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There’s a lot to see walking the streets of Vic. What follows is a walk to be surprised in the capital city of the region of Osona in the province of Barcelona.
Mushrooms or bolets of station, in the market of Vic
Although the rain at times falls threatening abundant millimeters, the market does not stop. It happens every Tuesday and Saturday in the Plaza Mayor: the ceremony of feeling part of a living community that celebrates its products, face-to-face contact, the “good morning”. Among those who walk, there are those who look for the good price, the product of proximity or of local denomination.
There are dozens and dozens of product stalls of all kinds in a square surrounded by eclectic architecture. There are Gothic, Renaissance, and generous roofs to shelter (if you regret not having an umbrella on an atypical rainy day).
The Vic market is an opportunity to meet local producers, many of them from farm families. But also of young people who continue the family tradition, or who simply see the opportunity to continue tilling the land as a way of life connected with the place.
There are vendors who come from Osona, but also from other nearby regions. And you have to be able to “read” the market, and imagine the dishes that can be born from a stall in this square. Many products have a story to tell, or a family with a long history behind them.
In each stand there are differentiated products: there are seasonal mushrooms and truffles, nuts, honey. Variety of fruits and vegetables, artisan cheeses, olives, anchovies. To multiply the coloring, sets of plants and flowers, ceramics. Or also clothing, footwear, and promises of opportunities with the most varied products (and from different origins, because while the product is valued for proximity, there are also those of distant borders).
Local tradition in a “botifarres” workshop.
This seasoned pork sausage (essentially salt, pepper, and sometimes spices) may have some secrets and flavors that are passed down from generation to generation. That’s what I was talking about when I referred to traditions that last and that make the historic centre of Vic special.
The Ca la Teresona delicatessen, founded in 1837, has a long history of making products in a family business. There I took part in a workshop to make botifarras, one of the star products of Catalan cuisine. In the workshop I learn to elaborate (and then test my own “work”) botifarras in an artisan way, under the enthusiastic indications of one of the descendants of six generations of artisans of the same family. This workshop generates the interest of tourists and can be consulted in the same store or
In the delicatessen there is a restaurant, and a shop to the public where you can buy quality products that make the identity of Vic.
Walking carefully through the center, it is possible to discover several shops of traditional and handcrafted products: from workshops where they work the leather, to cererías, or old warehouses:
A walk through the historic centre.
There is no rain that can with the charm and surprise of walking the historic center of Vic.
There are two essential museums in Vic, the Episcopal Museum and the Museum of Skin Art. My recommendation is either to go to punctual visits with a programmed plan, or simply to walk through the old part of the city. It is very likely that we will begin to find a number of buildings that attract our attention (so it is not superfluous to schedule a guided tour).
For example, it is possible to make a route of Romanesque, or modernism pursuing these constructions and their histories.
There are also incredible “unexpected” finds: in 1882, when the Romanesque castle was demolished in the old town of Vic, the ruins of an old Roman temple of Ausa (from the 2nd century) were rediscovered. This temple was rebuilt and today can be seen in the same old town. It is one of only two Roman temples preserved almost complete in Spain.
The Cathedral of Vic has elements of different architectural styles: the bell tower in Romanesque style, and the current building in neoclassical style, a Gothic cloister (XVV century), baroque chapels. But without a doubt the most striking feature will be the mural decoration of its interior in the central nave, the work of Josep M. Sert.
In a short distance one can find all this variety of angles through the streets of Vic:
My visit to Vic, as part of a route through charming towns and cities from Barcelona to Besalú, ends with a meal at Bareku. An opportunity to taste a menu with a lot of creativity, with a menu that proposes among its main options tapas and a trip for dishes with Catalan cuisine, but also Asian or with footprints from South America. And everything with a modern ambience and an agile and always cordial service.
Especially a Saturday with its market in the morning, is an essential day to visit Vic on a walk around Barcelona. Or on any day of the week, it is ideal for walking and discovering its heritage, museums and small surprises in a city that strives to preserve that vital old centre.
The visit to the region of Osona and Vic was diagrammed as part of a trip through charming villages from Barcelona to Besalú organized by the Catalan Agency of Tourism / (*) All images belong to Matías Callone and are under Creative Commons license.
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