Last and first, Valencia was the last city to withstand the forces of Franco's nationalist forces. It is first in expressing a feeling of the new Spain and new Europe. It is Spanish, but it is different.
Old Spain certainly still exists. Senoras fan themselves to keep cool in the midday sun, couples walk the beach front, but there is also the feeling that life must be enjoyed. Children fill the streets playing soccer, couples stroll with child in hand. Life in Valencia is alive.