Stockholm in Five Museums
The lively city is a hatchery of new trends in music, technology and design, innovations which often go viral around the world. Its art centres –museums, galleries, spaces for creation– are the places for taking the city’s pulse and feeling its spirit. Let’s visit the most emblematic venues, each of them a world unto itself, and immerse ourselves in the city’s contemporary art, photography, decorative arts, and music.
Stockholm boasts a rich, thousand-year-old cultural heritage, with wonderful architecture, museums, the Royal Palace, and the perfectly preserve medieval city centre, the Gamla Stan. Here, trendy bars and fine restaurants mingled with historic cafés and pubs. Similarly, modern shopping streets and malls feature all the major international brands, along with a stunning variety of local boutiques unusual shops, and the city’s museums range from the classic Vasa Museum to ABBA The Museum, and Fotografiska. In Stockholm there are more than a hundred cultural and recreational attractions to choose from. Here’s our choice of just five:
The Vasa Museum
The Vasamuseet features the Vasa, the world’s sole surviving, almost fully intact 17th C. ship, a real artistic treasure. More than 95% of the ship is original, and it is adorned with numerous carved wooden sculpture. The 69-metre-long, 64-gun warship sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later, in 1961. Nearly fifty years were spent restoring the ship to her original splendour. Her three masts tower above the building that now houses the Vasa. The museum is today the most popular in all Scandinavia, and receives more that a million visitors each year. Ten separate exhibits illustrate different aspects of the ship, including what life aboard was like. Children are admitted gratis.
The 600-room Royal Palace or Kungahus, still the residence of the Swedish royal family, is one of Europe’s largest palaces. It is open to the public and houses no fewer than five museums. It was built in the Italian baroque style in the 18th C. on the site of the 13th C. Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) palace which burned to the ground in 1697. Visitors first see the splendid reception halls whose breathtaking furnishings and adornments date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Next is the Rikssalen (Hall of State) with the silver throne used by Queen Christina (1629-1689). Also worth seeing are the Ordenssalarna (apartments of the orders of chivalry), the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Kronor Tre Museum, and the Treasury.
The Royal Palace also houses the Armoury, with its marvellous collection of royal costumes and body armour, the coronation carriages, and the magnificent horses in the Royal Stables. The colourful changing of the guard ceremony can be watched at 12:15 h. on weekdays and at 13:15 h. on Sundays and holidays.
One of the world’s largest photography museums, Fotografiska stages as many as four major and twenty smaller exhibitions each year. It shows the works of Swedish and foreign photographers, both established and emerging. The new restaurant in the museum is run by master chef Paul Svensson and has already won awards for its seasonal and ecological dishes. From the café on the top floor visitors can enjoy some of the best views of Stockholm.
Here we find one of Europe’s most important contemporary art collections, with works dating from the early 20th C. to the present, including masterpieces by Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Sweden’s own Siri Derkert. Its permanent collection and its temporary exhibitions make it a must for visiting art lovers. The Moderna Museet is located on Stockholm’s fairytale Skeppsholmen island in a spectacular building by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. Its restaurant affords lovely views Djurgården park and Strandvägen boulevard.
ABBA The Museum
Music, clothing, lyrics, videos, and interactive displays concerning Sweden’s most celebrated pop group ABBA can be seen and heard in this museum on the island of Djurgården. The famous quartet, founded in 1970, sold more than 378 million records before is disbanded in 1983. Its biggest hit, “Waterloo”, reached the top of the charts in 1974. The 1994 musical “Mamma Mia” revived interest in the group.
The vibe in Stockholm is open, easy-going, and welcoming. Diversity and innovation are prized. Stockholm is a place the whole world should visit. So, what are you waiting for? Check out our fares here!
Illustrations: Visit Stockholm, Ola Ericson
Milan fashion by Curium
We are Carlos and Sophie, designers and creators of CURIUM (a line of leather accessories for men) and THE BOX (a second line of accessories for women).
We live in Barcelona but constantly travel to different cities in search of inspiration. Milan is one of the global capitals of fashion that we visit regularly. Besides stores selling the most famous brands, Milan is also home to smaller establishments with their own character and personality.
One such place is Corso Como 10, a concept store where you can find a fantastic selection of photography, art, fashion and perfumes that ranges from dresses by Christopher Kane to jewellery by the North American designer Eddie Borgo.
For those of you on a tighter budget, the 10 Corso Como Outlet, in a somewhat hidden away back yard at 3 Via Tazzoli, sells clothes and accessories for men and women at knock-down prices with discounts of up to 70%.
Another of the places you simply must visit in Milan is Wok Store Apparel Art – an eclectic multi-purpose space where you can enjoy music events, visit a good exhibition or be daring with some of the latest creations from English, Swedish, Italian and Japanese designers; Opening Ceremony, Henrik Vibskov, Comme des Garçons – a real temple to creativity!
Daad Dantone can be found in a kind of passageway that connects Corso Vittorio Emanuele with Corso Matteotti in the historic centre of Milan. This is a family business that started out as a tailor’s in 1960 and now stocks such indie Italian brands as Antonio Marras (before they become enormous flagships). They are currently fascinated by the Japanese darkness: Mastermind, Number 9, Undercover; an alternative to Italian design. (*they have 2 stores: 24A Via Spirito and 25 Via della Spiga).
If what you want is to get away from the crowds, the place for you is Antonioli. You’ll find this place in the Canal Navigli district (deserted during the day), at 1 Via P. Paoli. There is absolutely no sign whatsoever that any kind of multi-brand store lies behind its doors but that is exactly what the owner, Claudio Antonioli, wants. You’ll find designs by Rick Owens, Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and Balmain, among others, or end up buying a scented candle by Mad et Len.
By the way, they open every day of the week!
The best way to end your day is to visit Pane e Acqua, the domain of Rossana Orlandi at 14 Via Mateo Bandello, where you’ll enjoy Mediterranean and haute cuisine in surroundings that recreate an industrial aesthetic with a certain air of romance about it.
By Sophie Pastor
Why not take a trip to Milán? Have a look at our flights here!more info
Five Culinary Enticements in Majorca
While “The Times” recently described Palma de Mallorca as “the best place to live in the world”, it should be noted that Majorca is not just Palma and that you are likely to come across your “ideal spot” at any location on the island. I imagine that the Germans would agree, too… On this, the largest of the Balearic islands, there are so many hedonistic enticements that they can scarcely be encompassed in a single getaway. That is why many finally decide to “occupy it”. With the island’s gastronomy as a pretext, here are some key venues in Palma and the rest of the island for tasting it, according to one’s appetite and urges. Some might seek a simple snack; others, a full-blown banquet.
Ensaimada. You will get tired of seeing them everywhere, but at Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo they make the best ensaimadas, which are also for takeaways. Plain or filled with custard, cream or apricot. Don’t be put off by the queues or the time-worn appearance of this pastry shop, arguably resembling your grandparents’ living room. If you’d rather try something different, go for the gató or the cuarto, two traditional, homemade Majorcan sponges.
Sobrasada. Still in Palma, you will come across lots of grocery stores that sell sobrasada. The legendary one is Santo Domingo, where you can see it on display in all its shapes and varieties. The sobrasada sold at the Xesc Reina delicatessen, or La Luna, in Sóller, is delicious spread on toast and honey.
Enogastronomy is on a high, riding on the back of names, paradigms and also Michelin stars. The island is now a foodie destination of the first order, thanks to the cuisine and “gastro-activism” of such chefs as Andreu Genestra and Fernando Pérez Arellano. Both use ingredients sourced locally which they show off in style in reasonably priced/quality tasting menus.
Andreu, in the Son Jaumell hotel, and Fernando in the spectacular Castell Son Claret, grow and pamper much of the raw material for their dishes in situ. Andreu also explores new techniques in his recipes, such as smoked spices, while Fernando dishes up signature breakfasts coveted by other hotels on the island.
Stop off at Claxon, preferably with a prior booking, to discover the “composite cuisine” typifying this establishment, with its garden, lunch menu and portions menu. Amid the bustle of Santa Catalina, head for Patrón Lunares, featuring well-known dishes reworked with aplomb and served up in ingenious guises. You can also have a drink at both places.
Rialto Living is the place to head for in downtown Palma if you’re looking for a classy, arty, cultured multi-disciplinary space with fine cuisine. A new restaurant will shortly be opened on the first floor, but you can meanwhile take a seat at one of the café tables and order a snack, or try their fusion cuisine.
And, Two Stayover Options in Palma
Sant Francesc. The hallmark of this hotel, housed in a listed building in Palma’s historic centre, is the well-being of their guests. With spacious rooms and common areas, a rooftop swimming pool, a cocktail bar and a substantial collection of contemporary art and photography, no wonder this spanking new hotel is already one of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World.”
Can Alomar. On the most exclusive stretch of the Born de Palma promenade, this classical-style luxury hotel affords panoramic views of the Cathedral and harbour from its rooftop solarium, as well as from its restaurant terrace, where sipping a drink on high is an elating experience.
Delicious, isn’t it? Why wait to discover these five gastronomic idylls in Majorca? Check out our flights here.
Text by Belén Parra (Gastronomistas)
Photos by Belén Parra y Vera Lair
A secret Florence
By Mariana Calleja from TravelThirst | Illustration & Photography by Federico Rojas
Of course there is a lot about Florence. Such a rich city with tons of art, scenery, history and more to be seen and learned. But this time, we decided to go into a secret Florence within the same streets we all have visited some time.
Maybe you have done this before but there is always some more to discover. So take your map down and take this secret guide in hand, as you know you are already curious and going into this secret Florence we were able to ﬁnd and sense for you.
1. Traces of a Roman Amphitheater
There a particular little street where you can sense a prominent curve, where buildings and homes are sitting today. But what it’s not known and told, even within its walls, is how this curve represents the place where an amphitheater was located back in Roman times!
Walking straight from Piazza Santa Croce, taking the narrow street called Via Torta. Keep walking until you surround it all! You will be able to notice and even imagine where this roman structure used to be located. No walls remain today.
2. Florence’s Floods
Arno River is a big part of Florence’s soul. Even though it seems steady nowadays, it wasn’t always like that. Did you know this river ﬂooded up the city 3 different times in the past? Once even taking down the well known Ponte Vecchio back in 1333. Fortunately it was rebuilt and still standing.
But what travelers, locals or any curious person don’t get to know is that there are a few traces of these ﬂoods around town. And as an important part of history as it is, we want to share this tip with you.
The largest ﬂood came in 1966, not long ago, when it reached 5 meters height. You can see commemorative plaques on this corner, recalling and remembering lost souls to the ﬂood.
3. Thunderstorm Hits to the Duomo
In June 17th, 1600, Florence suffered a terrible thunderstorm, which had one lightning striking directly the copper-gold ball on the Brunelleschi’s cupola. It made the ball fall down hardly to the ground and fortunately not harming anyone. There was just a big hole in the ground which is featured today over a white circle on the same spot where the ball landed.
4. Bees of Ferdinand
At the Piazza Annunziata, there is a magniﬁcent statue of Ferdinand di Medici, which if you get closer, you will see a large swarm of bees gathering around the queen bee,symbolizing Ferdinando’s coat of arms and the peaceful living they had at the time. It is said that bees are uncountable…but I believe that is untrue! We dare you to go count them. We got 91 bees!
5. San Zanobi’s Tree
Right on one side of the Baptistery in Florence, you can see a column standing all alone. Well, attached to this column there is a nice story of a very beloved bishop and the ﬁrst one of the city of Florence.
One day San Zanobi passed away so the entire city threw a parade in his honor and buried him at San Lorenzo’s church. After a few years, they decided to move him to the ancient cathedral of Santa Reparata.
It was January on a dark winter day when the parade was held again. They took his body into the new location and it is said that when they passed by the Baptistery, the bishop’s bier brushed against the leaﬂess branches of an elm tree, making it bloom right away. It was miraculous and beautiful as it is told.
In order to celebrate this, Florentines built up a column right on this spot, with a small iron detail of a tree full of leaves representing San Zanobi’s miracle. And it is celebrated every January on the 27th.
6. The Mysterious Portrait of Michelangelo
On a corner right next to Palazzo Vecchio’s main entrance, you can get to see a very small face carved into the same wall stone.
Exactly on the corner between Via della Nina and Piazzale degli Uﬁzzi, you will notice if you get close enough, a small carving the resembles a human face.
It is said it was sculpted by Michelangelo, maybe on a boring moment or on a rivalry moment. Legend says how Michelangelo might have been challenged by a sculptor friend mentioning how he was slow with his own works. Michelangelo, while listening and heading his back towards the wall, sculpted this face to prove his colleague wrong.
But another legend says instead, how Michelangelo was on the street when we has caught on a boring conversation with someone who approached him. In his boredom and once again, heading his back to the wall, he carved this ﬁgure on the corner stone.
Which one do you believe it was?
7. Former Jail and Today’s Apartment Building
At the Via Gibhellina, there is the Monastery delle Murate, best known for holding an important jail during 500 years. After it was closed and transferred to a new location, the infrastructure was used as a restaurant and recreational park for long time, until the 20th century. In this moment, a social project rescuing old structures for a better living, took this area in order to build a whole apartment and lifestyle project. Nowadays, you can still see and even visit the place, grab a coffee or just sit down on a bench and admire the incredible passing of time while whispering a story to your ear.
Inspiring and exemplar is what this is. One more great achievement of the city of Florence, moving towards better times and a better quality of life.
By Mariana Calleja from TravelThirst | Illustration & Photography by Federico Rojas
A place well worth discovering! Check out our flights here.