From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Sitges is a town about 35 kilometres southwest of Barcelona, renowned worldwide for its Film Festival and Carnival. Located between the Garraf Massif and the sea, it is known for its beaches, nightspots, and historical sites.
While the roots of Sitges' artsy reputation date back to the late 19th century, when Spanish painter Santiago Rusiñol took up residence there during the summer, the town became a centre for the 1960s counterculture in mainland Spain, then still under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and became known as "Ibiza in miniature".
Nowadays it is a popular destination for gay and lesbian travellers, as it has become one of the most gay-friendly places in the world.
Today, Sitges' economy is based on tourism and culture offering more than 4,500 hotel beds, half of them in four-star hotels.
Almost 35% of the approximately 26,000 permanent inhabitants are from the Netherlands, the UK, France and Scandinavia, whose children attend international schools in the area. There are 17 beaches. Sitges was also the site of the annual Bilderberg conference held in June 2010.