These days we are bit busy because we are moving to a new flat but one week ago we had some free days and we decided to make a quick visit to the Catalan province of Lleida. We really needed some relax! 🙂
Lleida (whose capital has the same name) is the fourth and less populated province of Catalonia, after Barcelona, Tarragona and Girona. But the city of Lleida has a medieval complex (La Seu Vella) which has been the scenario of some historical highlights of Catalonia while the entire province is known for its natural and agricultural importance.
Just 30 minutes driving from Barcelona, the Bages is an inland region full of history, landmarks like Montserrat and an old tradition of excellent food and wine. We decided to discover a small piece of this land visiting Artium cellar and Món Sant Benet monastery. It was a gastronomic, cultural and historical journey to the heart of Catalonia. In this post we explain all what we learnt, what we ate and what we drank in this one day trip from the well known capital of Catalonia. As always, we try to recommend unknown but valuable sites and experiences out of Barcelona. Hope this post is useful for your next trip to this mediterranean country.
Peníscola is a medieval town built on a rock hill between two beaches in the north of Castelló province in Spain. Birthplace of a pope and shooting location for Game of Thrones, Peníscola mixes a medieval castle with white painted houses and the Mediterranean sea as background landscape.
If you love old towns and historical sites as much as we do, you will be happy to know that there is a hidden region in Spain where you can find, among others, a city built from the old Roman town of Emerita Augusta (now named Mérida), a monastery with a wonderful Mudejar cloister devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe (in the village with the same name) and the two medieval gems appearing in this post. That region, Extremadura, was the land of famous Spaniard conquerors of the New World. But today Extremadura still remains unconquerable to the great number of tourists that visit Spain year after year.
Our journey to Portugal led us to cross the entire Iberian Peninsula by car and to enter the Portuguese region of Alentejo from Extremadura. On that trip I realised that amazing places can be found quite close and Cáceres and Trujillo are two living examples of that which have even served as the location of Game of Thrones due to their amazing architecture.
We love Italy, that amazing country surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, home of the Occidental culture, a land of art and gastronomy. Italy is a synonym of good wine, better music and lots of romanticism. And the best part of it is that we are quite close to such a paradise. So there was no better way to celebrate Dídac’s birthday last summer than a short break to Tuscany.
Despite our trip mainly took place between Pisa and Firenze, we decided to rent a car in Pisa to spend a day driving (without map and without GPS!) to discover some hotspots in the region. In our plan we had two must stops: San Gimignano and Siena, but we still had time to end our day with a nice dinner in Monteriggioni.