Valencia Las Fallas

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las fallas valenciaValencia is a beautiful city to visit any time of the year, but for the next month, building up to a crescendo during march 15h -19th, one of the great festivals on the planet is about to explode once again. The Las Fallas festival has its origin as a tribute to St Joseph, Patron Saint of the carpenters guild. The tradition of building sculptures out of scrap would and burning them in spring has evolved to to massive city wide extravaganza. Over 350 Fallas are created out of wood , paper mache and plaster that are stunningly realistic. Some of them are huge, over 60 feet high. The art ranges from whimsical fairy tail scenes to provocative political and social commentary. All week explosions rock the city with daily fireworks displays, families stroll along with boxes of M80s tossing them in the air. On the final night, millions of people fill the streets as the years work and preparation go up in flames, when all the Fallas are burned. It is a fantastically cathartic and totally wacky event. Absolutely the best party I have ever been to.

There is a lot to see in Valencia. From a walk on the beach to the futuristic City of Arts & Sciences, to the traditional Mercado Central. And remember, this is Spain, and Valencia is the home of of paella, the food is fantastic. Here are few ideas of places to check out and links to some useful sites to find out more about Valencia. Check out my slide show above of  images from 2011 with music by the fabulous Peter Blanchette

The Food:
PALACIO DE LA BELLOTA
“A temple of ham, I loved this place”
7 Calle Mossèn Femadés; 34-96-351-4994;

CASA MONTANA
“Traditional tapas and small plates in a comfortable historic setting. Spanish food done right ”
69 Jose Benlliure, El Cabanyal;
34-96-367-2314;

Vertical
“ A Michelin-star, fantastic view of the city and spectacular food”
Hotel Confortel Aqua 3; 19-21 Luis Garcia Berlanga; 34-96- 330-3800;

ARROP
“ A Michelin-star, beautiful and precise plates full of flavor near the Roman ruins at the Plaza de l’Almoina”
14 Almirante; 34-96-392-5566;

LA MATANDETA
“All your paella dreams will come true here.”
Km. 4 Carr. Alfafar–El Saler, Alfafar; 34-96-211- 2184;

Seu Xerea
A friendly neighborhood feel with exquisite inventive food
Almodovar 4, Valencia • Tuesday to Saturday: 13:30-15:30, 20:30-23:00 • +34 963 924 000

 

Sagardi Valencia Centro

“A basque cider house, very fun, good tapas and great hard cider right out of the barrel”
6 San Vicente Martir, Valencia, 46002

Where to stay:
Hotel SH Valencia Palace
Paseo Alameda, 32
46023 Valencia Spain
http://www.hotel-valencia-palace.com/en/melia-valencia-palace.html

Links to find out more about Las Fallas and what to do and  see in Valencia when you are not blowing things up.

http://www.fallasfromvalencia.com/index.htm

http://www.spain.info/en/

http://en.comunitatvalenciana.com/home/home-english/493

http://www.cac.es/