Soria in Castilla y León is a small, romantic city of literature and architecture surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Strongly identified with the River Duero that passes through it, Soria is a city of culture and romance with excellently-preserved monuments - churches, palacios, monasteries, convents and more. The area around the city is known to have Celtiberian roots with some Roman ruins just 15 minutes away near Numantia. However, Soria is best known through the poetry of Antonio Machado, the famous 20th century Spanish poet who lived and loved here. A man of the city raised in Seville and Madrid, Machado fell in love with the city and area as well as a local girl who became his wife, his poems describing the beauty of this rugged and yet peaceful place. The city is on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and has many stunning churches, the most important being the church of Santo Domingo in the centre, and chapels such as the Virgin del Mirón, from the 18th century, as well as the Concatedral de San Pedro, a 16th century cathedral that is mainly Romanesque. The monastery of San Juan and the ruins of the monastery of San Pablo, with just an old chapel left standing beside the river, are also worth a visit.
Take a peaceful stroll through the Almeda de Cervantes, sometimes called La Dehesa, Soria's largest garden that stretches across 9 hectares and is filled with hundreds of plant species from trees and shrubs to the wonderful roses of the Rose Garden. Or why not go for a walk along the riverside to the shrine of San Saturio by following the Machado routeto visit the places that inspired this great writer? Outside the city there is much beautiful countryside to explore with rural trails, lagoons, caves and the dramatic canyon of the river Lobos. Just a few minutes out of the city are the Roman ruins of Numancia, with more ruins at Uxama and Tiermes, all of which have been excavated and you can find some of these artefacts in Soria's Museo Namantino (museum). If you visit at the beginning of June, be sure not to miss the 5 day festival, the fiestas de San Juan, a huge traditional celebration with bull-fighting, parades, dancing and lots of wonderful food and wine to enjoy.
Soria has some great markets but the main place to go for shopping is the Calle del Collado, a pedestrianised street with some pretty 19th century arcades. There is, of course, several tapas bars but Soria's cuisine falls under what has been named 'poor food' - a label that is not disparaging but refers to the simple preparation of basic ingredients. Popular foods are mushrooms, roast meats especially pork and lamb, sausages, trout, local certified Soria butter that is known for its smooth and soft texture, pickles, and game including partridge, rabbit and deer. Caldereta, a lamb stew, is a dish synonymous with the city. Enjoy your food with wines from Ribera del Duero, or why not try the red wines of this region in a typical local drink called Zurracapote where the wine is mixed with fruit, such as peaches and lemons with sugar and cinnamon, much like sangria?
Region: Castilla y León
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