Part of “Green Spain” and the country’s version of Wales, with the Prince of Asturias, next in line to the Spanish throne. Sandwiched between the Cantabrian Sea and Cantabrian Mountains, the Picos de Europa National Park borders the region to the east. Its landscape famous for rugged cliffs, coves, beaches and caves. The climate more suited to hiking in a raincoat, than laying out in a bathing-suit.
Fossils trace the first settlement in Asturias to the time of the Homo erectus, then Neanderthals, finally modern humans. First came the Celts, known as the Astures from whom the region got its name, then the Romans followed by the Suebi and Visigoths. Its place in history forever known as where the Reconquest started in 722.
The three main cities are:
- Oviedo, the capital, Its rich architectural tradition dates back to King Fruela I (757-768). The city has served as the muse for many Spanish writers.
- Gijón, the main port and largest city, boasts a collection of museums and galleries. It’s from here you can catch a ferry to Nantes, France.
- Avilés, the region’s industrial center, is located in the flattest part of the region. More a town, than a city, although not judging by the number of churches and palaces, from the Medieval and Baroque periods.
The people are called Asturiano(s) and a few speak a language called “Bable”. Everyone speaks Spanish or “Castellano”. Access to the sea for its entire history means Asturian cuisine is rich in fish and seafood. “La Fabada Asturiana” is the defining dish of the region. Its cows legendary, their milk sold throughout the peninsula and the basis of many famous cheeses, like “queso de Cabrales“. “Sidra” (cider) from apple groves is the local beverage. Drier, without any carbonation, bubbles are achieved by doing this…
… “el escanciado”. As you can imagine, there’s no single word English translation.
A video two guys of reenacting the movie “Sideways” in Oviedo. They even speak some of the phrases in the lessons.