An Inspiring Region at the Heart of Spain
Following successful editions of The Schools for Female Leadership in the Digital Age in Lisbon, Nice, and Prague, the first edition of The Women’s Academy for Rural Innovation took place in the beautiful region of Castilla y León in Spain, at different settings within the province of Ávila. The core venue was located in the village of Candeleda, two hours away from Madrid.
Castilla y León is not only the largest region in Spain, it is the largest region in the whole of the European Union. Comprising nine provinces, it is located in the centre of Spain on an elevated plain surrounded by the mountain ranges of Sistema Ibérico to the east, Cordillera Central to the south, Cordillera Cantábrica to the north, and by the Duero river, which becomes ‘Douro’ once it enters the beautiful country of Portugal.
Castilla y León played a central role in Spain in medieval times and its historic importance is still evident in the large number of cathedrals, monasteries, castles and fortified towns - many of which are still perfectly preserved. In addition to its impressive buildings, Castilla y León offers a wealth of natural parks and kilometres of unspoilt nature, including oak and cork-oak woods. The region’s gastronomy is distinguished by its excellent meat – particularly its veal and vegetables, such as the famous creamy beans of Barco de Ávila. Artisanal skills are celebrated in the region’s rich and varied folklore, often rooted in ancient traditions.