And as is the case with cars, sometimes the most profound beauty is hidden, tempting you to explore it. Gleaming bodywork attracts and seduces the eye more easily, but the mechanical perfection of an engine is what makes true connoisseurs fall in love. The same applies to Catalonia: the allure of Barcelona is now well-known to the world. Tourism has taken over the city as well as the coast, with millions of people crowding the beaches and teaming in the streets. Don’t get us wrong, the city of Mirò and Picasso is still a pearl worth experiencing for a weekend or even longer. But the tenth and last stage of the Blancpain GT Series, run on the Barcelona - Catalunya circuit, can provide the perfect opportunity to explore the region's interior, which is less well-known but not less hospitable than Barcelona and where a local identity and spirit of independence (cultural rather than political) have deeper roots. Roaming far away from the glamour - from the Pyrenees to the volcanoes of the Garrotxa, from the medieval bridges to the sea of Tarragona - gives you a better understanding of the spirit of Catalonia. With an austerity far-removed from the baroque of Andalusia and Castille, it is a region that is Mediterranean but at the same time Nordic.
A possible itinerary might begin in the area of Girona, to the north of Barcelona, not far from the circuit where the Pirelli-tyred GT cars will be racing. Just a few kilometres from the French border, this city deserves a visit to its wonderful centre, its alleyways and the banks of the river, where there is even a bridge by Gustave Eiffel. But the most distinctive feature is certainly the walk within the medieval walls, near to the cathedral, a defensive system so well preserved that it provided the set for A Game of Thrones.