(AS SEEN IN EPISODE 112, “Pure Pallea”)
Valencia comes from the Latin for ‘strength’ and ‘vigor.’ One of the region’s biggest strengths is its rice. La bomba rice, wonderfully starchy, pearly white short-grained rice, grows here and is the not-so-secret secret ingredient in paella. Gwyneth and Mario learned to make paella with Manuelo, a quiet, older gentleman over the burning wood from orange trees. They ate it with gusto and then were on their way to tour Calatrava’s incredible architecture in the region’s capital city, also named Valencia.
Gwyneth, Mario, Mark, and Claudia enjoyed their meal of classic recipes made with modern refinements. It didn’t hurt that everything was paired with wonderful wines. The big beans are particularly worth trying.
Practical Information: Calle Jose Benlliure, 69, 46011 El Cabanyal, +34.963672314, www.emilianobodega.com
As Gwyneth and Mario learned, this is the place to go for Spain’s best paella.
Practical Information: Carretera Alfafar El Saler, km 4, 46910 Alfafar, +34.962112184
Palau de la Mar
A renovated palace, the rooms have the glitz of old architecture and the sleekness of modern design.
Practical Information: Navarro Reverter, 14, Valencia, +34.963162884 www.avantgardehotels.com
Parador El Saler
A brand-new Parador situated on a golf course next to the sea. Gwyneth and Mario enjoyed their stay at this hotel and took time to sit on the beach to reflect on their adventures.
Practical Information: Avenida de los Pinares, 151, 46012 El Saler, +34.961611186 www.parador.es
The Lladro Factory, where Valencia’s famous porcelain figurines are made.
Practical Information: www.lladro.com
La Albufera, where Valencia’s rice is grown. A must for proper paella, as Gwyneth and Mario learned.
Practical Information: www.albufera.com
Santiago Calatrava, Valencia’s hometown hero, whose sculptural, striking architecture distinguishes the city.
Practical Information: www.calatrava.com
The Port of America’s Cup, the Oscars of the sailing world, is held in Valencia.
Practical Information: www.portamericascup.com/en/venue.php