San Vicente del Raspeig dates from the middles of the 18th century and startes off as a mere suburb of Alicante. It got its independence about 150 years ago; nowadays it is a flourishing town with 35.000 inhabitants, interesting shops, quite a lot of industry and of course the Alicante University campus.
To get to San Vicente del Raspeig from the coast north and south of Alicante, one follows the N-332 (from the north) or the N-340 (from the south) till it merges with the A7 bypass around Alicante. Turn off at exit 70, drive past the University campus and follow the signs to San Vicente del Raspeig.
The oldest part of the town, round the parish church of Vicente Ferrer (built at the turn of the 19th century), the Town Hall (1886) and the Plaza de Espaņa has maintained an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. On the square young and old meet to play, chat and have a drink.
The roads in the old centre are straight and wide; there are many interesting shops and businesses and after one of the many bars and restaurants. Perhaps you want to try local specialities such as putxero amb tarongetes (stew with meat balls) or arrōs amb conill (rice with rabbit).
A good time to visit San Vicente del Raspeig is when a fiesta is being held. The fiesta of the Patron Saint is celebrated on the first week-end after Easter, and is combined with Moros y Cristianos. The big day is on Monday, the day of San Vicente Ferrer. On the third week-end in July the town celebrates its Hogueras; big statues built from wood and cardboard are set up and then burned on the Sunday.
In former times there was a los of what we nowadays call handicraft; furniture making and restorins, embroidery, lace making and making carts. Over the years all these craft activities almost died out but more recently there has been a gradually reviving interest.
More information: SanviNet