A day trip to Xativa is the perfect way to get out and explore Valencia’s surrounds and culture. Located just 50 kilometres from Alcoy, the “City of a Thousand Fountains” has much to offer the visiting tourist with a rich history spanning Roman, Islamic & Christian periods.
Xativa was also the home of the Italo-Spanish Borgia’s a noble family, which rose to prominence during the Italian Renaissance. The Borgias became prominent in ecclesiastical and political affairs in the 15th and 16th centuries, producing two popes: Alfons de Borja, who ruled as Pope Callixtus III during 1455–1458, and Rodrigo Lanzol Borgia, as Pope Alexander VI, during 1492–1503. During the reign of Alexander VI, they were suspected of many crimes, including adultery, incest, simony, theft, bribery, and murder (especially murder by arsenic poisoning).
Because of their grasping for power, they made enemies of the Medici, the Sforza, and the Dominican friar Savonarola, among others.
Be transported back in time as you wander along the Water Route. This sign-posted trail takes in some of the city’s the most evocative landmarks, revealing Xàtiva’s close relationship with water over the centuries.
The city has boasted a network of drinking water supply channels since at least the Islamic period. By the 17th century, there were more than nine hundred fountains, a feature so unusual at the time that the city became famous for it. Fountains were divided into three categories; royal ones, which were monumental and publicly funded, neighbourhood ones, maintained by the residents, and private ones, scarce and only within the reach of the very wealthiest families.
Visit the famous Collegiate Basilica, built on the former site of a medieval mosque before taking a bus to Xativa’s medieval castle, perched on a hill overlooking the Via Augustus, a Roman road that stretched all the way from Rome to Cadiz.