One town, eight museums
Vilanova i la Geltrú has a rich and valuable cultural heritage. A legacy that takes us closer to its history and in particular to the 19th century, a golden transformation. Of note from this period are the stately homes of the Indians (emigrants who returned wealthy from their travels), romantic gardens and monuments dedicated to the town’s famous citizens and historical events.
There is a wide range of museums in the town, including Biblioteca Museu Víctor Balaguer, Museu del Ferrocarril de Catalunya, Museu Romàntic Can Papiol, the Masia d’en Cabanyes, Romanticism Interpretation, Centre Espai Far (Museum of the Sea) and other noteworthy spaces such as the Torre Blava-Espai Guinovart, the Centre d’Art Contemporani La Sala, and last but not least, the Ibero-Roman archeological site of Adarró.
Traditional and local fiestas. The colours of a town.
The local fiestas are one of the main attractions of the town for visitors. Vilanova has a traditional festival calendar that has served as a model for many other towns to recover their oldest fiestas and traditions.
The Vilanova i la Geltrú Carnival
The Vilanova Carnival has been declared a Festa Patrimonial d’Interès (Heritage Festival of General Interest) by the Government of Catalonia and is one of the most emblematic celebrations in the town.
The starting signal is given by the Ball de Mantons. A few days later, on Fat Thursday the day it is typical to celebrate a xatonada in the evening. The first course is a xató salad, followed by different types of omelettes and for dessert, coca de llardons i merenga, a sweet, flatbread made with pork fat and topped with meringue, which often ends up smeared on the faces of the diners.
On Friday, with the arrival of King Carnestoltes, a crazy weekend begins, one of the highlights being the Comparses on Sunday morning when tons of candy are thrown by parading couples, covering the streets and creating a sweet, colourful blanket.
El divendres, amb l’arribada del Rei Carnestoltes, comença un cap de setmana esbojarrat en què es destaquen les conegudes Comparses del diumenge al matí, quan tones de caramels llençats per parelles de comparsers cobreixen els carrers de dolços i els omplen de color.
On 17 January, the Tres Tombs fiesta (known as the Winter Festival) is celebrated in honour of Sant Antoni Abat, patron saint of the town. This fiesta, which pays tribute to farmers and animals, has grown in importance over time to become an unmissable event for horse lovers.
Festes de Sant Pere
The fiestas of Sant Pere are those of the seafaring culture par excellence. They combine culture and tradition, fishing and gastronomy, and recreational and leisure activities. The all cremat contest, a typical seafood dish similar to suquet de peix (fish stew) is a highlight.
Another important event is the processó marinera, a parade that accompanies the image of the saint from the church of Immaculada Concepció, in the fishing quarter, to the beach.
La Festa Major
This is the Summer Festival, held in honour of the town’s patron saint, Mare de Déu de les Neus and begins on the last weekend of July and ends on 6 August. The streets and squares of the town are filled with traditional dances, dragons, fire, castellers, concerts and activities for all ages.