Travel to Andorra through literature

Without a doubt, the best way to discover a country, a region or a specific site is by visiting it and sharing with its people. Yet given the impossibility of moving around these days, we’re lucky to have film and literature.

Here at the illa Carlemany shopping centre, for the week of this coming Sant Jordi (World Book Day, 23 April), we recommend a novel set in the quaint little corners of Andorra. Once you discover these backdrops and live the story told in L’últim estiu a Ordino (‘Last summer in Ordino’), by Joan Peruga (Santalecina, Huesca, Spain 1954), we know you’ll want to get away as soon as you can, to step into the world where part of the story takes place.

This novel by Joan Peruga—which has already been published in different editions in Catalan and has also been translated into Spanish and French—recreates the life of Assumpta d’Areny-Plandolit (“Sumpta”, for short), a woman whom we gradually discover through her correspondence with her brother Quimet. The two are the children of the general ombudsman Guillem d’Areny-Plandolit, one of the most important figures of the country’s history. Through the eyes of the story’s main character, the author reveals the deep transformation of late-19th-century Andorra resulting from the crisis experienced by both the economy and the traditional ways of life.

Together, the different areas of the valley and town of Ordino, where the protagonist, Sumpta, lives, form an itinerary of eight points that you can visit. In fact, each of these sites is marked on a small plaque including QR code access to interesting explanations provided by the Ordino Parish Council. Each QR code presents information on the historic and cultural aspects of each place, along with graphic material and a passage from the novel that mentions the site. The valley of Ordino, the town of Ordino itself, the Casa Rossell and Casa Areny-Plandolit homes, the road known as Camí de Segudet and the Church of Sant Corneli i Sant Cebrià are a few of these backdrops, which are not at all far from The Centre in Andorra. If you set out from illa Carlemany along the CG 3 road towards La Massana and Ordino, you’ll reach them in just twenty to twenty-five minutes.

Through the writings of different authors, you can discover the small country of the Pyrenees in greater depth. At illa Carlemany, we invite you to embark on this literary journey!

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