🇪🇸 Vilanova i la Geltrú is the capital city of Garraf comarca, in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Historically a fishing port, the city has a growing population, and is situated 40 km south-west of Barcelona, with the coastal resort of Sitges some 10 km to the north-east.
The town has a long history, and experienced growth during the Romantic period evidenced by a wealth of opulent 19th century buildings. The atmospheric town square, the Plaça de la Vila, and many of its iconic public buildings were principally financed by Josep Tomàs Ventosa Soler, a textile magnate who made his fortune in Cuba. A monument featuring a bronze statue of Ventosa stands in the centre of the square. An identical monument stands in Matanzas, Cuba, where both statues were forged.
During the dictatorship, large numbers of people fleeing poverty in Southern Spain settled in Vilanova. They are sometimes referred to by historians as "fugitives of fascism." Although they experienced prejudice they became increasingly accepted and known as els altres Vilanovins or "the other Vilanovins." By 1970, a majority of the town's population had been born elsewhere. In the first decade of the 21st century, there was another wave of immigrants, this time primarily from North Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.
Economy Agriculture and the maritime trade in wine were the traditional sources of income during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, while agriculture and a significant fishing fleet continue to be sources of income, the primary economic activity is industry in the sectors of metal, textile and chemicals.
Vilanova i la Geltrú has a population of over 66,590 people. Vilanova i la Geltrú also forms the centre of the wider Garraf comarca which has a population of over 143,066 people.