Tips on Planning Spanish Weddings

When you think of Spanish weddings dramatic visions of an exotic bride in all her bridal finery appear. You imagine the bright and the best wedding centerpieces. Vivid orange blossoms are predominantly used in floral arrangements; and they are usually without any foliage.  Earthen pots may be used to decorate the reception area and also on tables. The bride at a traditional Spanish wedding wears a silk black wedding gown with a black lace veil to go with it. Nowadays many brides have taken to wearing white or ivory.

The best wedding centerpiece ideas are those that go with the theme of the wedding. For a Spanish wedding this would mean exquisite lanterns, gorgeous fans and flamenco dancers. You would need to select the items you use for the centerpiece based on your budget.

If you are getting married in Spain it will be easier to get authentic floral arrangements and other centerpieces. If you are in the US you may wish to go online and look for Spanish decorations and curios that you could use to create centerpieces. In case you are unable to get fresh flowers, make or buy silk flowers in bright colors and team them up with Spanish fans. Orange is the preferred color as it denotes happiness and joy.

A wedding in Spain is a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate the union of a couple. It is fun and exciting, and you would want to plan the music and dancing accordingly. The best wedding centerpieces require the right table linen and tableware. Bare wooden tables look great, and the rich color of the wood is a wonderful contrast to the bright flowers. Use lanterns and candles to add a touch of romance to the setting. You could also use glossy black table cloths and place fans and thick candles for the centerpieces. A single red rose in a slim vase will complete the look.

Spanish Steps in Rome – A Popular Tourist Attraction

The Spanish Steps in Italian it’s called “Scalinata”. These are famous set of steps in one of the most well known areas of Rome. Despite of its name, the famous Spanish Steps were actually built by the French. The monumental stairway of 138 steps, “Scalinata di Spagna” or “Spanish Steps” were constructed between 1723 and 1725 with French diplomat √Čtienne Gueffier. They can be easily found and recognized at the Piazza di Spagna square rectangle like shape. The Piazza di Spagna is one of the most popular tourist sites in Rome. The Scalinata is without a doubt the longest and widest staircase in all Europe.

At the base of the Piazza is the Early Baroque fountain called “La Fontana della Barcaccia” (“Fountain of the Old Boat”), built in 1627-29 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Legend has it that, Pope Urban VIII had the fountain installed after he had been impressed by a boat brought here by a flood of the Tiber river. Most people seem to think that Bernini used the Boat as a sign of safety from the common floods once roam the Square from the Tiber River.

During May, part of the steps are covered by pots of beautiful “Azalea” flowers (flowering shrubs making up part of the genus Rhododendron and subgenus Pentanthera), earning also the name by the Romans as the “Garden Stairs”. A sign that the Summer is fast approaching. The weather in Rome can get quite hot, even in the Fall. So the many cafes, shops and restaurants near the Spanish Steps are always popular full of people absorbing this fine, elegant atmosphere.

The steps are not a place for eating lunch, being forbidden by Roman regulations, but in Rome where everything is calm and peaceful, it’s likely you will still see some people snacking on a sandwich or “tramezzino” (Typical Roman Sandwich) sipping up on a cold drink. Nowadays, this is also the meeting point to take a romantic or scenic ride in a carriage pulled by a horse.

Stepping on the very first step to the right, is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died in 1821. Today is a museum open to the public dedicated to his memory, full of memorabilia of the English Romantic generation. Halfway up still on the right is the apartment that was the setting for The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone (1961). Bernardo Bertolucci’s, Besieged (1998) was also the stage in a house next to the steps. American singer/songwriter Bob Dylan refers to the “Spanish Stairs” in his classic “When I Paint My Masterpiece” (1971). Today modern terraces lay in perfect harmony with the surrounding baroque context.

When coming to Rome, do not forget to include the Spanish Steps on your trip to Rome. Rent an apartment in Spanish Steps area and enjoy a great vacation of what Rome has to offer. Learn how to find a great apartment to rent with your specifications for your trip to Rome.

The Spanish Love Affair

The perfect holiday can start anywhere in Spain, and in this article of Spanish delights, we start in the rustic, relaxing and most mountainous areas – Castellon. This laid-back and idyllic city has many activities for travelers who enjoy rural tourism, mountain walks and sleepy villages.

We begin by taking a stroll in Spanish time – a time that runs its own course and speed (after all, the Spanish are famous for being a chill crowd). Start at the city center with its orange-tree lined streets.

You can take a stroll around the old quarter near the Plaza de Santa Clara where it serves also as a market place.

There are several historical architectures of incredible Gothic and Renaissance designs in the city and a walk around would take you to most of the ancient buildings with amazing tapestries, sculptures and paintings.

Castellon is also a good place to explore Spanish country life as there are several unique villages littered around the city.

The village of El Port includes the town of Forcall, Morella and El Maestrazgo de San Mateo where notable architecture built between the 14th to 16th centuries can be found.

Morella also boasts of its walled medieval town and the well-known St. Maria la Mayor Basilican built in the 15th century.

One of the towns in La Plana village, Borriol, was once a Roman town and a historical landmark today because some prehistoric remains were actually discovered in this place.

Ares Del Maestre is another village in Castellon that was once walled city later conquered by Muslims in the 14th century. Prehistoric caves with wall paintings were also discovered in this village.

For some matador action, visit the village of Alto Palencia, where the town of Segorbe particularly famous for its bull festivals.

As we move away to rustic Spain and into its history, we trot farther down the Spanish Coast to Tarragona, the southernmost province in Catalonia.

Located on Coast Dorada, Tarragona is famous for its beautiful beaches and also its picturesque towns, and is also the home to some of the most ancient vestiges that are a standing testament to Spain’s glorious past.

The UNESCO World Heritage sites in Tarragona offer plenty of Iberian civilization remains littered around the region and many Roman vestiges too.

Cutting magnificently into the Tarragonian skyline is the town’s cathedral built in the 12th century and is a stunning example of Roman and Gothic architecture. Its interior is a long, moody stretch of tapestries, relics, and a marble alter.

The magnificently preserved Amfiteatre Roma (Roman Amphitheater) built in 2 BC, is located at the seaside, just off the coast of Rambla Nova.

There are other Roman ruins scattered throughout the city, including a jaw-dropping aqueduct called the Pont Del Diable (or Devil’s Bridge). It’s further out from than most of the other remains but marveling at the wonders of Roman engineering is worth the trek.

It’s also worth the while to visit the Museu Necropolis (The Necropolis Museum) just outside the town as it’s one of the most important Christian burial sites in Spain during the third to fifth centuries.

As we gear up to experience the Spain’s intensely passionate love for song, music and dance, we go farther south to the coastal town of Alicante with its lovely beaches and fine white sand, along Costa Blanca.

To experience both the modern and rustic Spain, you can stay in Albir Gardens Apartments located in the friendly village of Albir just outside the town of Alicante.

During summer, there’s a charming evening market in the village center selling gifts and souvenirs.

But the real spark of Alicante lies in its many festivals that bring together thousands of people out for a street party.

In May, the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Alicante fills the streets with music, dancing and flowers during the annual Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses) celebration.

The neighborhood bursts into a kaleidoscope of colorful crosses made from flowers.

If you happen to be there during the last week of June, you must not miss the two major street festivals – Hogueras de San Juan (St. John’s Bonfires) and Mercado Medieval (Medieval Market).

Held on the night of June 24, the Hogueras de San Juan (St. John’s Night) festival celebrates the summer solstice with a display of bonfires, street performances and bull fights.

A Mercado Medieval (Medieval Market) is also held around the same time in the streets of El Barrio, the part of town that dates back to medieval times.

Costumed musicians and jugglers provide the entertainment and festive air while the nooks and street corners of El Barrio lend themselves to stands selling and demonstrating traditional artisan crafts.

After these intensive nights of street partying, you can take to Alicante’s famous seafront promenade with its rows of majestic palm trees and Parisian-style cafes, mosaic streets that matches the fame of Spanish architect Gaudi – the Paseo de la Explanada.

There is simply so much of Spanish history, culture, warmth, art and music to explore that it’s hard to know where to begin or end. There is one guarantee when visiting this country – you’ll fall in love with it. Hard.