Spring is here and Easter is underway, which means a flurry of activity across the Valencian Community. From al fresco concerts to new exhibitions there is plenty to see and do. Why not add one of these events to your diary?
Explore the new Joaquin Sorolla exhibition at Bellas Artes
Valencia’s grand, blue-domed Bellas Artes museum is already well-known for its collection of Joaquin Sorolla paintings, the Valencian son who so magically captured the city’s light and everyday life at the turn of the 20th Century.
And this year, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the so-called ‘master of light’, a new temporary exhibition has just opened to explore his earlier works.
Entitled Origins, it features a whole variety of early works, including his 1883 painting The Slave and the Dove, created when he was just 20 years old and considered the first to showcase his ability to capture light.
The exhibition, in partnership with the Sorolla Museum in Madrid, will feature other works never before displayed in Valencia, tracing his career from early drawings to his first seascapes and including photos and watercolours, too. It will run until June 11, 2023, and is just one of the ways the city is marking the centenary of Sorolla’s death.
Take a digital wine tour in Requena
Just a short train journey away from the capital, Valencia’s protected wine region is a lush escape from city and coast. Anchoring the vines to the mountain region are the two towns of Utiel and Requena, where you can explore castles, caves once used to store wines and rustic eateries.
If you fancy touring the vineyards under your own steam, winemaker Pago de Tharsys has taken the experience digital, with an app you can use to explore the 35 acres of vines that surround its wine cellar. You’ll be guided by GPS for more than a mile with stopoffs at eight points of interest to learn about different grape varieties, the soils and winemaking traditions.
Download it from App Store or Google Play Store and Medusa, the mythological figurehead of the wine brand, will be your guide, imparting information in English and Spanish along the way and your tour will finish with a tasting beneath an arbour.
Looking to make a weekend of it? Combine your tour with a stay at the charming Las Canilleros B&B in Requena, a thoughtfully renovated village house complete with its own historic cave.
Stay in Bofill’s work of art in Calpe
He was famous for his geometric buildings and the Mediterranean and Arabic styles that inspired his work, and architect Ricardo Bofill is being celebrated this year in beach town Calpe.
The Alicante hot spot had declared 2023 its Year of Bofill in Calpe, just before he died in early 2022, but the celebrations are still going ahead.
Bofill’s most famous work in Calpe is the 1972 apartment complex ‘The Red Wall’, which perches on the cliff to the southern end of the Bay of Calpe, looking across to the striking Penyal d’Ifac rock.
Said to have been inspired by the design of a North African kasbah, all terraces, patios and hidden walkways, it is actually just one of three quirky buildings that make up the coastal Manzanera urbanization designed by Bofill.
The forest-green Xanadu building looks like a teetering pile of houses on top of each other right on the coast and is home to 18 modern apartments while the sleek Amphitheatre complex, all creamy exteriors set around a red-tiled pool, is home to another 27 luxury homes.
From April to the end of September, Calpe will offer weekly guided tours of the city’s Ricard Bofill architecture, which is normally closed to the public. Email email@example.com for more details. Or you could always book a stay in one of the apartments within the urbanisation. Apartments in The Red Wall are available on Booking and Airbnb from €95 a night.
Valencia.Style is the new Valencia travel guide to the best experiences in the Valencian Community
By Sarah Gordon, Editor at Valencia.Style