/es/ >>
Riga and Latvia celebrates its 25 years of independence
It’s been a quarter century since this Baltic jewel left behind communism and declared its independence. To celebrate it, the country continues to get back its traditions, its castles and mansions restoring and transforming its dishes to create a new Nordic cuisine. Riga has been placed firmly on the tourist map due to the increased number of budget airline flights and standard companies connecting the Latvian capital with other European cities. The spotlight of the city is centered in the old part, which is piled along the banks of the Daugava River in a maze of cobbled streets, bulky spires and impressive squares. Ironically, the old city was besieged and captured by the Germans, nowadays possesses the most impressive display of German Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. The Unesco has classified Riga a World Heritage site.www.latvia.travel/en
Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture
It looks more like a small Venice, the capital of the region of Lower Silesia is set on 12 islands linked together by 112 bridges. In 2016 Wroclaw is, along with San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture. It is the largest city in southwestern Poland and the starting point for numerous routes to the Sudeten Mountains. With an attractive position, just 180 km from Prague and 150 from Dresden, its strategic location made it be desired by all and has belonged to Poles, Czechs, Austrians, Hungarians and Germans. Bathed by the Odra River, it is a city of bridges and gardens. Testimonies of its rich past are the Gothic Town Hall and the Gothic and Renaissance bourgeois houses.
As in other Polish cities, its heart is the Market square, big and bustling, that, with the start of the academic year, is filled with the nearly 100,000 students who have chosen this city for their accademic career. Wroclaw offers a creative and innovative proposal, with the slogan “Beauty Spaces”, pleasant spaces have been created to satisfy the human desire for coexistence with art and culture works. This idea of change is symbolized by the butterfly which is the logo of Wroclaw as European Capital of Culture, whose motto is “Metamorphosis of cultures”, and whose strengths are enthusiasm, creativity of its artists and the support of its inhabitants www.wroclaw.pl www.polonia.travel/es
Rome shows its best side for the Jubilee
Although Jubilees in Rome usually are every 25 years (the last was in 2000) Pope Francis has “invented” a new one, the Year of Mercy, which will surely attract many pilgrims and ordinary tourists. This time the Jubilee is almost universal since Francis has established “holy doors of mercy” in cathedrals and sanctuaries of every dioceses in the world so that the faithful can gain the indulgence without travelling to Rome. The Eternal City, however, is the goal of many travellers and will present its best face. It is expected that during 2016 more than 30 million visitors will reach. They have restored the Colosseum, which after years of wrapping in tarps and scaffolding, will be finally exposed to visitors, and the Trevi Fountain has also been restored. www.italia.it/es www.im.va
Munich, 500 years drinking the best beer
Bavaria and its capital Munich, are celebrating 500th anniversary of the German Beer Purity Law in 2016, which authorized the use of barley, hops and water in its production. The law has remained in force and even the Bavarians have requested that beer should be declared world treasure. In Germany there are about 5,000 different varieties of beer that are manufactured in over 1,300 breweries, more than half of which are in Bavaria.
The German region of Bavaria is famous for its beer festival in Munich (Oktoberfest, which despite its name takes place in late September), but also for its fairytale castles, its medieval walled towns along the Romantic Route and its villages in the magical forests. The German Tourist Office proposes the Beer and Castles Route, very well signposted, which runs along the national road 85, along 500 km, starting form Passau to Bad Frankenhausen (Thuringia). Alongside the cozy atmosphere related to beer, art, culture, nature and gastronomy come together: an effervescent convergence of fun, history and barley. www.germany.travel/es: By the cozy beer related art, culture,
Two good reasons to visit Paris … and the rest of France
There are always good reasons to go to Paris, and this coming year more than ever, even if just as a tribute to the victims of recent attacks and as a demonstration that terrorism will never beat the cravings of tourists to keep travelling. But also, from June 10th to July 10th, 2016, France will host the finals of 15th UEFA European Football Championship. A sport event that the country knows well because it has been the host for the third time in less than 60 years.
24 teams will participate in the finals of Euro Championship. In total, 51 matches will be played in 10 cities in France, and Paris will host 12 of them (5 at the Parc des Princes and 7 at the Stade de France). Although there are ten French cities (Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne, Toulouse) where matches will be played and added all the sport celebration programs, animations, good plans, concerts, games … Paris is definitely the main attraction. Opening ceremony, opening game and final of the Euro 2016 Cup at the Stade de France, with direct elimination match at the Parc des Princes, festive atmosphere in the streets of the capital and the “fan zone” of the Champ-de-Mars , International Broadcast Center at Porte de Versailles, headquarters of the fans in the “quai de l’Europe”. <<Http://es.france.fr/ >>
Merida, Latin American Capital of Culture Gourmet
Just finished the mandate of Caceres as Spanish Gastronomy Capital, another frontier city takes over, with a title that seems inspired by the former. Designated Latin American Capital of Gourmet Culture in 2016, therefore Merida is well worth a visit, in addition to its renowned International Festival of Classical Theatre.
Extremaduran cuisine is one of the most comprehensive in our country and there are many certificates of origin of which it can boast: Torta del Casar, Pimenton de la Vera, jamon de Dehesa de Extremadura, Queso de La Serena and Ibores … The merger of these delicacies and art, culture and sports will be the main focus of the capital. Extremadura remains ‘on fire’ to the search of gastronomic recognition. An ideal place to strengthen borders and bring new market to Extremaduran products. And for those who already know, an agenda full of excuses to go back and get lost among Roman monuments. << Http://meridacapitalgastronomica.es/ >>
Lisbon enhances its creative side
It is not often speak of the avant-garde strength of Portuguese cities. Maybe that’s why, in 2016, Lisbon has focused on various events and inaugurations with whom claim its slice in the cake of creativity in the world. Next year will again show its architectural potential with its triennial while it will hold its first festival of street art, yet unnamed but with approximate date: May. Something that began to be asked aloud for the thousands of projects that Vhils and company were moving into the city. It will also be the year in which Belém change in a radical way. A new center for art exhibitions at the Museum of Electricity and the new museum of cars and carriages will remove some prominence to the famous tower and to the Jeronimos Monastery.
During the visit to Lisbon do not forget its popular Rua Nova do Carvalho, in Cais do Sodre, better known as “Pink Street” that The New York Times has selected among his favorite streets of 12 European cities. In the list, drawn up with the help of readers, the newspaper explains that “for decades, the Rua Nova do Carvalho was mainly inhabited by prostitutes and fishermen”. Currently, the article continues, “The street is pedestrianized and is painted with a cheerful pink mask “, the reason why it is known, especially among foreigners, as “Pink Street”. The article says that, at this time, it is “the most lively street in Lisbon nightlife, with bars that energize the area.”www.visitlisboa.com www.visitportugal.com/es
Ljubljana, Green Capital of Europe
Ljubljana is a city with green spirit. The town remarks for its high environmental awareness, and it has managed to retain its green image to the present. In June 2014, the European Commission has awarded Ljubljana with the title of Green Capital for 2016 by “promoting environmental awareness among citizens, sustainable strategy” Vizija 2025 “, the implementation of various green measures that has been applied in the city over the last decade and a clean public transport”. It is not its only title: in April 2015 Ljubljana also received the “Tourism for Tomorrow” award at the world meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) organization as the destination with greater focus on sustainability. The jury found that the image of Ljubljana was “completely redesigned in accordance with an orientation to sustainability.” Ljubljana is a city that brags of excellently preserved and numerous pleasant green spots, even in the same city center.
The scenic banks of the Ljubljanica river, designed by architect Joze Plecnik, are surrounded by trees and especially on the shores of Krakovo and Trnovo, by grass surfaces. Nearby there is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe knjižnica pod dreveside. www.slovenia.info/es
Holland and Madrid celebrate Bosch
In 2016, 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch (approx 1450-1516), the most famous Dutch medieval painter, popularly known as El Bosco. Throughout the entire year various activities and exhibitions will be held in his hometown, Den Bosch (‘s-Hertogenbosch) and the surrounding areas, to honor the artist and his dreamlike and fantastic work. Among all these events, the ones that stand out are the major retrospective of all time on Bosch in Het Noordbrabants Museum; Bosch Grand Tour in 4 cities of Brabant and 7 museums; and Bosch Experience in the medieval part of the city of Den Bosch. Even if travel to the Netherlands is easy and cheap, you can get a second chance to enjoy the work of El Bosco in Madrid. The Prado Museum will present “El Bosco.
The Centenary Exhibition” from 31/05/2016 to 09/11/2016, a solo exhibition that thanks to the important group of works that preserve the Prado and the Spanish collections, will feature the leading triptychs created by Him Bosco, including the outstanding loan of the Triptych of the Temptations of Saint Anthony from the Museum of Ancient Art of Lisbon, and others from important institutions. The sample is divided into five thematic sections to which a sixth section has been added to the drawings. As an introduction, the painter and his work will be placed in its city, which for him was almost like his trademark identity- along with some artists who worked with him in its hometown as Alart du Hameel or Adriaen van Wessel. And as an epilogue, the last section will host a select representation of works in which the influence that the painter has exercised after his death and along the XVI century and a taste for “the Boschian” which manifested throughout the whole century. www.holland.comwww.museodelprado.es