BERLANGA ROUTE THROUGH VALENCIA
Valencia gives us a good excuse to visit every year. The Fallas are an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and an event for all those who want to live a unique experience. But there are a lot of reasons to now this city that boasts of its historical past, and gets proud with the great constructions of the XXI century.
For film buffs, any place related to actors and filming becomes a reason of pilgrimage. With directors, however, the "fan" phenomenon is not so common. Perhaps because we often do not know where the filmmaker is from, or perhaps because we do not think their place of birth is so important.
In the case of Luís García Berlanga, the opposite is true. The director of masterpieces such as "El verdugo", "Plácido" and "Bienvenido, Míster Marshall" was born, raised, and lived in Valencia. This beautiful and warm capital largely influenced his career. He defined his films as "falleras, pyrotechnic, and filmed on the instant inspiration of the "pensat i fet" (thought and done).
Berlanga always returned to his city for inspiration. Following his steps through the places he liked to frequent helps to understand the symbolism of his films. That's why Valencia Film Office and the City of Valencia wanted to celebrate his centenary (in 2021) by offering screen travelers a tour of the cinemas, cafes, libraries, and museums that shaped the enlightened director that Luis was.
Doing the Berlanga route means touring some of the most beautiful and emblematic places in Valencia through the eyes of the young Berlanga and the adult filmmaker. It will take around two hours. The tourist walks through the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the Estación del Norte, the Plaza de Toros, the Paseo Ruzafa, the Rialto cinema, the Londres hotel, the old Torino bar, and the Palau de Forcalló.
Berlanga was born at number 13 on what was then called Ciscar Street, which today is the intersection of Conde Salvatierra and Sorní. Apparently, his interest in cinema began at the Rialto theater where, as himself recounted, he had a revelation while watching Pabst's "Don Quixote". Although like many Spaniards of his time he started studying Philosophy and Letters, but he decided to dedicate professionally to cinema in less than a year. Was then when he moved to Madrid, where the Institute of Cinematographic Research and Experiences (IIEC) was located. There he met Juan Antonio Bardem, with whom he would shoot his first feature film in 1951: "That Happy Couple"
Then came "Welcome, Mr. Marshall", "Calabuch", "Plácido", "El verdugo" ... so many titles that earned him critical acclaim and recognition from his colleagues in Cannes, Venice, and even Hollywood.
This tour remembers those theaters, cafes, and gatherings, forming the story of a young teenager who, over the years, provided philosophical arguments in his films that made us think about our own lives.
Don't forget to note this reference as essential for your next visit to Valencia. To book an exclusive route for you and your group, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER PLACES IN VALENCIA YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
In addition to the Fallas, there are other festivals that you should not miss in this destination, such as the Semana Santa Marinera. Any excuse is good enough to travel to Valencia, here there are five more reasons to visit:
La Albufera. Just 10 km from the city, a dreamlike environment where the tranquillity of the landscape and the light that surrounds it will make you feel in a very distant place. And, moreover, Paella was invented there!
La Lonja de la Seda. A jewel of civil Gothic architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its original use was as a bank and the central textile marketplace in the Middle Ages.
Cathedral, Miguelete and Holy Chalice. The Gothic Cathedral, the legend of the authentic Holy Grail, and a tower that dominates the city, all in the same place. Walking through the surrounding streets, especially at night, will transport you to another time.
Turia Gardens. A 9 km fascinating walk in the middle of the urban center. Among many other fun activities, in the Parque de Cabecera you can rent small swan-shaped boats. In the ponds surrounding the City of Arts and Sciences, during the summer months, there are water walking balls and canoes.
The City of Arts and Sciences. Another huge film and TV shooting location. Actually, it's a scientific and cultural leisure complex to enjoy with the family. Its architecture is so innovative and spectacular, just walking through it will make you feel like you're in a not-too-distant future.