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Ronita Torcato


A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai


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VIVA ESPANA!

Currently running in Indian cinemas, Alejandro Gonsalez Inarritu's Biutiful presents a gritty, grimy Barcelona  which is a far cry from the exquisitely beautiful city showcased by Woody Allen in "Vicky Cristiba Barcelona".

But Barcelona is only one of several Spanish cities that Indian tourists can set their sights on thanks to Espana's sunny weather, natural beauty  and splendid culture (13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 42 World Heritage cities !)

Indian travellers will enjoy visiting Spain because of its weather, shopping, things to do,  and places to party till the wee hours of the morning, says  Mr. Arturo Claver Martinez, Head of Emerging Markets and External affairs.
 
"Spain has  approximately 80,000 Indians visiting for leisure purposes and we have seen a growth of 11% for 2010"   Mr. Miguel Nieto-Sandoval, Director, Spain Tourism, India,s ays, adding that he expects the market to grow by  over 25% per annum for the next decade.

India is one of the fastest growing outbound markets in the world. To  facilitate growth further in outbound travel, the Spanish Tourism office held roadshows in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore where 29 delegates, including regional tourism boards, hotels and tour operators met with their Indian counterparts.


Senhor Sandoval  set up office in India 6 months ago to promote Spain and is focusing on select regions or destinations.
These include Catalunya located in the North-Eastern region with a rich 1000-year-old history, and  whose capital Barcelona is a familiar name to Indian movie goers, ( thanks in part to movies like Woody Allen and Alejandro Gonsalez Inarritu')

Costa Del Sol's Marbella, Valencia, birthplace of Paella - a  rice dish  almost similar to the Indian Biryani. Cordoba which attracts the largest number of Arab visitors to its star attraction The Great Mezquita, a massive mosque with 1000 columns and rows of arches.
 The Costa Brava, Montserrat,Andalucia, the birthplace of bullfighting and the flamenco (which has much in common with our very own Kathak) and the  cities of Madrid,  Seville, Granada, Malaga province, Ronda and Alcala de Henares, site of the world's first planned university, and the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes.

Cervantes chose Castille as the setting for his novel, Don Quixote I've read the book, seen the movie and play ( staged in Mumbai by Alyque Padamsee with Noel Godin as  The Man of La Mancha and Nirmala Mathan as his dreamlover, Dulcinea  ) 
Castilla La Mancha  is world renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage Cities of Segovia whose  11th century castle is the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, Ávila (where the great mystic saint Teresa was born), and Toledo, a ‘City of Three Cultures’, Christianity, Judaism and Islam existing  in perfect harmony.  
   
As a Catholic, I'd want to hear Mass in the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela, one of the four apostolic pilgrim sites in the world, the other three  being Rome, Jerusalem and Chennai in South India. You might like yo know the apostle Thomas ( The doubting Thomas ) was martyred  in Chennai. His relics are enshrined in a beautiful church on the beach.A small plaque at the entrance commemorates the visit of Pope John Paul the Second.

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai

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