Michelin Stars 2023: restaurants in Catalonia

The world of gastronomy yesterday, Tuesday 22 November, celebrated the awaited gala of the Michelin Guide 2023 in the city of Toledo. We detail the winners and the complete list of restaurants in Catalonia that can boast of having Michelin stars.

 

A shower of Michelin stars in Catalonia, making it the region with the most new award-winning restaurants, all of them concentrated in Barcelona. The Torres brothers, Sergio and Javier, who have won their third star, stand out, and together with Jordi Cruz’s ABaC and Martín Berasategui and Paolo Casagrande’s Lasarte, make the Catalan capital the city with the most three-starred restaurants in Spain.

The city of Barcelona also triumphs with 5 restaurants obtaining their first star: Aleia, by Rafa de Bedoya and Paulo Airaudo; COME, by Paco Méndez; Enigma, by Albert Adrià; Mont Bar, by Fran Agudo; and the establishment Slow & Low, by Nicolás de la Vega and Francesc Beltri, have been awarded a Michelin star.

Without being awarded a star, the Barcelona restaurants BaLó and Nairod, as well as La Xarxa in Tarragona, received the prestigious Bib Gourmand award, named after the tyre manufacturer’s official mascot. The award recognises restaurants that serve quality cuisine at reasonable prices.

Finally, Michelin also rewards the sustainability of two Catalan restaurants: Les Moles, in Ulldecona, and Casa Nova, in Sant Martí Sarroca, have been awarded a green star in recognition of their sustainable gastronomy.

Michelin-starred restaurants in Catalonia

⭐⭐⭐ 

  • ABaC (Barcelona)
  • El Celler de Can Roca (Girona)
  • Lasarte (Barcelona)

New Entry

  • Cocina Hermanos Torres (Barcelona)

⭐⭐ 

  • Angle (Barcelona)
  • Bo.TiC (Corçà, Girona)
  • Cinc Sentits (Barcelona)
  • Disfrutar (Barcelona)
  • Enoteca (Barcelona)
  • Moments (Barcelona)
  • Miramar (Llançà, Girona)
  • Les Cols (Olot, Girona)

⭐ 

  • Atempo (Sant Julià de Ramis, Girona)
  • Alkimia (Barcelona)
  • Aürt (Barcelona)
  • Caelis (Barcelona)
  • Can Jubany (Calldetenes, Barcelona)
  • Ca l’Enric (La Vall de Bianya, Girona)
  • Can Bosch (Cambrils, Tarragona)
  • Castell Peralada (Peralada)
  • Deliranto (Salou)
  • Dos Palillos (Barcelona)
  • Els Casals (Sagàs, Barcelona)
  • Els Tinars (Llagostera, Girona)
  • Emporium (Castelló d’Empúries, Girona)
  • Fogony (Sort, Lleida)
  • Hisop (Barcelona)
  • Hofmann (Barcelona)
  • Koy Shunka (Barcelona)
  • L’Aliança 1919 d’Anglès (Anglès, Girona)
  • L’Antic Molí (Ulldecona)
  • La Boscana (Bellvís)
  • La Cuina de Can Simón (Tossa de Mar, Girona)
  • La Fonda Xesc (Gombrèn, Girona)
  • Les Magnòlies (Arbúcies, Girona)
  • Les Moles (Tarragona)
  • L’Ó (Sant Fruitós de Bages, Barcelona)
  • Lluerna (Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona)
  • Malena (Lleida)
  • Massana (Girona)
  • Oria (Barcelona)
  • Quatre Molins (Cornudella de Montsant, Tarragona)
  • Rincón de Diego (Cambrils, Tarragona)
  • Sala (Olost, Barcelona)
  • Tresmacarrons (El Masnou, Barcelona)
  • Villa Retiro (Xerta, Tarragona)
  • Via Veneto (Barcelona)
  • Xerta (Barcelona)

New Entries

  • Aleia (Barcelona)
  • COME, de Paco Méndez (Barcelona)
  • Enigma (Barcelona)
  • Mont Bar (Barcelona)
  • Slow & Low (Barcelona)

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Tourism is one of the businesses that shows one of the highest capital flow worldwide. As per the report from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in 2019, 1.4 billion of international tourists were recorded and up to between 100 and 120 million of jobs are linked to it.

 

It is, therefore, a sector with an undeniable weight in the world’s economy, and more particularly, with a direct affectation to practically all the inhabitants in the planet either in an active form as travellers or in a passive one as locals.

 

The touristic sector asks for regulation and responsibility

Given its importance, since years ago there are more and more organisations, Companies and collective bodies that ask for a sustainable tourism system that can be kept over time and nourish the population. Everything points to the fact that this industry will continue growing during the next years and, therefore, if the current model does not change, the negative impact that it generates will increase at the same rate. We are all currently familiarised with sustainability as a concept and we even have adopted certain daily routines that contribute to respect the environment. An attitude that changes more or less when we travel: we leave lights switched on, recycling, take care of public spaces, using more ecological transport ways, spend the necessary water, using less plastic … actions that we may miss when we are on holidays and which, by themselves, do not generate an impact, although they may mean a higher issue when they are multiplied by 1.4 billion people.

Within this context, and with the urgency to change the touristic model into a more responsible perspective, it pops-up the sustainable tourism concept, understood as the one which “satisfies current needs without compromising the capacity of future generations to satisfy their own needs”, as it is described in the Brundtland report. It will be about then, to minimise the negative impact that tourism is currently generating and to maximise its benefits, mainly from the three big pillars: environmental, sociocultural and economical.

 

To reduce the environmental impact to preserve future 

Tourism very much depends on the environmental quality to survive and evolve but, paradoxically, this is one of the main activities that it harms. Infrastructures construction like airports and roads, highly polluted transport ways by land, sea and air, creation of equipment and touristic resorts like restaurants, shopping centres, golf fields or sportive areas are examples of the negative impact that it brings to any region. All of this brings also risk to the flora and fauna in the area, which in the past years has worsened the situation of hundreds of species, especially the marine ones, which have not been able to overcome the changes that human pollution has caused in their natural habitat.  

In parallel, it has been thanks to tourism that some natural areas have become protected areas or they are areas with especial care being taken orientated to preserve the space looking forward to the future. This is the positive impact where sustainable tourism should be betting: to achieve the maintenance of care of spaces both natural and urban, by governments’ organisms to favour both, local citizens and future visitors.

 

Controlling the sociocultural impact and to bet for the diversity wealth

The willingness to often travel comes motivated by the restlessness to know other Countries, together with everything that this implies: culture, language, food and costumes. Diversity within the globalism is foreseen, and this arouses respect, tolerance and knowledge by both parts, but especially from the visitor’s point of view. For sustainable tourism it is essentially this cultural preservation but, amongst everything the respect for it. Guaranteeing a value experience therefore, must mean to guarantee sociocultural wealth.

A non-planned tourism, other than being a nuisance to local inhabitants, can bring miserable consequences on their lives and their quality of life, an issue that some areas of Catalonia have already suffered first-hand in terms of gentrification, this is a disproportionate increase of dwellings’ and plots’ prices that turn into, those being inhabitants, to look for more economically viable alternatives, giving way to those who can invest, a fact that may not have a direct relation to tourism in some cases but which, without doubt, has meant an aggravating item. 

The increase in prices in touristic  is one of the reasons to destabilise local people, forcing them to assume higher prices, well above the standard prices they could find in any other street of the city outside the touristic path. If we look at Barcelona, coronavirus crises forced many restaurants in touristic areas to lower their prices to match those offered in the rest of the city, showing the prices war that tourism business means. Avoiding this through regulation policies could not only protect local citizens but ensuring tourists pay for the right price of the product.

 

Positive economic impact: investing in people

From and economical point of view, it makes sense that as a business, tourism should bring benefits to the related area, but the challenge is making it in an equitable and sustainable way. It will bring nothing to improve the turnover if this does not bring a positive impact in the welcoming area. This is, to have a true benefit it has to mean an advantage to all implied parties and, if managed in a controlled and efficient way, tourism can have the enormous power of enriching the population through the creation and maintenance of jobs both, direct and indirect. 

On the contrary some multinationals, way away from applying a sustainable tourism system, choose to do the other way around, what is known as “scape”. These are business models where profits are not left in the welcoming Country nor bring any profit to the Country, like in hotels with an all-inclusive regime, where customers do not go away from the resort and, therefore, do not generate a positive impact to the area’s economy. They do create an impact indeed but negative as far as taxes is concerned, since the required infrastructures to welcome tourism are often financed through this business. It will require though to weight the generated impact of tourism against the cost that population  pays for. If there is no balance, then we are presumably facing a non-sustainable system and which will need to be revisited.

Tourism is in the end, our joint responsibility since we have all been involved for some time. There are actions that depend only on the individual responsibility and commitment to bet for a sustainable life model, also when we travel. The other side of the management, and that with a higher impact, belongs to the private and public organisations that will need to plan tourism facing next coming years with a clear motive: a bet for sustainability is a bet for the future.

 

Do you love to travel? With 11Onze Viatges you can book accommodation at the best price, without stifling the travel industry.

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The festive season is upon us, and with Christmas just around the corner, it is that time of year when we all need to start thinking about a gift to give our loved ones. Why don’t you make this year an extra special one and take your loved one, your family, to one of the many amazing Christmas markets around Europe?

 

There are many of them to choose from. You can wander through the markets, where you will be pulled into the Christmas spirit. You will be able to choose from local, handcrafted gifts, or you can enjoy some mouth-watering Christmas dishes and treats.

Whatever your preference and whether alone or with others, you are sure to enjoy the atmosphere. We will do a round-up of some of the oldest and best Christmas markets to choose from.

Strasbourg – France

Strasbourg in eastern France is where you will find one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets. The first edition of this famous market took place in 1570 and is still going strong today. After 448 years, you can be assured they know what they are doing. If you attend this one, there are plenty of choices. Across 10 locations with 300 stalls, this is a Christmas market that takes more than one day to explore.

 If you want to really indulge and enjoy, then we suggest a long weekend break. That way, you can take advantage of the festivities, pick up some new decorations for the tree at home try the local Alsatian wine.

This market’s special feature is the ‘guest country market’ and the colossus Christmas tree that puts the New York Rockefeller Centre effort to shame. The Christmas market opens on 21 November and ends on 23 December this year. Recommended hotels: Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa, Voco Strasbourg Centre – The Garden, Holiday Inn Express.

Viennese Christmas Market – Vienna – Austria

With the first market here appearing in 1928, Vienna has perfected all the magical elements that make up the perfect Christmas market. If it is your first time visiting a Christmas market, we strongly suggest going to the Viennese Christmas Market.

Located in front of the City Hall, the Viennese Market consists of over 150 stalls, with everything from boozy Christmas punch to tummy-pleasing Austrian sausages, the market also boasts an ice rink, reindeer rides for the kids (and adventurous adults, maybe) and, of course, the classic nativity scene for your delight. And if you are feeling sporty, perhaps give curling a go on the dedicated curling rink. This year, the event runs from 19th to 26th December. Recommended hotels: Spiess & Spiess, Bassena Wien Meser Prater, K + K Hotel Maria Theresia.

Medieval Town Square – Kraków – Poland

The Christmas market in Kraków is renowned as being one of the best. The main square (Rynek Główny) in Kraków is the biggest medieval square in Europe. Rich in history, it delivers the perfect setting for the Christmas market.

Here there are traditional wooden huts lined up, offering up plenty of hand-crafted gifts among other presents and decorations for the tree or house. Food is plenty. You will find traditional Polish Pierogi (dumplings), a national dish, great Polish sausage grilled in front of you and definitely some mulled wine or hot beer to wash it all down. This year, the event runs from 25 November until the 26th of December. Recommended hotels: Puro Hotel, Hotel Indigo, Qubus Hotel.

Old Town Square – Prague – Czech Republic

Here in Prague, there are two markets. There is the main market on the Old Town Square, and then another, just five minutes walk away, on Wenceslas Square. You can easily explore them both on a full-day excursion.

Each of the markets has the traditional wooden huts found in the Kraków market and other similar ones in Europe, but what makes the Czech market stand out are the treats. You can grab a klobása (Czech sausage) and then wash it all down with a Pilsner Urquell. Each year both markets are open from the start of the festive season, the end of November, right through to January 6th, including Christmas Day. Recommended hotels: The Grand Mark, Cosmopolitan, Michelangelo Grand Hotel.

Winter Wonders – Brussels – Belgium

You could call this a Christmas Market, or you could call it a Christmas Festival. I think the latter would be a better description. There are over 200 chalets serving everything you can imagine including, glühwein, Belgian beers and waffles.

The festival covers a huge area. Across, Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, Grand Place, Place Sainte Catherine and Marche aux Poissons. There is ice skating, a Ferris wheel, light shows galore and, as you would hope, a huge Christmas Tree. Every year it opens from 25th November to 1st January. Recommended hotels: Ramada by Wyndham Brussels Woluwe, Hotel Le Plaza, Vintage Hotel.

 

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Passionate travel lovers usually can’t make it more than a few months without having a strong urge to get on a plane, bus, or train. In many cases, daily life, a full-time job, and other responsibilities don’t always leave much space for frequent or extended trips across the world. One of the best ways to satisfy that never-ending need for travel is to take shorter trips to nearby places. We list some of the best city breaks in the UK.

 

Cambridge

Enthusiasts of great architecture certainly will want to visit Cambridge for a short and sweet city break in the UK. The city itself is, of course, best known for the University of Cambridge, which was founded back in 1209 and is one of the oldest schools in the world. Currently, the University has over 30 colleges, with most open to the public—usually completely for free. The buildings astonish tourists with their glorious architecture and spacious gardens.

The city also offers several marvellous museums, also with free admission. The most notable ones are Fitzwilliam Museum, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University Museum of Zoology, and The Museum of Cambridge. You can also spend your time on the waters of the Cam River, taking a trip on one of the famous punts.

Birmingham

Many may not realise it, but Birmingham is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom and serves as a cultural, financial, and social core of the East and West Midlands. The city is known for its extensive canal network, which is even bigger than the one in Venice and one of the leftovers from the industrial revolution. Nowadays, the canals are mainly used for leisure activities.

If you’re looking for the best UK city breaks for couples, visit Birmingham and book a romantic canal trip with great views. In the city, you’ll also find a couple of stunning museums and galleries, such as Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Coffin Museum, The Ikon Gallery, or The Black Country Living Museum. Be sure to visit the Jewellery Quarter as well, which includes over 200 workshops run by jewellers and silversmiths. All together, they manage to produce around 40% of Britain’s jewellery. You can learn more about its history when you visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, located nearby.

 

York

History lovers will want to choose York for their next city break in the UK. With origins dating back to 7,000 BC, the city has been inhabited by both Romans and Vikings over the centuries. The look of the city perfectly reflects its history, and with every step, you’ll discover the remaining influences of past times.

Be sure to visit the city centre, surrounded by miles of medieval walls, which are still mostly intact. One of the must-see tourist spots is the most famous street in York, called the Shambles. This cobbled street also dates back to medieval times and is enveloped by marvellous overhanging timber-framed buildings from the 14th‑century. In York, you will also find the famous National Railway Museum, which possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of locomotives.

Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland is a frequent destination for the best city breaks in the UK, and for a good reason. Edinburgh offers a wide array of museums and galleries which showcase the history and art of Scotland. One of the most noticeable ones includes the National Museum of Scotland, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, National War Museum, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and many others. Must-see attractions include Edinburgh Castle, which was named the top UK Heritage Attraction by the British Travel Awards in 2019.

London

Our list of the best city breaks in the UK would not be complete without the capital of the country. A few days will likely not be enough to visit all the attractions this wonderful city has to offer, but, you can at least see the most famous places—like the Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, London Eye, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe, or many others. Remember, London is filled with free museums and other attractions, making the city a perfect candidate for a cheap city break in the UK. Depending on your interests, you can visit contemporary exhibitions in Tate Modern, or choose something more historical like displays shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

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Games, didactic guides, virtual or face-to-face classes… 11Onze offers a new free educational service to the people of La Plaça and to the entire educational community of the country.

 

11Onze is extending its commitment to financial education and is launching 11Onze Escola, a project for schools throughout the country to train their students in economic and financial matters. Everything is available with open access at 11Onze Escola. Work has been carried out over the last few months with the aim of providing teachers and students with tools to complement the educational curriculum, broadening their view of the new economy.

During the last academic year, a teacher member of La Plaça asked if a representative of 11Onze could give a class for his students. “A high-school teacher impressed by the information shared at La Plaça“, explains 11Onze President James Sène, “asked us if we could offer a financial education session to his students. We decided to go one step further and offer financial education sessions and make them available to everyone.

Since then, pilot tests have been carried out at the Cendrassos Secondary School in Figueres and the Arraona Secondary School in Sabadell. The result is an ambitious project. “We estimate that we can offer 52 face-to-face or virtual classes,” explains Content Director Toni Mata, “but the platform is designed so that teachers can use our material directly.

“Our mission is to engage and educate young students to improve their financial literacy”.

That’s right. Using content from 11Onze’s La Plaça, such as El Diner series, we have developed teaching guides that allow you to run a class and test students with gamified quizzes.

 

What classes do you offer?

If you request a class with 11Onze, you can choose whether you want it to be virtual or face-to-face. In both cases, an 11Onze representative will offer you a 1-hour class. We currently offer three types of classes: Introduction to Financial Education, Open Banking, and Digital Currencies.

In these classes, we can touch on some important topics of the new economy, which do not figure prominently in the current educational curriculum, but which are crucial for the immediate future, given the digitalisation of the economy. Classes on integrated finance, CBDC, tokenisation, mining, open banking … “We believe that students need to be prepared to manage their money in an environment that will be radically different from the one we have now,” Mata explains.

According to a Greenlight study, nearly three-quarters of teenagers (74%) said they do not feel confident in personal finance knowledge. About the same percentage of teens (73%) said they want to learn more. “Our mission is to engage and educate young students to improve their financial literacy by teaching them how money works and the technology behind it“, explained 11Onze CEO James Sène, adding that “we understand that without basic financial education, children and young adults will face immense difficulties in managing their finances effectively. This could lead to bad credit, bankruptcy and no savings”.

“With the right knowledge, citizens make the right decisions and keep a better eye on their rulers and companies. It’s a question of financial education, but at heart, it’s a question of democracy.”

How to book a class

Please fill in a form available at 11Onze Escola to book a class. The initiative is aimed at everyone, but at 11Onze we have planned to be able to give a maximum of 52 face-to-face/virtual classes this academic year. “This means that many requests will obviously not be able to be met this year. That is why it is important to book as early as possible and why we have also made sure the 11Onze Escola platform is full of content that secondary school teachers can use directly,” says Mata.

As James Sène explains: “We cover topics such as credit cards, cryptocurrencies and money management. For young people, digital banking is no longer a mystery, even if they don’t know much about all the processes behind it. As almost all of them have financial apps on their mobile phones, they are interested in financial education.”

The 11Onze Escola project is key for the Catalan institution, which has always had financial education and transparency as one of its pillars. “With the right knowledge, citizens make the right decisions and keep a better eye on their rulers and companies. It is a question of financial education, but at the end of the day it is a question of democracy“, says Mata.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Is there something magical about Halloween? Do we celebrate La Castanyada like those who celebrate Halloween in Anglo-Saxon countries? Do we worship death or life? Celebrating autumn with ‘panellets’, chestnuts and sweet potatoes may have more to do with our agricultural past than we think.

 

The genetic and cultural process that humans underwent five million years ago enabled us to transform objects into utensils, a fact that allowed us to adapt more effectively to different climates. Mobility was key to our survival. But about 10,000 years ago, this nomadism was altered by an even more revolutionary discovery: agriculture

The ability to produce one’s own food meant that we settled in areas suitable for cultivation and, at the same time, allowed us to keep wild herds in stables to ensure protein for the whole year. These primitive sedentary societies were conditioned forever by an agricultural and livestock calendar. It was then that the first evidence of the worship of gods, goddesses and ancestors appeared. 

And what does all this have to do with Halloween? Well, anthropology has studied in depth how there is a pattern, a belief, that is common in the origin of the festivity in an infinite number of cultures all over the world. Their starting point is always the same: the celebration of the birth of a period of darkness that extends into a period of light. This is how we find festivities such as the Roman Pomona, the Celtic Samhain or the Basque Udazkena. 

Likewise, Samhain or Udazkena marked the beginning of the agricultural calendar when fields and lands became barren — similar to when talking about the deceased — until the arrival of spring, when life flourished again. Thus, the start of a new cycle of life. These pagan beliefs practised by the inhabitants of the ‘pagus’ — the peasants — remained deeply rooted for millennia until the irruption of Christianity in the 1st century. 

The Catholic world appropriates pagan traditions

The beginning of the end of paganism came with Pope Boniface IV, who in 610 consecrated the Roman Pantheon of Agrippa, which until then had been dedicated to the pagan cult of Jupiter. Taking advantage of this fact, he instituted a feast commemorating all the unknown and anonymous saints of Christianity, which was celebrated on 13 May. 

But it was not until the middle of the 9th century, following the Carolingian Renaissance, that what we know as All Saints’ Day was definitively established throughout the medieval West. The papal encyclical of Gregory IV in 840 promulgated the definitive Christianisation of all the territories of the empire and forced the substitution of pagan festivals, such as Samhain or those of Pomona, for All Saints’ Day, changing the date of celebration to 1 November. For centuries, the Catholic world continued its policy of supplanting pagan ancestral traditions with church events, while in the Anglo-Saxon world, where Protestantism was pre-eminent, this pressure was relaxed. 

Today, we observe that while All Saints’ Day is more of a dark, sad, secluded day, Halloween — All Hallow’s Eve — is festive, sweet, fun and, yes, greatly amplified by the American propaganda machine. As for the rest of the world, such as the Philippines or Mexico, and especially in the wake of Pixar’s film ‘Coco’, the holiday is even more festive: not only the graves of the deceased are visited, but a family picnics are held around them, where masks and coloured ribbons are used, while special dishes are cooked.

 

In Catalonia, joy and severity

As for our culture, according to the folklorist and ethnologist Joan Amades in his well-known ‘Costumari català’ (Salvat Editors, 1982), All Saints’ Day has two very different faces: the joyful and festive one in the morning and the rigorous and severe one in the afternoon. This is because, as Amades recalls, there is a belief that, just after midday on 1 November, people who died not long ago return to live with their families for a few hours. 

There was even a tradition, in Barcelona, of placing the dishes on the table for the deceased, as if they were another guest. Likewise, it was very common, on 1 November, to call the deceased into coming home, but also to help them find their way to eternity. For this reason, it was customary to hang lanterns on the façades of the houses, and on the tombs. 

In ‘Costumari català’, Amades also recalls a custom typical of rural villages, where it was popular to go to cemeteries to offer of bread to the deceased. This tradition evolved into the popular ‘panellets’, which bakers turned into a business. 

Continuing with gastronomy, chestnuts, sweet potatoes and ‘panellets’ have been and still are the traditional Christmas specials of this time of year. As an anecdote, it is said that in some areas of Catalonia superstition states that if you eat chestnuts, your hair will fall out and, for this reason, women did not want to eat them. This is the reason why chestnuts were replaced by pine nuts. Perhaps this is why many ‘panellets’ are wrapped in pine seeds.

In short, All Saints’ Day, today, as in the past, always responds to the same spirit: to keep the memory of our ancestors alive and to venerate the cycle of life that is so well expressed in the peasant world.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Autumn is the ideal season to enjoy the treasures of France away from the crowds. The days are still mild and the nature and landscapes are breathtaking, so it is a great time to spend a few days in the countryside, plan a short hike or stroll the streets of Paris. We’ve selected some destinations where you will see all the shades of autumn on display.

Champagne-Ardenne

Welcome to Champagne-Ardenne, the land that gave its name to the famous beverage known around the world! Who says Champagne, says vines! Now, in Autumn the vineyard landscapes are really beautiful, the green leaves are tinged with a golden, brown or red colour. 

We suggest you walk the Champagne tourist route to visit the cellars, taste the Champagne, but also to learn the secrets of winegrowers and discover the cellars of Champagne houses! The National Park of the Reims mountain is particularly interesting. In addition to the vineyards, you will also find the largest concentration of dwarf oak trees in the world.

For the more urban traveller, or those interested in culture, you can also visit the cities of Epernay for its famous Avenue of Champagne and its many manor houses of Champagne. And Reims, the city of the coronation of the kings of France with its sumptuous cathedral. The city of Langres medieval fortress, surrounded by 5 lakes also offers an impressive panorama during Autumn.

For nature lovers, you can extend your stay at Lake Der-Chantecoq, it is the largest artificial lake in Europe. Or, go to meet the wolves in the woods of the Argonne. Finally, the city of Charleville-Mézières organizes the world festival of puppets every year in mid-September, a fascinating show for children and adults alike! Recommended hotels: Holiday Inn Reims, Maison Rouge Strasbourg Hotel & Spa, Adonis Hotel Strasbourg.

Normandy

Normandy is a land of history. Mont Saint-Michel is a good example, it is erected on a rocky island and is located in the heart of a beautiful bay at the crossroads of Brittany and Normandy. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont-Saint-Michel is a wonderful place to admire the largest tides in continental Europe! At high tide, the Mount becomes an island for a few hours, a sight to take your breath away! 

The town of Etretat is famous for its extraordinary chalk cliffs and pebble beaches, painters such as Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet or writers like Maupassant and Gustave Flaubert were inspired by this place. A walk along the cliffs will arouse your senses. Let yourself be amazed by the beauty of nature! At low tide, you can access some special places, including beaches and oyster beds!

A Franco-British place of history, Château-Gaillard, also known as Richard the Lion Heart castle, is located in the village of Les Andelys. The strategic position of this castle, built by the King of England and Duke of Normandy, was crucial. A true masterpiece of architecture, some parts still bear the stigma of long-past clashes between the kingdoms of England and France.

Finally, you should also visit two other jewels of Normandy. The first is the small town of Honfleur, a popular place for any visitor to Normandy. You will discover why it is called the city of painters while strolling through its picturesque streets!

The second is the city of Rouen. The city where Joan of Arc was threatened with torture in 1431. Its architecture with its half-timbered houses and its Gothic churches will not leave you disappointed! The city is also famous for its gastronomy. Your taste buds will be invigorated by the tastes of Rouen. Recommended hotels: Holiday Inn Express Le Havre, Holiday in Express Rouen.

Paris

Hard not to mention Paris for this article, especially since we have suggested the Champagne-Ardenne and Normandy since, in one single trip, you can enjoy a visit to at least two of these three destinations. Between two and three hours of travel separate these three destinations.

Let yourself be transported and imagine Paris in Autumn. The trees adorn themselves with leaves of red or golden reflections. Some streets and boulevards emit the sweet smell of warm chestnuts, and you will hear the sounds of leaves crunching under your feet in the parks of the French capital.

Cultural events are numerous! Mid-September (think about next year) are European Heritage Days. This will allow you to visit places that are for some, normally not open to the public, such as the backstage Crazy Horse, the Palace of the Élysée, the Grand Rex or the National Museum of Natural History, it is a unique opportunity! Recommended hotels: Hotel Paris Villette, Hotel Alfred Sommier.

 

Do you love to travel? With 11Onze Viatges you can book accommodation at the best price, without stifling the travel industry.

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Droughts, pests, plundering and inflation threaten the pine nut market in Catalonia. As a result, this Castanyada will be more expensive. Why don’t we make better use of our forests?

 

The Consorci Forestal de Catalunya estimates that in Catalonia there are some 38,000 hectares of stone pine, with a pine nut production potential of 500 kilos per hectare. “In a regulated sector, this product on the market would represent a turnover of five million euros,” tells the institution. Even so, the reality is that forest owners do not make any profit from their forests. That is why the price of pine nuts has risen steadily over the last decade.

According to the Observatori Forestal Català, in 2021 the price of white pine nuts reached 66.25 euros per kilo in the Barcelona market, 66.71 euros per kilo in the Reus market and 67.49 euros per kilo in the Alentejo market (Portugal), the main competitor on the peninsula. Thus, the price for the end consumer is between 70 and 100 euros per kilo. The increase year after year is evident. And this, obviously, also increases the price of the precious ‘panellets’ that we buy in the country’s bakeries and patisseries, as the Gremi de Pastissers de Catalunya reminds us.

The reasons for this rise, according to the Consorci Forestal de Catalunya, have to be found on the black market, where the looting of pine nuts is widespread and “without any kind of control”. In addition to the pillage, there is also the devastation caused by pests, such as the American pine bug, which attacks the youngest pine cones. And to all this must be added the droughts that have ravaged Mediterranean forests in recent summers and competition from Asian pine nuts, which are of lower quality.

 

The prized pine nuts, the product of the Mediterranean forest

For all these reasons, experts determine that the production and use of pine nuts is far below its potential. With this in mind, the Consorci Forestal de Catalunya has set up the Quality Pinea project, which aims to help producers to make the most of their stone pine forests, but also to carry out research. With the support of the Cooperativa Serveis Forestals (Cooperative Forestry Services), the institution provides free advice on how to boost pine nut productivity on private farms.

Thus, the Consorci Forestal de Catalunya accompanies producers to grow new plantations of stone pine with grafts and helps to start up the production of a forest mass. It also advises on how to develop the most suitable pine cone harvesting systems according to the type of farm and, finally, it helps with the marketing of both pine cones and pine nuts. 

In fact, stone pine plantations are an alternative to agricultural crops and, therefore, a viable option for agroforestry owners. In addition, the institution draws up inventories of forest stands and other stands of stone pine for treatments and works in collaboration with the Centre Régional de la Propriété Forestière Occitanienne (CRPF Occitanie), which is active in the Pyrénées-Orientales region of France. The producers now hope that the growing interest in pine nut production will encourage Catalonia to regulate the market and take advantage of this small treasure that the region has to offer.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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In this new episode of the Plaça from the radio magazine Territori 17 we fuse Catalan and Japanese culture, talking to Tessin Sano, a Japanese businessman who has been living in Catalonia for 30 years, and co-founder of the Puigpinós Japanese Hotel.

 

Tessin Sano is a Catalan and Japanese businessman rooted in Catalonia and his country of origin, who throughout his career has always tried to merge these two cultures in his business projects. Born in Japan, but a resident of Catalonia since the 1990s, Sano created Japo.cat, a company dedicated to the cultural exchange between Catalonia and Japan, which organises trips to Japan tailored to each client’s needs.

A project that he complements with his Japanese cuisine restaurant, Kinoko, in Solsona, and the Japanese Hotel Puigpinós. Sano is a renowned entrepreneur who, in this talk, gives us his vision of how tourism in Japan has evolved, making it one of the most visited countries in the world.

Tradition and modernity in one place

Japan is one of the few countries that has managed to perfectly combine the traditions of a millenary culture with modern, cosmopolitan metropolises that stand out for being at the forefront of technological advances. As Sano points out, “one of the reasons why tourism in Japan is so successful is because of the contrast between tradition and modernity”.

While still an exotic country, Japan remains “close to the West, but preserving Japanese traditions”, says Sano. Small cultural nuances that the Catalan-Japanese entrepreneur has made sure are represented in his Japanese hotel, to enjoy the same experience that you would enjoy in Japan.

 

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We end the chronological journey that has brought us closer to the history of the vindication of the ‘feminine self’, through five women who have marked the course of contemporary history, written from a feminine perspective. Centuries of history have given rise to small and great victories for the normalisation of a point of view based on pure social conventions that have little to do with human nature. Now, feminism in the 21st century continues to raise its voice for one of the oldest historical demands: equality between women and men.

 

Mireia Cano, Sales Lead B2C of 11Onze

 

Looking back, we can see that, despite the fact that history has been written by men, women have played a key role. In all areas and in all struggles. Protagonists in the shadow of human history, where every struggle and every right acquired in favour of the female gender has been debated again and again. A circular history that constantly and independently of the country or the time takes us to the same point: the travelled road has allowed us to advance, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the society and the subjective prism through which we look at it. A step forward, but not enough. The struggle does not stop. Equality is still a long way off for the younger generations.

 

Male superiority and #patriarchy

Moral superiority (and nothing else than moral) between sexes, ethnic groups, cultures or social classes is nothing more than evidence of a desire for control that, far from being natural, is born out of social constructions based on power, often linked to money or directly to physical force. Any reasoning or behaviour born from superiority cannot be considered just and, therefore, should not be considered feminist. The perpetuation of the feminist struggle evokes multiple conclusions. We put one on the table: in order to continue to advance, men have to join in.

History has been written by men, the world has been led by men and even religions are highly masculine. Can we talk about progress if we still count every woman who for the first time gains access to a place of power? If laws are needed to achieve parity in the workplace? If women’s bodies, maternal decisions or the way they dress are decided by men all over the world or if machismo violence continues to murder and rape girls, girls and women at home? If all this is what constitutes the current world we live in, changing it must surely be a gender issue. You cannot redefine the role of women without redefining the role of men. And it all comes down to education, which has to move away from patriarchy, the term that defines a male-dominated social organisation.

 

#NotAllMen, but #AllWomen

Half of the population still lives under the stigma of the weaker sex, under the control of patriarchy and with the certainty that despite not being directly affected by it myself or the women around me, looking at both sides everyone has a story nearby that shows how much work remains to be done. Throughout history, feminism has gone through various stages which, depending on the context of the time, have involved one type of struggle or another, based on conservative, liberal or vindictive ideals. There are many women to whom we can put a face and whose history we can explain. Some of them have achieved great advances for women, while others have simply paved the way with ideas, works or by opening doors that until then had remained closed.

Feminism, understood as the search for equality between men and women, has as many interpretations, currents or meanings as there are people who talk about it. Interpretations vary according to the education received, family tradition or the behaviour that each person has seen at home. It is understandable, therefore, that thoughts such as that feminist women are “exaggerating”, that “there are no inequalities nowadays” or that life has to be lived “as it always was” justifying that traditions, however misogynist they may be, have to be respected instead of changing them to achieve parity. Faced with this reality, it is all the more important to emphasise that feminism must be based on respect, the basis on which to aspire to freedom. Can anyone who lives with their eyes fixed on others be free?

 

From liberation to sexual normalisation #lovewins

Many societies have accepted that sexual orientation does not have to be a reason for hatred, let alone aggression or legal sentences. Sexual freedom is normalised and some stigmas linked to sexuality are left behind, especially among the younger generations and in Western countries. Destigmatization is born in the awareness of one’s own body, freedom of decision, and respect for other ideologies. Also, the construction of rapidly proliferating partnerships such as polyamory or open relationships, which, beyond the yearning of any generation of young people to discover themselves, try new things and live experiences, also shows and gives hope for a future that is predicted to be respectful and open-minded. The least moral judgements, and freedom and respect above all else.

Unfortunately, once again there is no situation or context free of aggression by people who, because of their sex or sexual orientation, feel superior to those who are different. Sexual orientation is still a justification for aggression, and conservative love relationships with gender roles marked by the male presence are not stopped either. Forced relationships, physical, mental and sexual violence against women, the sexualisation of the female body or the social and individual judgement of women to enjoy sexuality that is full and grounded in their freedom are not stopped either. Freedom, however, which society strives to emphasise is limited, always within social canons, standards and subjected to multiple criticisms in the eyes of the world. Perhaps for this reason, because advancement is never enough or generalised, the feminist struggle constantly shares space with the struggle of other minorities or collectives in search of the freedom that by nature should be granted to them.

 

The struggle will be shared, or it will not be #MeToo

The reality of movements such as #MeToo corroborate that when a woman raises her voice to make a complaint, thousands appear by her side who have experienced the same thing and, whether out of ignorance, fear, or a feeling of normality in the face of attitudes that should not be normal, have preferred to remain silent for years. And what kind of normality can it be to live in the 21st century, where a few minutes of a man’s sexual satisfaction prevails over a woman’s life? Many are the battles won, the advances and the scenarios where parity is being achieved. There are many men who have been educated and educate from this prism of respect, regardless of sex or sexual orientation, and there are also more and more young people who grow up without the stigma of the patriarchal base and young women who identify and denounce any situation that goes against their freedom.

Of all the positive things we could list and be proud of, mainly because of all those who have dedicated their lives to the cause and even lost them, there is one thing that stands out above all: the struggle for life. When the moral superiority that sentences a life in exchange for ideals all over the world disappears, feminism will be able to take the final step and start talking about freedom.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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