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Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Hispania - 'Terraco Vivo' : 4th -17th of May in Tarragona
Monday, May 11, 2015


Any excuse is good enough for visiting one of the most historic cities in Spain. Tarragona always impresses visitors, but even more so during the celebration of Tarraco Viva, a festival that takes us back 2,000 years in time to when the city was one of the main strongholds of the Roman Empire. For nearly 15 days, historical reenactments, guided tours, exhibitions, audiovisual projections, conferences, and endless options allow us to discover and enjoy Tarragona's past while bearing witness to the influence of Roman culture throughout the Mediterranean. A total of 150 activities and 800 events with over 100,000 participants take place. 

Any excuse is good enough to visit Tarragona which has one of the best urban beaches in Catalonia with crystalline waters and fine golden sand. If you move away from the marina, you will also find coves surrounded by pine wood which are idyllic. Its rural roads network, the Serrallo fishermen's district where freshly caught fish are sold every afternoon, and its store and restaurant network fully aimed at tourism are some of the city's main attractions.

Tarragona is the most Roman place in the world outside of Rome, and visitors strolling along its streets are immersed in a millennial civilization. Its well-preserved monuments in addition to the wide range of museums, exhibitions and guided tours of the city make it easy for visitors to discover its historical legacy.

The activities commemorate the bimillennium of Emperor Augustus, the first Roman emperor. He was a key figure, as his mandate was the only moment in the history of the Mediterranean in which all its coastal cities were united in peace, a small seed of the current concept of a united Europe. Learning about this chapter of our past without a doubt invites us to reflect on current international relations in a fun and enjoyable way.  

During the festival is undoubtedly the best time of the year to discover the city in depth. The number of activities scheduled for this edition are impressive: 44 conferences, 17 audiovisual projections, 3 exhibitions, and 7 guided tours, among many other options.



 One of the most interesting options of the Tarraco Viva program is its historical reenactments, the element that converts this celebration into something more than a festival. The real-life scenarios, staging, costumes, and professionalism of the actors create a unique reconstruction of the Roman world that leaves spectators astounded. These usually include reenactments of military, civil, and political activity of ancient Rome.  

It is not often that children are so eager to learn about history as it is the case at this festival. In addition to the reenactments and dramatizations that hook them like a great film, the festival is full of activities aimed at the youngest visitors. Among many other options, they can dress up as gladiators or march like legionnaires, learn how to build a sundial, learn the Roman alphabet, or enjoy a Roman puppet show.



Tarraco Viva boasts one of the most interesting exhibitions of Roman handicrafts that can be seen outside of a museum such as Artiflex, which is found at the Campo de Marte gardens. Here not only can we see replicas of originals found at archaeological digs, but also live demonstrations of how artisans worked the materials like they did Roman times. If curiosity gets the best of us, we can put our skill to the test at any of the workshops that are organized.

At this festival we not only see and feel Roman culture, but also get a taste of it as the program includes various succulent gastronomic proposals. This includes oil and wine tasting or workshops where we can learn to prepare typical Roman dishes. Moreover, we also have the culinary offering of Tarragona with its seafood specialties.

Although the city council and cultural associations are in charge of organising the festival, the festive atmosphere of Tarraco Viva can be felt in every corner of the city. Every square, every street, every corner of the city feels the emotion of discovering and delving deep into the city's 2,000 years of history. The inhabitants of Tarragona are eager to show off and boast about living in a city which has been declared a World Heritage Site. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and you can definitely enjoy yourself.

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