I almost forgot Madrid

The title refers to the fact that I almost forgot to write a post about Madrid, not that I have much to say though…

I have to be honest with you guys, I do not particularly like Spain and all Mediterranean countries but let me explain before you start yelling. Of course there are beautiful countries, the sun is shining and pizza, pasta e paella, and stuff, but let me be clear: I lived 24 years in Italy (almost ten of those, in Rome) and I know what I am saying. It’s not a judgment, but that southern area is not my place – or it is when it comes to holidays and the seaside (even though I really love Knokke or Ostende tbh and I never went back to Italy for real holidays).

Despite this, and despite the fact that it is impossible to have dinner at 7.30 in Madrid (WTF), I am happy to have spent some time there. Was a working trip, 3 days of non-stop meetings and gala dinners and stuff, but luky me! this thime I’ve managed to stay there also for the weekend and do some stuff by myself.

Months ago, as soon as I knew I had to go to Madrid my first thought was (of course!): EL PRADO! So, after 3 days of crazy work, I’ve spent my weekend browsing and falling in love with art at El Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen Museum – and it was simply amazing!

If somebody would ask me which one was my favourtie, I would really have an hard time answering that. They were all my favourite – if one can say that, I guess, and for different reasons.

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The Prado Museum is simply magnificent, enormous and beautiful, maybe also a bit overwhelming – in a very good way – but I took my time (over 4 hours…) to visit all its areas and admire all paintings (and the bookshop, no way I could escape for that). Also, since I am not that stupid and I’ve taken into account that the Prado on a Saturday could be sort of a nightmare, I had bought my tickets online in advance and, for those who love art books and catalogues as I do, you can buy a special tickets that allows you to just bump into one of the museum’s shop and pick up your copy of the museum’s catalogue, which is itself very heavy so I advise you to not to go there at the beginning of your visit – especially if you already have an audioguide and don’t really need the book during the visit. At the end, buying m ticket in advance was really smart, I didn’t had to do any queue (which was damn long already at 10am and it was also raining damn hard!) and had more time for myself and all that beautiful art.

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The Reina Sofia is also enormous but kinda different – and hey, I had the change to see some really really really amazing Picasso/Modigliani pieces (among others) and of course… Guernica! Which is really stunning, and big, and I felt emotional but hey I didn’t cry this time! I wanted to buy the catalogue also there (what a surprise, uh?) but the bookshop at the Reina Sofia its’ just a mess (sorry guys) so I got nervous and leave the place without buying any books (but also there, If I am not wrong, the catalogue is pretty heavy and in two volumes, so guys go there just at the end of your visit!). Also, the Reina Sofia is free on Sundays so don’t waste your money buying a ticket in advance if you’re planning to do there on that day.

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As already said earlier, I also visited, on my very last day in Madrid, the Thyssen Museum and don’t ask me why but I really felt something magical in here, I wouldn’t say it was my favourite but mmh, I really enjoyed my morning there. I would have stayed more but I had a flight to catch in the afternoon so… No need to say that I bougth the catalogue and some other stuff also there, I will finish to read my art books and catalogues when I’ll be in my 80s I guess but who care, I love it!
Oh, and also there I visited the exhibit “Sorolla y moda“, very interesting if you’re into fashion! Or if you want to buy a little unexpected gift to your former-designer-mom like I did!

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Anyway, I’m not here to teach you anything about travels, art or whatever, but let me gie you a little tip if you are a museum freak like I am and if you want to visit the magic trio madrileno in a very short time – or in any other situation where you have to plan a bit of your time: book your tickets in advance (the Reina Sofia is free on Sundays) and wake up early from that f* bed! These three museums are enormous, and every corner is worth a moment contemplating everything you might see there, but on weekends queues are catastrophic and it’s not that fun to spend a couple of hours queuing and wasting your time (especially if it rains – hi Paris!). Also, food is normally cheap and good in Madrid, even if you don’t want to spend time in fancy restaurants and feed not only yourself but your Instagram account too – and I’ve tested the restaurants at the Prado and Reina Sofia: not a Michelin star of course, but good enough for a quick pit stop between one museum and another (and ooooh, the jambon is always damn good!).

Also, take note: Spain is a bit like Italy, and no I’m not talking about food but… NOBODY SPEAKS A WORD OF ENGLISH, so be prepared.

On a different note, here some link of nice restaurants where you can eat without spending your whole pay-check but nice enough to level up your instagram account:

(I didn’t try them all but some of my colleagues did and thank me for the tips, so be reassured).

Another tip: if you’re in La Latina neighbourhood on a Sunday morning and you start hearing people screaming down the street on a Sunday morning don’t worry nothing bad it’s happening but just a very big flea market down every street of the neighbourhood. Of course I couldn’t resist and went there for a walk (and do some shopping of course). Prices are very cheap on both furniture and clothes but – as in every flea market – be careful of scams and try to not fall in love with everything cause trust me, I’m still thinking about that two pink chairs and other stuff that I couldn’t buy that day – and it hurts, cause chairs matters.

I don’t think I have much else to say, I am not that a big fan of the South and I’m still a bit pissed off with Madrd (guess what: 3 days of meetings and the weather was fantastic, a free weekend and of course it rained, thank you Spain!), but for sure it’s worth a visit if you can stand restaurants being still closed at 7pm and waiting till 10pm for a dinner.

PS. More pics available on my Instagram (pinned stories and feeds), go show me some love there!