Important facts about Valencia

With the America's Cup challenger's meet next week local resident Sabina Mollart-Rogerson describes her favourite haunts
This article should be read in conjunction with our initial preview of Valencia , published back in November at the time of the America's Cup 2007 venue announcement. Valencia in Spain is broadening its horizons, renewing itself and growing. With huge investment in restoration and building, a great year round climate and good facilities, Valencia will prove very attractive to teams, media and spectators who visit over the course of the three years in the build-up to the America's Cup. Known as the capital of 'El Turia' - because of the river that once circled the old town - Valencia is changing, embracing with open arms the essence of the new Spain. As one of the oldest cities, Valencia is steeped in history; while the Valencians protect their culture and take pride in the restoration of their UNESCO protected city, they also embark on some of the most avant garde arquitectural projects. It is in this particular juxtaposition of the old and new that lies the charm of the city and its people. The old river course has been developed to house one the world’s most unusual parks, with incredible use of space arquitects have designed Europe’s largest acuarium – l’ Oceanographic, a Natural Science and History Museum, Opera House and sports centres and many other facilities the length of the river bed. This great project and many other developments has changed the once small traditional inward facing city, to a larger sea facing metropolis, further encouraged by the arrival of the America’s Cup. Warm, friendly and with provicial charm, the 'Valencianos' are known for their party spirit, so for a city of its size, Valencia offers a vast variety of bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. The old town centre is one of the most fun places to go out. Forget taking a car