Sitges: the St Tropez of Spain
In the Catalonian city of Sitges, Paul Clements is captivated by raked beaches, languorous charm and a metropolitan heartbeat.
Sitges is not like other Mediterranean hot spots. Twenty miles along the craggy coast from Barcelona, this unspoilt seaside town, with its style, culture and élan, instantly stands out from the overdeveloped resorts along the Costa Daurada.
A former fishing village with winding streets, a compact old town and a mellow vibe, it has a population of 25,000, which swells to more than 100,000 in summer. “Barcelona-on-sea” is where rich Catalans come to tan. With miles of meticulously raked beaches, slo-go charm and a metropolitan heartbeat, it is a jet-set favourite, too. Home to some of the country’s ritziest real estate, it earns its tag as the St Tropez of Spain.
But there is a bohemian spirit here as well. Its laid-back credentials were established in the 18th century when wealthy traders set up holiday villas, attracting artists and writers looking for inspiration from the azure waters, whitewashed houses and wild landscapes. Its reputation as a hang-out for European intelligentsia was sealed when, in the late 19th century, Picasso and his set began chilling out here.
On the edge of Catalan wine country, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the region’s sparkling cava and at the end of August, Sitges hosts one of its many crowd-pulling events, the Fiesta Major, in honour of patron saint Sant Bartomeu, during which locals parade gegants (giant puppets) through the streets before a superb firework display at the landmark cliff-edge church. High season ends in September, after which Sitges has hosts its international film festival, during which fantasy films are shown on screens around the town.
9th July 2009
Sitges, a cosmopolitan and modernist
Three hundred days of sunshine, seventeen sand beaches, a unique layout and painters, history, art, culture and cuisine is a city which offers visitors Sitges. The villa Barcelonesa is an exponent of Catalan Modernism
TEXT: A. MIGUEL
This was already known fishing spot 3000 years ago by Greek sailors. But it was the painter, writer and collector who Rusiñol Santiago became a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan referent that attracted the bohemian artists born in the Catalan bourgeoisie.
The prestige of Sitges began in the late nineteenth century, when Rusiñol settled in the village making it one of the meeting of artists and intellectuals associated with the Catalan modernist movement. The historical legacy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is one of the most important claims to offer the villa in the field of culture: the architectural gems and PalauMaricel Cau Ferrat museum, located in the Calm Racó of the mansions built by the Americans , residents of the village who migrated to South America, and various public buildings form an interesting heritage that visitors will be walking through the streets of Sitges.
But diving in the history of the town is about 3000 years back in time. Greek sailors acknowledged in his writings as Blanca Subur, an Iberian site. The name comes from Sitges Sitja, comes word that means pre pit depth, grain depot.
During the Middle Ages, Sitges was a border between the territories of influence and dominated by Christian Arabs. In medieval times some testimonials are kept as the rest of the walls of the castle on the street d'En Bosch, in the old town, or as a tower or castle Miralpeix located on the western edge of the village on the hill same name.
Today, Sitges is a town linked to culture and tourism that has kept alive its origins and highlights the international tourist map. Venue of numerous congresses, home of the Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya, and a broad program of cultural, sporting and festival which runs throughout the year. It is also one of the favorite destinations for the gay community around the world.
It has a microclimate with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, 17 beaches of fine sand, an intense relationship with the world culture, nightlife, delicious cuisine, a varied range of shops, many opportunities to enjoy leisure and cares for the survival of their traditions. To know this town is perhaps best be guided by the cultural and tourist routes.
Acclaimed horror film to be shown at 2009 Sitges International Film Festival
After triumphant screenings at this year's Sundance Film Festival -- where two people reportedly fainted -- Paul Solet's "Grace" will be screened as part of the 2009 Sitges International Film Festival.
Based on Paul Solet's award-winning short film of the same name, "Grace" is a feature-length unforgettable emotional and psychological journey into terror, as a young woman (Jordan Ladd, "Cabin Fever," "Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof") is forced to make the ultimate maternal sacrifice when the stillborn child she carried to term returns to life with a horrifying -- and seemingly unquenchable -- appetite. "Grace" is produced by Adam Green, born and bred in Holliston, MA, and Cory Neal, the writing/directing/producing team behind the contemporary cult classics "Hatchet" and "Spiral."
"Grace" has wowed -- and terrified -- audiences all over the world. In addition to Sundance, the film was an official selection at the SXSW South by Southwest Festival, the AFI Dallas Film Festival, and at the upcoming Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, Spain and Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival. Other festival screenings include Portugal's Fantasporto Festival, Athens Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival and Scotland's Film Four Frightfest. In February, "Grace" was awarded the Prix Du Jury Award at the Gerardmer Festival Du Fantastique 2009 in France.
The critics hailing "Grace" are equally enthusiastic. Variety called it "...a satirical creepfest that mines modern motherhood for all its latent terrors... downright chilling," while Cinematical wrote: "First-time writer-director Paul Solet... proves himself adapt both as a visual storyteller, and as a guy who can make you cr*p your pants." MSN declared it "...a blood-soaked piece of social commentary that evoked nothing less than the early work of David Cronenberg," and EOnline bluntly stated: "Let this be a warning: View at your own risk."
Sitges Chef wins International Chef of the Year Award
Executive Sous Chef Rodrigo Martinez Gianello of Dolce Sitges near Barcelona thrilled an enthusiastic crowd by taking the 6th IACC Copper Skillet award for his creative entry of sautéed trout and shrimp, mushroom potatoes, vegetables and a crushed spinach salad. Chautea Elan’s executive chef Marc Suennemann – and last year’s Copper Skillet winner – served as a judge along with two other local chefs, and said Chef Martinez’s creation was simple but flavourful.
The popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from members of the IACC (International Association of Conference Centres) around the world and to honor their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference center experience.
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