The autonomous community of Valencia is the third largest urban area of Spain, which boasts its own distinct character and charm found nowhere else in the country. Most travelers think of the City of Valor as a perfect escape from all the amped-up tourist hustle and bustle you would usually find in Barcelona. Nestled alongside the calming warm shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Valencia has established itself as the region’s center of culture, economy leader, and tourism hotspot. If you plan on visiting this majestic city, here are some useful tips and interesting facts that will help you navigate through the experience.
Known for producing textiles, automobiles, metals, chemicals, and azulejos, Valencia is taking over as the country’s economic center. A lot of produce is exported across the nation and outside of the country – this is no mere feat. Additionally, the city is also putting an emphasis on its agricultural and horticultural produce so prepare to savor some of the most delicious fruits in town. Tourism is another economic branch that is rapidly developing, thanks to a wide choice of hotel resorts, family-friendly attractions, delicious traditional cuisine, epic stag do getaways, and a vibrant nightclub scene.
Name origins and language
“Valentia” is a Latin word, which means strength, bravery, and valor. The Romans were among the first to inhabit these areas and they had a habit to recognize the valor of fallen soldiers after a war. The name stuck so nowadays the people of Valencia are called Valencianos or “the valorous”. They speak two official languages, one being Spanish and the other Valencian. The political and demographic pressures of the past instigated a need for establishing and protecting an autonomous identity, which is why Valencian is taught and spoken only in the province area. It sounds Spanish but the words and spelling are similar to English and French.
The port with a Mediterranean weather
Located on the Mediterranean western coast, Valencia is the fifth largest port city in Europe which services more than 7,500 ships annually. Amazing, right? It also boasts a huge collection of coastal resorts and unbridled shorelines, which are a magnet for tourists. Considering that the weather here can get really hot, the city is a perfect summer destination where you can bathe in the sun and just relax under an umbrella with a long cocktail straw reaching your mouth. The climate is also responsible for a variety of migrating bird species that reside here during the winter season.
The Golden Age of Valencia
Historically, Valencia reached its cultural and economic bloom in the 15th century. This was the time when the city was the most populous and richest urban area of the whole Kingdom or Aragon. Naturally, with the commercial expansion, the arts and sciences also flourished. This is the main reason why we still have some majestic sacral structures decorating the modern-day streets. Take, for instance, the Valencia Cathedral situated at the center of the once Roman settlement. Considering that it boasts severes styles, the holy structure is a perfect example of Valencia’s colorful past and diverse artistic expression.
Interestingly enough, American football is extremely popular in Valencia. The city is the only one in Spain to have two teams – Valencia Firebats and Valencia Giants – in the LNFA Serie A, the national first division. The former have been national champions three times so far and have represented both the city and the nation in the European playoffs since 2005.