Exploring Sitges through books

Sitges has had a close relationship with culture for more than a century, after a group of local modernist artists decided to turn the seaside town in the Garraf region into their own little Paris, as well as organising the so-called Modernist Festivals there at the end of the 19th century.

Drawing on this cultural legacy, Sitges town council has launched an initiative that combines tourism with culture in the form of a literary route. What makes this new itinerary special is that it is in the format of a podcast, which visitors interested in doing the tour can obtain on the website: www.sitgesanytime.com. Once they have downloaded the material, they can then do the tour whenever they feel like.

A Martí Gironell project

The route guides the visitor through different areas of the town that have been selected because they appear in five contemporary novels set in Sitges. The project was produced by the Girona writer and journalist, Martí Gironell, based on his own knowledge of the town and his literary tastes. His book selection focuses on historical novels, which is a genre of which Gironell is one of the main authors in modern Catalan literature.

The books chosen for the route are El pirata de cala Morisca (published by Columna) by David Martí, winner of the Néstor Luján Prize for Historical Novels in 2018; El secret de Picasso (Edicions 62 / Umbriel) by Francesc Miralles; L’homenatge (Columna) by Xulio Ricardo Trigo, who won the Néstor Luján Prize for Historical Novels in 2017; El dia que va morir Marilyn by Terenci Moix (Edicions 62, 1969), and Una novel·la pulp by Damià del Clot (Llibres del Delicte).

Five literary proposals

These five literary proposals allow you to discover Sitges from a completely different and original perspective. So, while enjoying the town, the visitor can listen to stories about Sitges that include tales of pirates, modernism, the architecture introduced by rich colonialists returning from Latin America, the Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival, as well as some the most unknown side of the town, and all framed in different times and periods of local history.

This tourist initiative came out of the Vila del llibre literary festival that was held in Sitges in April, with the aim of providing a new tourist product to offer both visitors and residents of Sitges alike. It’s completely free and, as the audio guide is in the form of a simple podcast that can be downloaded onto a smartphone, people can do the route as and when it suits them, on any day of the week and at any time of the year.

Terenci’s love

Novelist Terenci Moix used to stay in Sitges during his teenage years and it was there that he discovered cinema and nightlife. Moix’s love for Sitges lasted a lifetime. In the novel El dia que va morir Marilyn (The Day Marilyn Died), many scenes take place in Carrer del Primer de Maig, known as Sin Street. Moix’s novel and his experiences helped to forge the popular image of Sitges as a city of fun and boundless love.

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