Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Key to Reserva by Martin Scorsese.

Freixenet - there's a name to conjure with! Especially at Christmas time. The famous Cava in the golden bottle graces many a table throughout Spain and the world.
What you may not know is that each year the Spanish nation eagerly awaits the screening of the latest Christmas Advert on the television. It is such a popular event that it is even announced in advance in the press and on television and is allotted schedules, just like a normal Television Programme. It is shown on several nights on many channels, usually features a big international star, the Freixenet Bubble girls and usually has a running time of at least five minutes.
This year Freixenet (pronounced, fresh-e-net, by the way!) have scored a major coup by employing one of the world's great directors, Martin Scorsese, and given him free reign to produce their film for 2007. He has taken that free reign, has dispensed with the bubble girls, and has produced a brilliant homage to Hitchcock entitled 'The Key to Reserva'. You can see it online by clicking the headline

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas in Valencia

Aaaah, the lights are going up for christmas all over the city. We always like the lights on our town hall, El Ayuntamiento.
There seem to be less Bélens (Nativity Scenes) this year, in previous years there have been huge ones in the Ayuntamiento and Nuevo Centro. All we have seen this year is an exhibition of the Society of Bélen Makers at the museum in the Almudin.

The Cultural Event of the Year (possibly)

BOB YAREHAM, journalist and author reading extracts from his highly unsuccessful book: ‘ENGLISH BEAUTY’, accompanied by penniless Patagonian jazz musician ‘MONO’ LEÓN.
an exhibition of signed prints by artist and graphic designer (and he’s not too bad) TIMOTHY-V. BIRCH of fame.
Sunday 16th December 6.30 P.M.
10% of all books and prints sold will be donated to Médicos sin Fronteras

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Restaurants, cafes and Bars in Valencia city

really amusing and informative reviews of the restaurants of Valencia, and great listings too.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 22, 2007

Flood Damage at the Palau de les Arts

Helga Schmidt

Contractors outside the Palau

In a hastily convened press conference at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia this afternoon, Helga Schmidt, the Palau's Chief Representative, announced that due to the damage to the new Opera House following heavy rains on the 11th and 12th of October, the new season that was supposed to begin with a new production of Carmen on the 26th will now be delayed until the 06 November.

Santiago Calatrava flew over yesterday with his team to survey the damage and had meetings with the Foundation, representatives of the City of Arts and Sciences and also the Generalitat. Meeting continued today to evaluate and identify the problems and so find solutions so that the new season can go ahead. The date of 06 November will, they feel, give the various sub-contractors time to rectify the damage.

The rest of the season will go on as advertised, with the exception of the production of 1984, whose staging requires the hydraulic platform, the motors of which were damaged by the water and need to be replaced. 1984 will now be held another season, as Lorin Maazel is unable, due to other commitments to reschedule during the current season. (Any ticket holders for this Opera will be fully refunded.)

The main damage seem to have been electrical , and the Opera House is currently without power. The computer ticketing system has been lost, the audio visual systems in the main auditorium are damaged and there is still water in some areas. Currently only the contractors have access, though there is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 6pm to see whether the power an be put back on Wednesday. If successful, this would mean that rehearsals, which have been unable to take place so far, can begin in the auditorium on Saturday.

Ms Schmidt emphasised that the production is ready, that the costumes and sets were undamaged, it just needs the Orchestra, Choir and performers to get together in the main hall to rehearse. It is most important that the airconditioning i working for this to happen.

Tickets for the public which were due to go on sale on the 19th will now be on sale at the ticket offices at the Palau only on the 29th October. These will be for Carmen ONLY, and as the computer system will not at that time be functioning yet, purchasers are asked to bring cash and to be very patient as the tickets will be issued manually.

On the 26th of November, tickets for all remaining Performances throughout the season, by which time a brand new automated ticket system will be in Place.
More details Follow

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HR Giger opens his first exhibition in Spain

HR Giger inspects the exhibition in Valencia today prior to tomorrow night's opening

Mr Giger and the head.

The first major retrospective of the works by HR Giger in Spain opens in Valencia tomorrow (18th October). It is to be held in the Sala d'exposicions at the UPV (La Universidad Politécnica de Valencia) and runs until december.
The man himself will be there to open the exhibition. The special site set up for the exhibiton has been flooded with visitors since it went live on tuesday and online sales of the merchandise have been extraordinary.
There are over fifty works on display including the famous head from Alien.
We'll bring you a full report on on friday -including a few words, we hope, from the great man himself!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Raquel Welch and Don Johnson Visit Valencia

Don Johnson arrives at the press conference.

Don Johnson with a flyer.

Raquel Welch with Festival organiser Juan Piquer

Raquel Welch in Valencia

Mostra de Valencia, the Mediterranean Film Festival, started today with press conferences with two of its three special international guests.
First on the rostrum was the genial actor Don Johnson, who immediately told the attending press how impressed he was with the city of Valencia and how he would like to return with his wife and family for a holiday. Asked if it worried him that he is more remembered for his part in Miami Vice and his marriage to Melanie Griffith , than for his film work, he retorted that he was proud of Miami Vice and had a beautiful daughter with Melanie - what more could a man ask for?
Next came Raquel Welch, still looking extremely glamorous and trim. Though she has been to Spain many times, this is her first visit to Valencia and she also commented on the what a beautiful place it is. Her reply to the question, What is the secret to your continuing beauty, she replied shear hard work - I'm high maintenance!
After the press conferences they both went on to meet Valencia's Mayor, Rita Barbera, at a reception where they were presented with the keys to the city.
Tonight, there is a Gala to launch the Festival at Palau de la Musica.
The Festival gets under way at the ABC Park Cinema tomorrow. 166 films will be shown, several are Spanish premieres, two films are world premieres. There are 33 sessions during the festival with a choice of five films per session. Further details and links to the full programme on

Read more of the interviews on from 17 October.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Josep Renau - An exhibition at Octubre

Las Arenas, the beach of Valencia
War Poster
Picasso's Guernica - commissioned by Benau for the 1937 World's Fair in Paris

There is a fascinating exhibition at the Octubre Gallery/Arts Centre (C/Sant Ferran 12, 46001 Valencia), Josep Renau is someone you will probably never have heard of directly.

Born in 1907 in Valencia he was an Illustrator, Muralist and, in his latter years made a series of surreal photo montages.

His early years were devoted to magazine and poster illustration, beautiful graphic works. He joined the communist party in 1931 and at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, began producing images for the Republican side. He became director of the museum of Bellas Artes and his main work there was to safeguard the art treasures throughout the Civil War (It is said that not one Art treasure was lost during the war) and it was he that commissioned what is arguably Picasso's most famous work 'Guernica' a mural which decorated the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and depicts the bombing of the town of Guernica and was Picasso's protest against Franco and Fascism.

He fled, with thousands of others across the border into France when Barcelona fell and was interned in an Algerian Refugee Camp until he was able to get a visa to work in Mexico in 1939 where he worked on Spanish magazines and murals.

In 1958 he moved to Berlin and continued to paint, make murals and photo montages. He lived in Berlin till his death in 1982, though after Franco's death in 1976 he was to visit Valencia several times and bequeathed his works to the Josep Benau Foundation which is now housed at Valencia's Modern Art Museum IVAM.

This is a great opportunity to see some fine works by this fascinating man. Unless we missed them on our visit some of his earlier Valencian Magazine work or Posters, though they appear in the leaflet of the exhibition. The Centre has captions and information that is only in Castellano/Catalan and Valenciano. It is a nice space and has a bar/café where people were enjoying what looked to be very good food.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beautiful house for sale in the hills above Benissa

Here is another beautiful house for sale in the pretty Village of Benissa, midway between Valencia and Alicante.
There is a main house and a great casita for guests, all set in the most wonderful terraced gardens. The gardens are around 100m2 and consist of great shadey areas and there is a small dip pool with wooden chalet (for more guests!) The Main house comprises large salon, kitchen, two terraces (one glassed) two huge bedrooms and two bathrooms. The casita has one room finished as a large bedroom and space for at least one more bedroom and bathroom. There is over 7,500 m2 of land
This is a wonderful buy at only 590,000 euros
click the headline to be taken to our property pages

Beautiful Fully Furnished townhouse for sale in Altea

Want to live by the sea in a well-established resort town just over an hour from Valencia and Alicante?
Here is your chance, this is a lovely townhouse with spectacular views over the town to the sea. It is 3 storeys and has 3 bedrooms (one of which is enormous) two bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen and lovely roof top terrace overlooking the town and the sea.
As we said before, it is fully furnished and ready to move into.
The Price? 450,000 euros
get in touch now by following the link on our main property page by clicking the headline.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The continuing development of Valencia as a property hotspot has been in the news of late, not least because of its growth as a sporting centre of excellence. Just as Barcelona saw its image improved and its waterfront transformed by the 1992 Olympics, so Valencia has been enjoying the benefits of hosting the Americas Cup this year. It also saw huge investment in the redevelopment of its marina and waterfront, an added bonus to the attraction of the city. The successes of the local football team has also played its part in recent years, with Valencia CF winning the Spanish league title, triumphing in the UEFA Cup and reaching two Champions League finals to prove there is life beyond the giants of Barcelona and Real Madrid. The new Mestalla football stadium is being built and the foundations are being built as we speak on the edge of the city.
The America’s Cup aside, the most exciting news has been the recent announcement that the city will become the home for the Formula One European Grand Prix from 2008-14. This will not only ensure further sports tourism, including the wealth that comes with such a high-profile event, but will also create possible prime buy-to-let opportunities for those with the resources to obtain houses with a direct view over the Monaco-style street circuit that the city will create.
Investors looking for a piece of this action will be glad to know that the ease of low-cost access is growing. Easyjet,Ryanair, Clickair, thomsonfly and Jet2 fly here from UK, with Ryanair opening Valencia as a hub in the November.
Overall, there can be little doubt Valencia is booming. Prices have risen by one hundred per cent in the past six years and are still increasing, something Barcelona and Madrid cannot match. Much of this is undoubtedly due to the America's Cup, with the advent of the Grand Prix next year providing a further boost.
And it's not just Sport, the city was already making a name for itself, thanks to the incredible Millenium Project that is the City of Arts and Sciences, with the beautiful new Opera House, Palau de les Arts, about to embark on its second season of international Opera and concerts.
Valencia is now firmly on the map as a city attracting the wealthier set looking to live or enjoy a holiday home here; something which investors in property will no doubt be interested to learn. The city is also beginning to attract middle-class professionals and younger people who want a city which is both safe and has a vibrant nightlife.
Investors who miss the boat will be left to stare wistfully after those already lined-up on the grid. Pole position hasn’t yet been decided. What are you waiting for?
More on this and the new Ryanair hub - click the headline.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Anita on heat, and Punctuallity

It looked warm and sunny out this morning, and I had had the fan on all night as I slept, so I got dressed in last year's silver thong sandals, my thinnest black skinny trousers and a plain, loose, white tee shirt and had a light chicken salad and some chilled water for lunch in my best efforts to remain refreshed and unruffled. Then I left the flat and stepped out on the street and boom! Right into the blast of someone's hot air-dryer. Or so it seemed. But no! Alas, I was mistaken, it was just the lovely end-of-June air blowing a gentle breeze across my face. Or rather, the lovely end-of-June 40º gale blowing its way into the City from the lovely and cool Sahara desert. Running late, as always, I could barely move through the soup-like air to cross the bridge but the plus-side was that my wavy hair was poker-straight by the time I staggered into the office to be greeted by puzzled glances at my otherwise dishevelled appearance. And immediately broke into a sweat. Or, as I am a lady, began to glow, as my grandmother would have me say.
read her full column now by clicking on the headline!

Jason Webster - Author of Guerra! - Talks exclusively to thisisvalencia

I’m currently working on something looking at the Spanish Civil War. Modern Spain was forged by that period, and is still trying to move on from what was a great cataclysm in many ways. Even today, ‘The Two Spains’ are very visible and the right-left divide in politics is much more important than, say, in Britain. To understand what’s going on today in the country you have to know what the Civil War was all about and the loose-ends it left behind. Also, I’m trying to look at some of the darker sides of living in a foreign country. It’s not all ‘driving over lemons’.
Read the full interview by clicking on the headline

The New Mestalla - The works begin

Work has begun on the new Mestalla, home to the Valencia Football Club.
This amazing building is to be located by the huge blue head you see as you enter Valencia from the CV35, La Dama Ibérica by Manolo Valdés.

The F1 Urban Grand Prix in Valencia

A provisional date of 24 August 2008 has been announced by the FIA for the first Formula One Grand Prix in Valencia. Work has now started on the 5.4km circuit which will have its paddocks in Port America's Cup and will pass by the AC Team houses. The circuit has 25 bends, eleven to the left and fourteen to the right and will pass through areas close to the City of Arts and Sciences.

Flats for rent in Valencia

Delightful 2 bedroomed attic flat in Ruzafa - 950euros PCM

Avenida de Francia, on the proposed rute of the Valencia Formula One Grand Prix - 1300 euros PCM

Lovely Flat in the heart of the Barrio Del Carmen - 950 euros PCM

The rental market here in Valencia is very fast moving, and it can be very hard for someone to find a medium-to-long term rental in the are here to help, If you want to rent in Valencia and the surrounding areas take a look at our flats for rent page and let us know what you want. We will send you details of what we have on offer at the time of your enquiry.

Let us know dates of arrival for rental, number of bedrooms, location, budget and length of lease require, along with any other information you think will be helpful.and we'll get back to you by return.

If you want to buy a flat in Valencia or the surrounding towns and villages - we can help too! We have an extensive list of excellent, extremely well-priced properties for sale here

We also have holiday rentals, bed and breakfast, small hotels - click here

As Nature intended...

There is a pool on the roof of my complex. On Tuesday, innocently wandering up for a swim, I came across a naked man calmly drying himself before settling into a lounger. Forced to beat a hasty retreat before being spotted (we English, of course, never wishing to embarrass our fellow man) my mind gallops through endless scenarios, mostly involving children, I mean, suppose I had been a child and not a mature adult …. but wait, he’s not one of my mine. He’s a native. Do Spanish children suffer those excruciating spasms of fear, disgust and shock that we Brits, who have been brought up to revile nakedness, are racked with? To which even those of us who went through the horrors of the boarding school system are not exempt. Of course not. I am over-reacting. After all, it’s not as if he was old, or ugly, or misshapen, disfigured or tattooed with snakes and cockroaches. Actually, he was in his early thirties, dark, slightly curly hair, with big brown eyes, clean-shaven and kinda cute and … isn’t it amazing how much the human eye can record in only two short seconds? I wonder if he has a swim routine? has a great woman's page, Anita Darling, Lolita Devine and Barbara O'Neill have regular columns on Life as a woman in Valencia. Read more of Barbara O'Neill's latest column by clicking on the headline!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New season at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia

The fabulous Palau de les Arts, Valencia's Opera House has announced the new season which includes the Festival del Mediterrani in May 2008 - for more details click the headline. And subscribe to our excellent fortnightly newsletter by sending an email to newsletter at thisisvalencia dot com.

Advance Notice - Bloc Party live in Valencia

Bloc Party have just announced they are playing Valencia on 22 November at Republikka - more info as we get it on our main site.

Hey! If you want up-to-the minute info on Valencia delivered to your mailbox every fortnight or so sen an email to newsletter at thisisvalencia dot com

Flats in Valencia and beyond

Calle Colón - great pied à terre on the best street in Valencia 400,000 euros

Lovely 2 bed Apartment with incredible shared gardens and pool in Campolivar - 228,500 euros

Charming new apartment in the centre of Bétera with shared gardens and pool - 252,500 euros is famous for its excellent information and listings on Valencia. Now we are offering property for sale and to rent in this wonderful city and beyond. With over ten years in the relocation and house search business, we thought it was time to offer our services online and now it is here! Click on the headline to go to our property pages

August is nearly over but tomorrow is La Tomatina

If you are going to La Tomatina tomorrow make sure you take your goggles and be prepared to be washing pink water from your body for a few days! Oh! and cover yourself in suncream - tomorrow s going to be a scorcher!
Click the headline for first hand accounts of previous years, they make great reading and if you can't make it this year you will know better what you are missing!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blue Flag Beaches in Valencia

Valencia is a city with beaches. Beautiful beaches. So you can enjoy the city life and mix it with days or hours on the beach. Malvarrosa is the city beach and it can easily be reached by bus or tram from the city center. Miles of clean sands stretching up the coast through Patacona and Alboraya, with restaurants and cafés and play areas.

There are more blue flag beaches in the Comunidad Valenciana than in any other comunidad in Spain, and the joy is that you can be swimming till late October! We know people who visit and swim much later, but they are hardy souls!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

La Tomatina in Buñol

La tomatina takes place this year on the 29th of August at 11:00. Special trains run from valencia every half hour - the journey takes around 50minutes and cost around 8€ return. To put you in the mood here's a review of a previous Tomatina.

La Tomatina is probably the worlds biggest and certainly the messiest food fight. So when I heard that were organizing a coach trip, I jumped at the chance to go. I have never experienced anything like it in my life, up to 40,000 people crammed into tiny streets. Mental! I mean I've read about it in various guide books, but nothing prepared me for the real thing.

We meet up with the party at 8:45 outside the Palau de Musica for the short coach ride to Buñol and arrived at about 9:30 in the morning.

We followed the crowd down to the town center, which was already heaving. It was like an invading army swarming down into the town, from every street and lane more and more people pilled into the crowd. The more experienced were wearing goggles. I even saw one person wearing a snorkeling mask.

All the buildings were covered in plastic (to protect them from the tomatoes). The locals were all on their balconies and rooftops watching the invaders.

Once we got into the main street things really started to heat up. The only relief from the heat was when one of the locals would throw a bucket of water on us from the safety of their roof. When this happened the crowd started to go mad, chanting Agua, Agua, Agua.

With so many people the buckets of water weren't really sufficient, some people had hooked up hoses and were dousing the crowd, that's when things really took off. Men started ripping off each others camiseta´s (t-shirts) and within minutes a fully fledged tee shirt war was underway. The sodden camisetas became the first weapons of the invaders.

The streets had lights strung across them, because La Tomatina is a week long fiesta. But within 20 minutes each string of lights looked like bunting, with more ripped t-shirts than light bulbs hanging from each string.

The smell of so many people was starting to really staring to fill the air, but it wasn't possible to do anything about it, there was simply nowhere to go. It took my nervous band 15 minutes to move from the center of the road to the pavement. We did this in the vain hope of evading the growing Guerra de Camisetas. After about an hour, we were totally wrapped up in the fight, moving to stand under water when possible and throwing the Camisetas at everything and everybody. (This is strictly against the rules by the way, you are only supposed to throw squashed tomatoes).

Then the cannon sounded, this was the cue for the trucks bearing the tomatoes to fight their way through the crowd. Each truck carried about 25 people on the back of it and about another 10 people hanging onto the sides, trying to climb in. The people in the back of the trucks were throwing great handfuls of tomatoes at everybody they passed, no one was safe.

The crowd went wild, the ground was covered in slippery tomato puree and people were picking up great big handfuls and chucking at first nervously at the people they knew, but by the time the second truck arrived, it turned into every man for himself.

By the time the third truck arrived, we were standing in tomatoes up to our shins. People splashed it with there feet, picking it off their bodies, clothes, heads, other peoples backs and chucked it indiscriminately at everybody and everything.

As soon as the second cannon shot sounded people stopped, we were now barely able to stand. The crowd fell silent for about a minute and slowly the noise started to build as friends separated in the fighting met up and began to laugh at the ripped clothes and tomato covered people all around them. Some people lay down on the road reluctant to leave.

As we made our way back to the bus things fell silent again. Somebody stopped us to take a picture of us. I was drained, dazed dumfounded at what had just happened. I would have believed it was a dream if it wasn't for the tomato juice running down from my face and the tomatoes under my feet in my shoes squelching between my toes with each step.

I am looking forward to the next outing. It is a good way to see the best that the Valencia region has to offer. Organized by people who know the region and all the great festivals.

For more information on the fiestas in Valencia check out our newsletter

Saturday, June 09, 2007

More on the Prince Concert in Benidorm

The (artist formerly) known as Prince is to perform in Benidorm on August 25 - his only show in Spain before his temporary retirement. Between August 1 and September 15, he will give a series on concerts in London and travel to Benidorm on his private jet to give the concert there to promote his new CD 3121.
He has apparently stated that he is retiring from the business for a while to study the Bible as he has just become a Jehovah’s Witness. Following the announcement that he was performing for no less than 21 nights in London, fourteen nights sold out in twenty minutes.
Tickets for his Benidorm appearance will be available from next Tuesday from the usual outlets and online from
For more on concerts in Valencia click on the headline.

Nude bicycle protest rally in Valencia

They met at the Alternative Festival in the River Park and cycled around the centre of Valencia today. Around fifty nude and semi nude cyclists and roller skaters (and one on foot - in a hat). In protest against the ruling Partido Popular, they caused a slight stir i the Corpus Christi Celebrations in the Plaza de la Virgen, but most people didn't bat an eyelid!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lupe - La Gran Tirana

Lupe - La Gran Tirana
There's a great theatrical experience waiting for you at Teatro Flumen - a one woman show based on the life of the Cuban singer dubbed the Latina Judy Garland, who died in 1992.
Her death is the starting point for this production, a European premiere for the play. On a stage bare but for a musician, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, a few props - cases, trunks and picture frames, Yamilet Duran Sosa gives a powerful and moving performance as this amazing woman, as she sees her life flash before her in her last moments.
And it was quite a life, from humble beginnings in Cuba, she became a top selling artist in her own country until in 1962, she left to seek her fortune in the USA, there, through friends and contacts, she landed a job at the famous La Barraca club and became the first female Latin Singer to appear Carnegie Hall and alongside Tito Puente and his orchestra, Madison Square Gardens. She was flamboyant in the extreme, changing clothes during a performance from a bag she specially kept onstage in case she decided she was not comfortable, Or just walking off mid-song to return some minutes later as if she had never left.
Picasso once called her a musical genius, but drink and drugs, along with poor management took their toll and in the early eighties her popularity began to wane and she was virtually destitute, living on welfare when she died in the Bronx.
In 2002, a street in The Bronx was named after her.
It's a powerful and enjoyable evening and if you are put off by an evening of theatre in Spanish, consider this, the play is directed by British actress Samantha Holland, now living here in the city, who spoke very little Spanish when she began this project and has thoughtfully provided a précis of the play in English, ask for it at the theatre when you arrive.
Unmissable - but go on to catch old videos of the real La Lupe performing before you go for background.

Teatro Flumen 
(metro Turia)
June 8, 9,10, 15, 16, 17

Espacio Inestable
(metro Turia) 
June 29, 30 July 1