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Fespa Gaudi Building

FESPA releases more information about the venue of the 2012 event...

FESPA Digital 2012 will take place in Barcelona, Spain’s second city and the Catalan capital, from 21-24 February 2012. Renowned for its architectural and artistic heritage, Barcelona is a cultural magnet. The ideal host city, visitors to the exhibition can explore the avenues of this dynamic metropolis while simultaneously exploring the wider opportunities for their print businesses.

Aside from its strong cultural status, Barcelona is also one of Spain’s commercial and industrial centres. Central to these industries are textile, manufacturing and of course, tourism. Barcelona’s airport receives upwards of 30 million passengers each year, a figure which seals its status as one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations.

Visitors to Barcelona are served by an excellent transport system. A clean, punctual and air-conditioned Metro serves every corner of the centre, while taxis are happily affordable. The great thing about transport in Barcelona is that you don’t need it. Barcelona is a compact city, and the majority of the visitor attractions are located minutes from each other. Walking is also the perfect way to explore the wide variety of attractions on offer.

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is in the centre of the old town. Stretching from La Rambla (a lively street worth visiting) to Via Laietana, its intricate street plan features a maze of narrow lanes opening out into wide, picturesque squares. FESPA Digital visitors should spend time exploring the buildings here, some of which date from the medieval and even Roman periods.

For most people visiting Barcelona, the first name they will think of is Gaudi. An infamous architect, Gaudi lived and died (after being hit by a tram) in the city, leaving a legacy of eccentric gothic buildings. From Palau Güell, Gaudi’s first structure, to Colonia Güell, an irregular oval church and crypt, his works are unmistakable. If you had to visit just one Gaudi building, a popular choice would be La Sagrada Familia. Construction of the enormous basilica began in 1882, yet by the time of Gaudi’s death, was only a quarter complete. Amazingly, construction continues and the final element of the church will be the construction of the Glory façade.

When the sun shines (the average temperature during February in Barcelona is 13°C), show-goers can breathe some fresh air at one of Gaudi’s free attractions: Parc Güell. Visitors will be immediately struck by the Gaudi dragon fountain adorning the entrance to the park. With its colourful mosaic skin, the dragon and the surrounding park are one of the city’s most popular and recognisable sights.

Sticking with Barcelona’s cultural heritage, the city also celebrates the work of Pablo Picasso, famous for his innovative and revolutionary artistic endeavours. Picasso’s work opened the door for future artists, including Pollock and Kandinsky, to push the boundaries of modern art. The Picasso Museum showcases more than 3,800 in its permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions which take place throughout the year. To discover Picasso’s priceless works, and find out about the various tours on offer visit: www.bcn.cat/museupicasso.

A visit to Spain wouldn’t be the same without tapas, and Barcelona has some of the best in Spain.  Cal Pep, located in Ciutat Vella, is one of the best known tapas restaurants in the city, offering a menu comprising over 70 different tapas dishes. Moving away from tapas, local Catalan cuisine can be sampled at Vinya Roel, an atmospheric restaurant offering dishes such as cannellonis (stuffed with pig and with chicken livers), fideus, and black rice with cuttlefish.

With so much on offer, it is well worth purchasing a Barcelona city card from the online www.barcelonaturisme.com store. The card offers you free travel on public transport and the equivalent of +240€ discounts and free offers at museums, cultural venues, restaurants and more. The card can be purchased for two, three, four or five consecutive days and prices range from 24.75€ (two days) rising to 31.50€ (five days).