The city of Mérida in Extremadura, Spain proves to be a lively open- air museum, every summer, during the International Classical Theater Festival of Merida, which reaches its 63rd annual edition during 2017. To attend the performances, in it self is a worthwhile incentive, but to get the most out of an escapade to this festival be sure to complement your visit by making it gastronomic and wine vacations. Also, make a point of visiting the historical sites of the city’s Roman, Arab and early Christian past. You will also enjoy bathing in the historical waters of Proserpina.
These are just some of the suggestions to enjoy Mérida, one of the essential destinations of Extremadura at any time of the year (Badajoz, Cáceres, Mérida and Plasencia are Four Essential Cities in Extremadura). But during summer the “International Classical Theater Festival of Mérida”, a perfect excuse to plan a trip to Extremadura, increases the attraction of the destination. Extremadura is a region in Spain, which is west of Madrid, and borders with neighboring country Portugal. Mérida is the Capital of Extremadura and one the oldest and historically most important city.
A Historical immersion in Proserpina
A cultural immersion in the rich historical legacy of Mérida is worth your time. In addition Mérida offers visitors the opportunity of a refreshing bath in Proserpina, only five kilometers from the city, in a reservoir constructed by the Romans during the first century BC. This reservoir is included in the Archaeological complex of Mérida. It is one of the 53 bathing areas of Extremadura, which are spread over its 1500 kilometers of inland coast.
Practice gastro-tourism and wine tourism
Mérida takes good care of the patrons of the tables to which travelers resort to, as they recover their strength. In fact, it had the honor to be selected as the Iberia-American Capital of the Gastronomic Culture for year 2016. The region prides itself for being the place where Extremadura dining, a pleasure that nourishes
Just a few kilometers from the city of Mérida are the grazing lands, which constitute a great scenario where the Iberian pig is fed in the open with acorns. This is a destination for tasting the world famous hams of Montánchez, in Cáceres. It can be reached only 45 kilometers away by the route A-66. A recommended detour from Mérida to eat superb ham, enjoy views from the castle and discover its cemetery, considered one of the most beautiful in Extremadura.
Also, at a similar distance from the city of Mérida is the region of “La Serena”, famous for their cheeses. An interesting “Route of Extremadura Cheese” (Rutas del Queso de Extremadura) is located here. Visitors will delight in the “Torta de La Serena” (La Serena Cheese), which is a whole round cheese made entirely from the milk of Merino ewes, curdled with thistle flowers. It is an extremely creamy cheese, slightly salty and tart, it has a slightly sharp after taste.
Just thirty kilometers away you can practice wine tourism. The production area for the famous “Appellation Ribera de Guadiana” is right here. This is the Extremadura Wine that has an official Certificate of Origin, and is the flagship wine for this region, the right wine to experience the art of the “Tapa” in Extremadura, where these appetizers are free with the cost of a glass of wine. More information on Extremeño wines, at the following link: Wines across Extremadura.
Strolling through roman, arab and christian Mérida
To visit Mérida is to follow de footprints of Rome in Extremadura. One of the most important aspects of the historical wealth of this city is the archeological treasure from the Roman period. Mérida has been declared Archeological World Heritage Site since year 1993. The National Museum of Roman Art is considered among the most important in the world in this specialty, it is also a good place to get lost during a warm summer afternoon.
Beyond the Roman legacy of Mérida, which makes it a worldwide reference, this city is also a summary of different cultures. The Arab Alcazaba is the oldest of the Iberian Peninsula and the basilica of Saint Eulalia is the oldest Christian temple in this part of the world.
The additional venues of the theater festival
The program of the International Classical Theater Festival of Merida extends beyond the Capital City of Extremadura to the Roman archaeological sites of Medellin and Regina at “Casas de Reina”. These are destinations where the Roman past of the region is being uncovered and people can enjoy presentations of the International Classical Theater Festival of Merida 2017. Also, for this 63rd edition of the Festival the debut of a new site “Cáparra” (Cáparra como sede del Festival de Mérida 2017) will be the pleasure of classical theater aficionados.
Original autor, Pilar Armero
Translated by Susana Windt
Published on June 2017
@Planveando Comunicaciones SL