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Valentine’s Day, Spanish Style

We must admit that for some unknown reason, we Spanish people consider ourselves to be the reference for others in matters related to passion and romance. As such, we won’t let you down as we give you some ideas and advice for this Valentine’s Day and what you can do to blend in and make this day as Spanish as possible. So, take note!

First, there are the flowers. If you would like to be as romantic as we are, you can forget about tulips, daisies and the rest and buy a bouquet of roses—intense red ones! If you prefer, you can also by carnations (red too!). When you think of flowers and Spain, how many times have you seen the image of a flamenco dancer with a red rose between their teeth? In reality, that doesn’t happen a whole lot, but I’m sure you’ve seen it quite a bit.

Now, where do we continue with our Spanish love tour? How about a movie date! This is an excellent option, but be careful since any movie will not do—especially if it is a formulaic English-language romantic comedy. If you want to experience a true Spanish Valentine’s Day, you have to see latest romantic comedy to sweep the country—8 apellidos vascos (Spanish Affair). We’re not sure that you’ll be able to find it playing on the big screen, but you should be able to see it on one of the many online video rental sites.

If you prefer something a little bit more cultured, let us recommend an evening of theater. In Spain, this art form is experiencing a revival of sorts and every month there are new spaces opening up offering everything from Community Theater to star studded productions. But wouldn’t it be great to see on such a special occasion a work from Lope de Vega or a tragedy penned by Calderón? Our classical theater is as good as anything our Elizabethan counterparts have to offer.

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Depending on where you are in Spain, February is the coldest month of the year. If the weather permits, we could go for a stroll through the venerable and bohemian streets of Spain like the Barrio de Cimadevilla in Gijón, las Ramblas in Barcelona or Madrid’s Paseo de Recoletos. A bit of advice though, if you want to impress your partner, look beforehand on the internet for curious bits of information and legends about the streets you are going to stroll through. You’ll come off looking slicker than George Clooney!

What about a romantic dinner? Hard to go wrong here! Spain has some of the best restaurants in the world, but if your budget doesn’t permit you to go to Diverxo, Akelarre or Arola, you can always ask for a recommendation from friends or co-workers. One of the great things about Spain is that you can find a good café or restaurant on just about any street!

And why not end this romantic Spanish evening with a little music? We’re not talking about waltzes or chamber music! We’re talking sensual listening session of flamenco and the “Bewitched Love” by Manuel de Falla, but this might be a little too much so I would recommend something a little “lighter” like Joaquín de Rodrigo’s amazing Concierto de Aranjuez. If this piece doesn’t bring a tear to your eye then you’re not human!

So what do you think about our recommendations? If you can’t win over the heart of that special someone with these suggestions, at least you can say that got to know our culture a little bit better.

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