Welcome to Villaviciosa, the Vicious Village, where nightmares are reality and your screaming only makes the villagers thirstier for blood!
Man, was I disappointed to learn that Villaviciosa’s name actually translates to “Fertile Valley”. Vicious Village would be so much cooler! The capital of the Comarca de la Sidra, Villaviciosa’s fertile valleys (sigh) make it the biggest cider-producer in Spain. We visited out the city after our tour the Sidrería El Gaitero.
Villaviciosa is not big, but definitely has its share of small-town charms. There’s a quiet plaza with a statue dedicated to apples, and we ventured inside the Santa María de la Oliva, a beautifully preserved church from the 13th century. There was a mass going on, and after the churchgoers gave us sufficiently annoyed glares, we left them alone, and went to find food at one of the many local sidrerías.
Combined with our visit to the Gaitero factory, this was a full day, and we left without exploring the surrounding area. In addition to the town, Villaviciosa’s beaches are supposed to be really lovely.
More Villaviciosa at the end!
September 8th, The Day of Asturias
We always have a hard time remembering the holidays of new countries and on September 8th, another one sneaked up and took us off guard. The Day of Asturias, which celebrates the Principality’s patron saint, The Virgin of Covadonga.
Image Source: Wikipedia
The virgin’s legend dates back to the 8th century and the Battle of Covadonga, when a ragtag group of Asturians beat back a much larger invading Muslim army. That battle, waged so many centuries ago, has become the subject of legend, but scholars agree that it was the first major victory against the ruling Moors, and allowed the Kingdom of Asturias to establish itself as a Christian stronghold.
Covadonga has become a mythical place for Asturians, and September 8th is the day they most proudly celebrate their history and culture. Every year, a different Asturian city is chosen to host the festivities; this year, the traditional markets, fairs, contests and parades were set in Ribadesella. In Oviedo, the only events were a performance by the Gaita band Xácara in the city center, and fireworks on the 7th.
That’s it, I’m paying better attention from now on to holidays. October 12th, the Day of Spain, I have my eye on you!
More Villaviciosa Photos: