The Basque Country

Where: The Basque Country

Whether it is an urban, architectural tourism or a cultural itinerary including a wine route, Delve offers you an unforgettable trip throughout the Basque Country.

Trip starts from Bilbao, a city that had an amazing makeover and reinvented itself as a smart city from an industrial one investing in culture, tourism and sustainability. A resident architect along with the public society Bilbao Ria 2000, created for the urban regeneration, will demonstrate the transformation of the city and share their master plan.



Bilbao Metro by Norman Foster
The Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall by Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacios
Isozaki Atea buildings, intended to be the entrance to Bilbao
Library at the University of Deusto by Rafael Moneo
Alhóndiga Cultural and Leisure Center by Philippe Starck, renovation of a former wine cell that revolutionized the flow of human energy in Bilbao
Torre Iberdrola, the first European tower to receive LEED Platinum certification by César Pelli
– Visit to the peninsula ZaWP (Zorrotzaurre Art Working Progress) by Zaha Hadid and the urban areas regeneration project where industrial warehouses became eco-residential spaces for artists and exhibitions.

Guggenheim Museum by Frank Gehry, a symbol of contemporary Bilbao, boosted local economy registering over a million visitors every year and contributed to the phenomenal transformation of the city hence referred as the “Bilbao Effect”

(first part of the tour finishes here)

. Second destination on our list is Rioja Alavesa, with Ebro river at its south and dominant Cantabria of Sierra mountain on the north. Barely 300 km2, dense with wineries, gastronomic specialties, architecture, art and not to mention its world-renowned wine-growing panorama offers its visitors not only an extraordinary culinary encounter but also delightful visual experience.

Visiting some of the iconic “Cathedrals” of wine, fully adapted to the existing topography, tailored by architars such as:

Bodegas Ysios Winery at La Guardia by Santiago Calatrava
Baigorri Winery at Samaniego by Iñaki Aspiazu

 and the City of Wine, Marqués de Riscal, one of the oldest wineries of Rioja founded in 1858, expanded with the luxurious The Hotel Marqués de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry in 2006. Visit will include also CNVE winery and Vina Real at Elciego- Álava of Philippe Mazieres.

Itinerary takes us to Vitoria – Gasteiz, a city with a mediaeval structure but managed with particular attention to environmental innovation to a point that it is considered as one of the most advanced in Europe. Capitol city of Basque Country has been the Green Capitol of Europe in 2012 and it is praised for its public administration and sustainability programs such as urban transport, waste and water management and air quality.

A must see during our stay is Cathedral of Vitoria, has merited for its restoration the European award for the conservation and enhancement of the city’s Cultural Heritage

And to satisfy our taste buds, a visit to a traditional farmhouse for the production of local PDO Idiazabal, a cylinder shaped cheese made from whole, raw sheep´s milk. Each cheese is marked with a number to guarantee traceability.

Our journey finishes at San Sebastian, a city with a 7km fine golden sand coastal line on the Cantabrian Sea and surrounded by three mountains: Igueldo, Urgull and Ulia. At its historic center you will see many classic and also modern buildings. The city has an important cultural movida and hosts many events.

The Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium by Rafael Moneo
The Real Club Nàutico de San Sebastián is a building in rationalist style, built in 1929 by José Manuel Aizpurua and Joaquín Labayen, looks like a tied ship and is ideal for a coffee break
San Telmo Museum, its extension realized by Architects Nieto Sobejano
Basque Culinary Center, designed by VAUMM architects, is a building with a structure that are piled up as untidy dishes following the contour lines. The complex is a joint venture between by Mondragon University, the Basque chefs and the support of the public institutions. Today it is the home of Gastronomy Sciences (unique in Spain) and a research center.

Upon request, Viaggi di Architettura can organize gastronomic laboratories of pintxos; tasting traditional Basque tapas served in mono-portion skews as well as complete workshops on practical aspects and preparations. Definitely a unique culinary feast to taste single delicacies.