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Throughout the following months, FC Barcelona will travel around the peninsula to compete against a series of teams in their respective stadiums. For that reason, some of the supporters clubs from the cities where Barça will play its first matches away from home have shared their recommendations for tourists. From Madrid to Valencia, including Girona and Bilbao, we go over the most inviting suggestions to complete the experience of watching our team outside of the Camp Nou:
Jornada 12: Leganés
Museo de escultura de Leganés
The penyista will find an interesting and artistic proposal that is completely free of charge in the Madrid city of Leganés. Christened in 2005 as named the Museum of Sculpture and located in the centre of the town, this open-air space that covers 27,000 m2 holds a collection of 200 sculptures by recognised 20th century contemporary artists such as Martín Chirino, Jorge Oteiza, Agustín Ibarrola and Juan Bordes. This is a unique project in Spain, which the Federació de Penyes Barcelonistes in Madrid recommends that you visit if you’d like to spend an ideal day as a family and introduce the kids to the world of art and sculpture through activities, games and workshops.
Champions League: Turin
Grande Torino Museum
In 1949, the Italian city of Turin lost one of the most popular football teams in history: Grande Torino. A few kilometres from Turin, the plane which was carrying the team after a friendly against Portugal’s Benfica crashed into the wall of the Basilica of Supergra. It was an air disaster that killed the entire claret team, considered as the backbone of the Italian selection after winning five consecutive leagues and favourites to win the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. In memory of the club, the Grande Torino Museum was inaugurated, an emblematic space that the Penya Barcelonista de Torí recommends you visit in order to learn about the history of a team that became legendary in Italian football.
Jornada 13: Valencia
If you’re a penyista that likes history and culture, the Federation of Supporters Clubs of Valencia and Marina Alta recommends taking a walk through one of the most enchanting areas of the city: Carme neighborhood. Located in the historic centre, el Carme the ideal place to lose yourself in the narrow streets that lead to the Levantine cathedral and bell towers that represent ancient Valencia: el Micalet and Santa Caterina. Furthermore, after visiting the church of Santa Catarina, the supporters club recommends stopping by the Plaça Rodona to explore the centenary market that is held there. This is a little-known market that still has traditional stalls dedicated to the sale of haberdashery and yarns, home-products and ceramics. This aside, the supporters club also emphasises that no stranger to the city should visit Valencia without taking a look at one of the biggest tourist hotspots: la Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciències, - where you will find the Oceanogràfic, Hemisfèric and Science Museum.
Jornada 15: Vila-Real
Sanctuary of Sant Pasqual Bailón
If you like legends, the Valencian city of Vila-real hides one of the most historic in the community. At the Sanctuary of Sant Pasqual Bailón – popularly known as El Sant and built in the XVI century – there is a story surrounding the figure of Saint Pasqual Bailón, according to which he warns his worshippers of his approaching death by using three knocks. In this way, he forewarns them to prepare themselves before departing to what the saint called “the eternal dream”. Throughout history it has been claimed that these knocks or sounds have been heard shortly before tragic occurrences, such as with the start of the Civil War or the death of an important figure. According to the Federació de Penyes de les Comarques de Castelló, from where the legend stems, when CF Vilareal has been relegated people from the area have made their way to the sanctuary to give three knocks and announce the bad news to the supporters.
Jornada 17: Madrid
El Cercle Català
Another recommendation from the FCB Supporters Club Federation of Madrid is the Cercle Català, at no.6 plaza España, which was founded in 1952 by a group of Catalans who were living in the capital and is intended to introduce Madrid to Catalonia and bring the two cities closer. The building boasts a large auditorium where classical and modern plays are performed, a substantial library which holds over 12,000 classified volumes and a recommendable restaurant where one can taste traditional Catalan dishes such as calçots, cargols a la llauna and botifarra catalana. This is also a space where the penyistes get together on match days to soak up the ‘culer’ atmosphere and cheer on the blaugrana team.
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