Puneet Varma

The Road to San Vicente

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Country  Norway
Publisher  Barbary Press
Published in English  2007
Originally published  1967
Page count  201 (Edition)
Published in english  2007
Language  Norway
Publication date  1967
Media type  Print paperback)
Author  Leif Borthen
Genre  Historical Fiction

The Road to San Vicente is a book by Leif Borthen about life in the tiny village of Sant Vicent de sa Cala in the far north east of the Spanish island of Ibiza. In 1933 Borthen had arrived in Ibiza and settled in the remote village, along with René Paul Gauguin, the grandson of the French artist Paul Gauguin.



The book is set in the remote valley in which Sant Vicent is situated. The story begins with Borthen’s arrival in 1933 and also on the his return to the village in 1960, just before a road was completed into the valley. It chronicles the life of the local people and of the foreigners who live amongst them. Characters that include a notorious assassin, a roguish art dealer and eccentric aristocrat. The story leads the reader in to a world of rich Island traditions with house blessings, blood feuds and a fast vanishing rural way of life that would, and has, disappeared for good following the road construction in 1963.


The book has been translated into English by the author Martin Davies and Björn Lindholm but doesn’t include the first three original chapters, but starts at the end of the fourth chapter. The text includes a number of footnotes which help the reader with Scandinavian references and rounds out and updates historical material mentioned in the text.

Additional Texts

The last part of the book includes six additional text which are written by other authors who have recollections, researched or lived in the valley of Sant Vicent de sa Cala.


  • Preface: The Pityusan Tibet By Martin Davies
  • A Note on the Text
  • The Book

  • Chapter 1 Ibiza Revisited
  • Chapter 2 Flotsam and Jetsam
  • Chapter 3 Return to San Vicente
  • Chapter 4 Antique Hunter
  • Chapter 5 Priests and Postmen
  • Chapter 7 A Ghost from the Past
  • Chapter 8 Villain
  • The Additional Texts

  • An Excursion to San Vicente By Walter Benjamin
  • The Passing of San Vicente By Norman Lewis
  • San Vicente By Enrique Fanjarnés Cardona
  • The tax Collector’s Bread Oven By Jacques Massacrier
  • A Brief History of Sant Vicent By Emily Kaufman
  • Epilogue By Paul Richardson
  • Glossary
  • Contributors
  • Sources and Acknowledgements
  • Barbary Press
  • Index
  • References

    The Road to San Vicente Wikipedia

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