The local tipple is sidra or cider in English and what a great drink it is. Turns up in a wine bottle with a alcohol content of around 6 - 6 1/2% Expertly poured by the barman the air is removed, we tried several siderias and enjoyed every one.
"Oviedo, capitol of Asturias, heart of Green Spain"
Oviedo is the capitol of the Asturian paradise and the embodiment of what is wonderful about Asturias. The palpable honesty and transparency of the folk of Asturias is not lacking in the people who live in the capitol city. And although Asturias is very much a maritime culture and economy and Oviedo is not a port city, she still manages to encapsulate the essence of Asturias. It is difficult to articulate exactly what this essence is, but it is a sort of wonderful integration of new and old architecture, technology, culture & art, customs and way of life I observed throughout Asturias.
With a population of over 200,000 all of the fascinating history, architecture, restaurants, nightlife, culture, shopping, entertainment, public transportation, etc you expect in a city of this size are found here. Most of the highlights of the city are centrally located and reachable by foot. Points of interest which require a short drive can be accessed by the cities ample public transportation. In my opinion a car in Oviedo is not only unnecessary but it would be a costly nuisance.
"Coexistence of Old and New"
Oviedo is a very old city. It was "founded", in 761, the nucleus of which was a monastery. It took many centuries for the city to become noteworthy, but by 1500's the University was founded and the city earned its place on the map. The town hall, which has gone through many reconstructions through the years, was originally built in 1622. The nucleus of what is now the Casco Antiguo, the Cathedral, was also finished by the early 1600's. My favorite part of Oviedo is in and around the Casco Antiguo, because it is a car less pedestrian's paradise. In order to preserve the architectural integrity and facades of the buildings, cars have been banned. The old buildings lining narrow streets are being carefully restored. The old part of the city is really charming and navigable. There are some fantastic restaurants and pubs in this area. By day the Casco Antiguo is a great place to dine in an outdoor cafe, enjoy some sidra, cabrales, jamon serrano and other delicacies. The character of the Casco Antiguo shifts at night and becomes a mecca for young adults who flood the streets hopping for pub to pub, socializing, drinking and dancing. This area is the focal point of many events, carnivals, concerts and is the home of the open air market.
Oviedo is also very modern city. It is the home of significant industry and commerce. Sleek shopping boutiques selling expensive clothing, handbags and shoes and other high quality- high ticket items line the city streets. Oviedo has is a stadium (which seats 30,000), as well as theaters, art galleries, and of course the university. Public parks and fountains also dot the city and give the locals haven from the hustle and bustle of city life. Oviedo is a fine city where old and new not only coexists, but flourishes together.
"Some useful links and information"
Oviedo's offical website
Zoomable street map of Oviedo
A brief history of the city
Quick reference guide (in Spanish) to find goods and services in Oviedo (and all over Asturias. *buggy website which has some glitches)
Tourisim centers in Oviedo:
64 calle Uria. Phone # (985) 21 33 85
1 Marqués de Santa Cruz. Phone #(985) 22 55 86