Alicante, Spain     June 26-29, 2007

Dear CD07 participants,

We are really entering the final countdown to the CD07 workshop! Please, find below some information and a map that you may find useful for your stay during the workshop.
Do not hesitate to contact us for any special needs.
We are looking forward to see you at Alicante.

Best regards,

Adriano Campo Bagatin, on behalf of the LOC of the CD07 Workshop.


NOTICE: Remember that Monday, June 25th is a holiday in the city of Alicante.


Hotel Spa Porta Maris, where the CD07 workshop will primarily take place, is situated in a huge and elongated building built in the 70s and completely refurbished in the last decade. The building separates the "Playa del Postiguet", a 300 m beach, from the tourist harbour that was inaugurated about 10 years ago. Here you will find many places to eat and terrraces to relax with views of the Alicante sea front. From the harbour you will see the "Castillo de Santa Barbara", on the right, and the "Explanada" in front, with its characteristic palms and flora. Behind the Explanada, on the right hand of the street called "Rambla", you will find the historic centre of town. If you go up the hill you will be visiting the "Barrio", the old quarter, full of pubs, restaurants and nightlife. If you go left of Rambla, you will be entering the commercial district, with plenty of shops and two very big stores (most shops are open from 10:00 to 14:00, and again from 17:00 to 20:30. Big stores are open non-stop from 10:00 to 22:00).


Alicante is not a dangerous place, but it is a tourist town and you will be visiting it at the very beginning of the summer season. This means that you just have to take care of your personal belongings, do not leave them unattended, and do not carry large amounts of money so that pick-pockets won't ruin your stay. On the map we have indicated three zones (fun, shopping, and be-cautious). The "be-cautious" zone is not off-limits, but even though it contains a few good restaurants and shops, you will not be missing much if you don't walk into it. Best to avoid possible unpleasant encounters. The rest of town is usually safe.


During the very beginning of summer, weather in Alicante is warm and moderately humid (around 60%). Average daytime temperatures are around 28-30 degrees Celsius, and around 20-22 C at night. Nearly every public indoor place has air conditioning. As is often the case in warm places, the use of air conditioning keeps temperatures too cool for some, and you may need a light jumper or similar in some public places. Rain is not usual in this season.


Restaurant dining used to be inexpensive in Spain. However, in 2002, the Euro conversion triggered an increase of prices in restaurants, bars and hotels. Now it is common to spend around 30 Euros to have a full meal. Nevertheless, you will find may places where they offer a lunch menu for 10 to 15 Euros - consider this an option if you want to save your money for dinner!

Spanish specialities:
1) This region is the correct place for good paella. You will have the chance to have it during the Tabarca trip and at the University.
2) Tapas. This is a very typical spanish food. It consists of small portions of many different kinds of food: just choose what you want as you see it by the bar.
3) Jamon (ham). You will not taste a better ham than in Spain, but you must be sure that you are asking for the very best, so ask for "iberico" or "jabugo". It will not be cheap, but if you taste it with a glass of red wine (see below) you may enjoy a mystical gastronomic experience.
4) Wines. There are many different kinds of wine in Spain, generally good. You may want to avoid the one they offer in restaurants as "vino de la casa" as it is generally overcheap and modest. Ask for a bottle of "Ribera del Duero" (it may remind you of the taste of Chianti), or "Rioja" (if you like it stronger).
5) Others. Cheese is quite good and diverse. Olive oil is very good (Spain is the major world producer). Sea food and fish: Clams, shrimps, prawns, mussels, crabs are normally good and safe. Fish is recommended too. Go to places where you see many people, as they will be constantly receiving fresh sea food and fish.

The centre of Alicante offers many different possibilities for enjoying good food, drink and music. Some of them are indicated on the map, but if you have any special desires, please feel free to contact any of the LOC members during the workshop.

The numbers on the above map correspond to the suggested dining places numbered below.
* Reasonable (20-30 Euros)
** Normal (30-40 Euros)
*** Expensive (More than 40 Euros)

This is of course loosely indicative. Prices may vary depending on the choice you make once you sit at the table!

1. Pote Gallego (Galician) (**). Plaza Santa Faz, 6.
4. Lizarran (*)A Rambla, 18.
5. Meson Labradores (*/**). Calle Labradores, 19.
6. Pintxo Kalea (Basque) (*/**) Plaza San Cristobal.
7. La Sidreria (Asturian) (*). Plaza San Cristobal.
9. Nou Manolin (***). Calle Villegas, 3.
10. El Buen Comer/La Casona. Calle Mayor.
13. EntreTapasyVinos (*/**). Calle Bilbao 11.
14. Ibericos (**). Calle Gerona, 5.
16. La Bodeguita de abajo (**). Calle Bailen, 4.
17. Darsena (***) Good paellas. Muelle de Levante.
18. La Taberna del Mar (***) Very good fish. Muelle de Levante.

Even if it is hard for an Italian to recommend Italian restaurants outside of Italy, the first two are run by Italians, and are the closest to the true taste of Italy, at least for pasta.
2. Pizzeria Tradizionale Italiana (*/**). Plaza Santa Faz, 3.
3. La Spiga (**). Calle Mayor, 11.
11. Tagliatella (*). Calle Castaos, 31.
19. Domenico (**) No pizza, sorry. Muelle de Levante.

8. D'Gardel (**) Argentinian. Plaza San Cristobal.
12. Assia (*) Mixed asian food. Calle Castaos, 5.
15. El Botanero (Mexican-mixed with modern cuisine) (**). Calle Bailen, 5.


A number of pubs with music are scattered around the "fun" zone. It is hard to recommend any: when you are at the door, just look at the people, listen to the music they play, and make you own choice! If you already know what you are looking for, please, ask the LOC members. No food is served in pubs.


One of the attractions of "Costa Blanca" are beaches. Many kilometers of beaches are north and south of Alicante, and a small beach is located just behind the workshop location itself. The beach just outside the hotel is an option, but there are better ones. If you like wild beaches, you have to go south, taking one of the buses that go to "Urbanova" or to "Arenales del Sol". The bus will take 20 to 30 minutes to get there, but you have to check frequency of departures.

If you want to enjoy the beach without giving up the possibility of having a drink at a terrace bar, or even having lunch, you should go north. The TRAM (tramway transportation) has been recently set up to start from Plaza del Mar, at the beginning of the huge building where the Hotel Spa Porta Maris is, and will take you along the coast up to "Playa de San Juan", where you can get off at any of the stops between the "Costa Blanca" stop and the "Las Lanzas"stop.

By the way, if you choose the correct TRAM you can enjoy an interesting ride along the coast up to "Denia", 100 km north, passing through Villajoyosa, Benidorm, Altea and Calpe, interesting coast towns. In between El Campello and Villajoyosa you can find a number of small rocky beaches, especially quiet in this part of the season. You will normally need a car (or a motorbike) to get to them.


Alicante has one of the more modern archeological museums in Europe, the "MARQ" (it was awarded as the Best European Museum Award in 2005). Until September you may enjoy an outstanding exhibition of Sumeric pieces coming form the British Museum (Take TRAM line 3 at the end of the Rambla, and drop down at first stop).

The "Sala de Exposiciones" of the CAM (Avenida Ramon y Cajal, 5)) is hosting at present a beautiful exhibition of paintings by the famous artist Fernando Botero (till July, 1st).

Museum "Gravina" (Calle Gravina), very close to the Hotel, is also a good choice to admire fine paintings.


The most interesting historical building in town is the castle, "Castillo de Santa Barabara", that defines the Alicante skyline from any direction. You can walk up to it by entering the "Parque de la Ereta" not far from the City Hall, or you may prefer to go up by the lift situated near the elevated pedestrian crossing at the beach promenade.

The City Hall is also an interesting Baroque building. In a nearby building you may also have a look at the ancient ruins area of town. Another example of Baroque is in the Avenida de la Estacion (by the railway station - RENFE), "Edificio de la Diputacion".

The "Casa Carbonell" - an example of the "liberty" architecture of the beginning of the XX century - is easily identified as you look at the town from the harbour. It is the big white building situated at the beginning of the Explanada promenade. (A few other buildings of the same period still survive the 70's and recent estate speculation).

The theatre, recently refurbished is another remarkable building (Calle del Teatro, 1). The central market (Mercado Central) preserves its original outer appearance. During the Spanish Civil War it was bombed on May 25th, 1938, by Italian airplanes supporting General Franco's revolt. Alicante was considered a stronghold of the legitimate republican government. Over 300 people died that day (more than in Gernika, that inspired Picasso's famous masterpiece).

There are two main churches in the centre of town that are worth a visit, even if you have not planned to take part in Catholic mass: The "Iglesia de Santa Maria" (st. Mary's church), and the "Catedral de San Nicolas" (St. Nicholas Cathedral).

All of the above locations are indicated on the maps that you will receive at registration, and they are all 5 - 10 minute walks from the hotel.


From the 28th of June until July 1st, the local medieval market will take place at Plaza Santa Faz and surroundings, not far from the hotel. Check the weekly program at the hotel's reception desk for other activities.


If you have some time to spend after or before the CD07 workshop, you may consider the possibility of visiting the cute town of Altea, some 60 km north of Alicante. "Altea la Vella" (Old Altea) is a small village made of white houses climbing up to the "Plaza de la Iglesia" (The Church's Square) from where you can have a panoramic view of the bay and/or have a romantic dinner in one of its fine resaturants. Recommended in evenings, better if not during weekends.

One way to have a look at Alicante surroundings is to visit a big natural cavern in the low mountains behind the town: the "Cova de Canelobre". Apart from visitng the cavern itself, you will have a panoramic view of inland Alicante.

Even if the surroundings of Alicante are quite arid, if you go to the region of Alcoy, only 50 km inland, you can find a forest of pines and other vegetation that will refresh you: "La Font Rotja".

Last updated 19/06/07