Spain is comprised of 17 autonomous communities:
Castile y Leon
With two autonomous cities in Africa:
These communities harbor cultural and linguistic differences that are the fundamental challenges of modern day Spain. Many different cultures have influenced the country and placed their stamp on the land. Neanderthal, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Celt, Iberic, Muslim, Judaic, etc… The diverse influences are everywhere. It is a nation rich in heritage.
Spain has a large number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Forest parks, pre-historic caves and Roman ruins join walled towns and monasteries as part of a list of 44 currently designated sites.
The autonomous communities are divided into provinces. Since I am concentrating on Catalunya first, I will breakdown that area first. Catalunya is what people from there call it. It is spelled Catalonia by the English speakers, but I would rather honor the people who live there. Catalunya is divided into comarcas, or counties which consist of the various municipalities. Veinat – hamlet, poble/poblat – town/village, ciutat – city, etc. It has been amazingly fun to delve into the past of this beautiful place. I can’t wait to go.
Lastly, I list the sources for most of my information. These sites have done the crucial groundwork for my study. I am simply compiling the information into one, hopefully, easy to read day planner.
Every comarca and municipality has a webpage. I have viewed many of them! They are full of information regarding things to do, places to stay and where to eat while in town. Each town will also have it’s own festival (festa)each year. This is the town’s time to shine. Many festas are centered around Easter, Saint’s days, harvest times and wine. Manlleu has it’s festa del Serpent and Valencia has it’s fire festival (Las Fallas)! Fire and wine are frequently involved in many Catalan festivals. These people know how to party.
Another interesting tradition of Catalunya is castells, castells made of people climbing on top of one another. The tallest wins. There will be lots of wine consumed and certainly a fire or two that day.
There is also a regular day each week that the town market opens. If you are familiar with that day ahead of time, you can take advantage of the money savings over eating out every day. Although, eating out every day brings its own benefits…