This is a 19th century mansion converted to a museum. There you can do a journey through time into the everyday life of a wealthy family of the times known as "Romanticism". The house is preserved in a way you'll feel as its inhabitants are still there. If you are traveling with children it can be a good option, I loved it when I was a child (I dreamt of being kind of little princess there!!)
The oddest thing in the mansion is the preserved body of Saint Constança at the family church. She was a small girl who was killed during the Roman times. In 1845 the Capuchin monks community donated this body to the Papiol family to express their gratitude for helping them to escape trough a secret passage (that you can still see) during the riots of 1835.
Tuesdays-Fridays from 9.30 a.m.-2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (guided visit).
Saturdays: from 9.30 a.m.-2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Guided visits at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Sundays and Holidays: from 9.30 a.m.-2 p.m. Guided visits at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
Closed on Mondays.
Museum founded by the Catalan poet, historian and diplomat, Víctor Balaguer (1824-1901). It displays collections of Roman, Egyptian (including the mummy of a small girl) and other antiquities, as well as paintings, sculptures, coins and a large library.
The building is pretty interesting itself, even after the renovation it has lost part of its charm... well, I agree the exhibits are much better presented now, but I somewhat miss the darkness and mysterious atmosphere it once had (when I was a small child I used to go there with my grandpa who was from the Museum patronage... I loved to see the Chinese antiques, especially the ivory boat, but I was very afraid of the armors and the mummy ;o)
You can walk or bike this very long and pleasant promenade. The part closer the old town has many good bars to have a "vermut" (typical on Sunday mid morning, having some food and drink before lunch, or substituing the lunch), some tapas at the evening or regular restaurants to have lunch or dinner (good seafood, other typical dishes or international food).
"Rambla" in Catalan means a broad street that usually was build once there was a river bed. So, you can find "Ramblas" in virtually any Catalan town, not only the archi-famous ones of Barcelona.
La Rambla de Vilanova is said to be the longest of Catalonia (outside Barcelona). In fact there are two consecutive Ramblas: Rambla Principal, the original one, from the main church to the train tracks, and Rambla de la Pau that continues until the seaside. More than 1 Km. long in total, it's very nice to walk all along, and there is a lot of nice shops and street terraces where to rest and have a drink... OR (as someone visiting Vilanova once told me) a lot of street benches to sit down for free and people-watch!! :)
Francesc Macià, native of Vilanova i la Geltru, served as the President of Catalonia from 1932 until his death in office in 1933.
In 1922 he founded the independentist party Estat Català. He was also well-known for his assaults and actions against the Spanish dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera, and for his participation in the elections that later led to the exile of King Alfonso XIII of Spain in 1931. Macià proclaimed the Free Catalan Republic in Barcelona, but was forced afterwards to settle for partial autonomy within the new Spanish Republic.
The current monument, from the sculptor Subirachs, dates from 1983 and it was the first to be built to this President of the Generalitat. There is another monument to Macià from Subirachs in Barcelona (Plaça de Catalunya)
Vilanova has changed a lot since I was a small child there. And, to the contrary of many coastal towns, it has changed to better! I still remember the awful port warehouses where now you can enjoy the seaside promenade. And how disgusting were all these black tar stains at our feet, skin and swimsuits after an afternoon at the beach...
Now the water and sand are quite clean, and you can enjoy a very long and golden-sandy beach. Not so well-known as others in the area, so not so crowded. Even during winter, if weather permits you can enjoy a long stroll or a bike ride along the promenade.