Lands of illustrious adventurers, cultural crossroads since the centuries had a Roman digit, Murcia and Genoa draw an imaginary line over the Mediterranean to exchange their treasures. Here are the five most palpable just by looking at that airlift. It only remains to choose a date to compare and (not) choose.
The party is in the DNA of the Murcians, and also in that of the Genoese. And it is precisely the Burial of the Sardine that has been chosen to demonstrate it on May 21. It will be the first time that this parade declared of International Tourist Interest will leave the borders of the Spanish city to fill the streets of its Italian sister with magic. In addition to the color of the traditional sardine floats and the music of the musical groups, there will be no shortage of laughter and jostling among the attendees, caused by the famous throwing of toys along the route, which makes this festival something unique in the world. . A million toys are already prepared for this occasion.
The Burning of the Sardine and a fireworks display will achieve catharsis, as in the original version. Genovese and visitors will end up with reddened skin, they will be careful not to end up with a small bump on the head and, above all, they will waste their desire to visit the Spanish region. Something much easier today thanks to the different formulas that the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports has developed to promote Murcia in the Italian market.
Genoa, capital of Liguria, is the sixth most populous city in Italy. Murcia, capital of the homonymous region, is the seventh in Spain. The two capitals are linked by history with a bond that made them sisters already in the Middle Ages: trade. Specifically, the exotic Silk Road, the main economic, cultural and scientific connection between East and West, also united these two cities in the most unknown pages of history books.
Raw materials such as gold and silk fabrics, dyes, wheat or spices entered the peninsula from Genoa. And Murcia was the gateway to Genoa and from there to Europe for local products such as figs, oil, honey, rice, linen, wool, leather or meat.
The well-known Mediterranean diet, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is based on vegetable products: bread and other cereals; grapes, vinegar and wine and, as a great Mediterranean symbol, olives and olive oil. In Murcian gastronomy, fish have a leading role. The sea bream and the mullet; the salted ones: mojama, mullet roe and hijada tuna, which are usually accompanied as an appetizer with raw broad beans or fried almonds, among other dishes such as caldero, michirones, rice and rabbit or rabbit with cabañil garlic potatoes.
In Genoa, the version of the Mediterranean diet offers jewels such as pesto sauce, its most universal contribution, based on basil, pine nuts, oil and garlic; focaccia, farinata – as typical as pizza in Naples – made from chickpeas. The pansoti, the local way of eating stuffed pasta – similar to ravioli – or the famous candied fruits are other delicacies that must be tried on a visit to the capital of Liguria.
The Mediterranean bathes its shores and its culture permeates both cities. Outdoor life is part of the DNA of the inhabitants of the Italian city, and its nerve center is in the Old Port of Genoa, a magnificent square by the sea. There you can enjoy cultural and leisure activities, admire the most beautiful views of the city and its port and get to know some of the essential places marked on the list of every visitor, such as the Genoa Aquarium or the impressive Galata Museum of the Sea. Stop A must: a plate of pasta with pesto in the Plaza de San Bernardo.
In Murcia, for its part, the unbeatable climate makes life “outside doors” something natural for its people, and from the first minute for everyone who visits it. Around Cardenal Belluga Square, or the well-known Plaza de las Flores, Murcians and visitors gather every day to enjoy the most representative and important historical buildings, without forgetting some tapas and a very fresh beer. Do not leave Murcia without trying the marineras, the quintessential Murcian tapa: a donut with Russian salad and an anchovy on top. Or the marriages: harmonious but ephemeral union of an anchovy and a anchovy skewered on a toothpick. Be careful: so that they are authentically Murcian weddings, the anchovy is always on top of the anchovy.
The Cathedral of Murcia, consecrated to Santa María, and that of Genoa, dedicated to San Lorenzo, are the heart of the two cities. The two cities developed around them, their history intertwining the lives and relationships of their inhabitants. And both the cathedrals themselves and the squares and streets that surround them have been the showcase of both cities throughout the centuries, from medieval times to the present day.
Visiting the cathedral, strolling through its medieval streets, having a drink in the most typical and authentic places is something that makes us understand why Genoa and Murcia are truly sister cities where both their inhabitants and those who visit them really feel like at home.
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