Barcelona in Three Days: Medium Budget Edition

FINALLY after 10 months of being in Spain I made it to Barcelona. The city of my favorite fútbol team (yes I call it fútbol now), were nightlife thrives, and breathtaking architecture dominates the city. I currently live in a city called Vilafranca del Penedes which is about 60 kilometers west of Barcelona and I’ve been lucky to be able to travel so easily to Barcelona by train. I have a few friends in Barcelona and they were so kind to show me around. I really felt like a local going to the regular spots around the city. I wanted to put together a couple guides for you fellow travelers so you can enjoy Barcelona like the barcelonéses. I’m basing this trip on the guess that you won’t have a huge bag since it’s just a weekend but if you do happen to be carrying a massive suitcase go ahead and drop it off at your hotel/airbnb/hostel/couchsurfing/whatever and take out one spot of interest on the first day and just move it over to the next one! This is just what I would do if I arrived in the evening after work!

I’m going to start on a Friday evening since not all of us will arrive in the morning! If you’re here earlier then great!! You have a little more time to walk around and get lost among the streets of Barcelona. Ready to explore? Let’s get started.

Friday:

I arrived from Burgos, Castilla y Leon at the Sants station. Turns out it’s the biggest in Barcelona so it’s a good chance that you will arrive there too. From there you’ll want to grab a 10 pass metro card for only 10 euros. This metro card also works for the bus and tram in Barcelona and a one way ticket will set you back 1,60 euros so it makes sense to get a longer pass. With this metro card you’re going to want to take Line 5 which is the blue line to the Sagrada Familia. Take this line four stops going in the direction of Vall d’Hebron and hop off when you arrive at the stop.

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The most Instagrammed monument in Europe in 2015

A ticket to go inside La Sagrada Familia is just 15 euros for a regular un-guided visit. I HIGHLY, STRONGLY, FIERCELY recommend buying your ticket in advance so you can skip the seemingly never ending line.

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Caltagirone, Sicily

Here is another collaboration post that I am doing for Wine Pleasures this one is for their International Wine Tourism Conference which they are holding in March of 2017 in Sicily! Enjoy!

Being only a little over an hour away from the island’s second largest city Catania, the city of Caltagirone is the perfect city to spend on a day excursion. The city is nicknamed for being the “city of brightly painted ceramics” and you are sure to see them everywhere. There are many shops and stores to buy some fine crafted pottery or you can walk over to the ceramic steps to truly admire this form of art.

Caltagirone steps

The city’s main attraction is the Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte which means stairway of Saint Mary of the Mountain.This stairway which has 142 steps connects the old part of the town to the newer directly to the church which is also called Santa Maria of the Mountain. The tiles have both religious and natural designs and has also been decorated by the locals with flowers and candles.

Ceramic steps

In May during the third weekend the city holds a festival of flowers called Infiorata where citizens lay beds of flowers in intricate designs along the streets and the ceramic steps. Then again, in July the steps are once again lined with beautiful and vibrant flowers and luminous candles to honor the patron saint of the town, St. Peter.

Infiorata

The area of Caltagirone is also well known for the production of peaches, olive oil, and of course grapes. Grab a glass of wine and come admire the city of alluring pottery.

Roman Villa of the Casale, Sicily, Italy

In a collaboration with Wine Pleasures (the place I am working at during the month of July) I got to write a few articles about Sicily, Italy. I feel really proud of what I’ve written so I will be sharing them on my own blog! I hope you enjoy them.

Imagine having access to your very own gym, half a dozen baths, an area to cook meals and eat, a place to lounge and talk philosophy with otherwise villagers, and even a track; all in one place. Well that is exactly what the Romans who lived at the Villa Casale in Piazza Armerina, Sicily had. This villa was constructed in the 4th century AD and sightseers can still visit the ancient mansion today. In the year 1997 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having the most complex collections of Roman mosaics in the world. After a landslide in the 12th century the villa was partially buried and not excavated until 1929 by an Italian archaeologist.

Outside Villa Romana
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