The russian digital magazine Vedomosti has published in its April issue a report about shopping in MadridAmong the must-see addresses that any Russian tourist should not miss, we find Granda. Granda rubs shoulders with emblematic brands such as Loewe, Grassy, Suárez, Castañer, Elena Benarroch....
The author of the report is Alberto CavalliGeneral Director of the Fondaziones Coligni Dei Mestieri d'Arte, based in Milan.
We transcribe the article in English:
At the second floor of the Prado, one of the most famous Museums in the world and certainly one of the symbols of Madrid, attentive visitors can see one of the most meaningful paintings by the Italian maestro Guido Reni: Atalanta and Hippomenes. The delicate tone of the flesh, the dynamic drapes floating in the air, the plastic poses of the figures may give way to a number of admired comments; but this painting, representing the crucial part of the myth as reported by Ovid, is also a perfect representation of the city of Madrid, of its tensions between an aristocratic past and a gaudy present, between its traditional rites and its tolerant attitude.
Hippomenes, running away, may be seen as the dynamic energy that has made of Madrid the capital of the "movida", or vivacious night life; Atalanta, leaning down to pick up the golden apples shrewdly disseminated by her rival, stands for the attentive care with which the Spanish capital keeps hold of its treasures, nestling in its international heart the true spirit of a proud and millenary kingdom.
Art, culture, music and fine craftsmanship represent a valid motivation to choose Madrid for a visit: if its movida promises animated nights, its Museum district (encompassing the Prado, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia) welcomes every year millions of art lovers. The Royal palace, once residence of the Crown and now accessible to visitors, does not reveal only sumptuous furniture and frescoes by Tiepolo, but also displays four of Stradivari's most precious creations: the so-called Madrid quartet (two inlaid violins, a viola and a cello), which are sometimes played by the world's best soloists.
Music pervades the Spanish capital: the tickling of the fountains, the traditional rhythms sorting from the small tapas bar, but also the cascade of notes by Domenico Scarlatti, the Baroque Neapolitan composer who came to Madrid in 1733 and died here in 1757, that still seem to accompany the steps of those who leave behind them the glossy temptation of the most peopled areas to look for something special.
Not the main shopping districts are uninteresting: at number 8 of the Gran Via, for instance, the first flagship store opened by the Spanish brand Loewe in 1846 still displays the timeless leather pieces created by the best Iberian artisans, in a very original and deluxe setting. Icons like the Amazona bag are here presented along with the latest creations signed by creative director Stuart Vevers. And in the Calle Ortega y Gasset, the city's top luxury shopping areas in the Salamanca quarter, among the windows of famous international Brands there are also some nice surprises, like the clean spaces of Elena Benarroch's flagship store or the traditional jewelry of Cabranes Joyeros. Totally contemporary are instead the jewels and the creations of Helena Rohner, while the pillars of the Joyeria Suarez (a timeless yet contemporary family brands) are an acknowledged excellence and a recognized talent for innovation. A more Spanish spirit springs from the precious jewels of Carrera y Carrera, established in Madrid in 1970. Aristocratic and refined, the boutique of the jeweler Grassy (established in 1952) in one of the most iconic corners of the Gran Via, with its peculiar architecture and its interiors decorated with Italian stuccos.
But a visit to Madrid would not be complete without an attentive recognition of the fans offered at Casa de Diego: the most ancient fan-maker of the Spanish capital still manufactures by hand and with the finest materials these typical Iberian objects, which nowadays constitute a true luxury on their own right, requiring the rare liberty of having free hands. Walking sticks, mantillas, veils and shawls are proposed as well. The most iconic Spanish espadrillas, the typical flat shoes, are the ones proposed by Castañer, an historical brand established in 1927.
Traditional capes are displayed in the cozy spaces of Capas Seseña, which still holds the original decoration of the late XIX century. The milliner Charo Iglesias realizes by hand elegant hats not just for sophisticated brides, but also for the elegant Madrid ladies who love her slightly retro style, and her accurate artisanal skills in composing hats with feathers, felt, flowers. Less aristocratic but very contemporary, the handbags of Malababa are entirely made in Spain; authenticity and originality distinguish also the creation of the Diseño Proprio association, which regroups since 2009 a number of skilful Spanish artisans specialized in different disciplines, such as woodworking, home decorating, silk painting, jewelry making.
While a visit to the Granda Art Workshops reveals the devotional side of the finest Spanish craftsmanship: silversmith pieces, sculptures, vestments and linens, as well as altar pieces and liturgical furnishings, have been proposed here since 1891.
And for those who enjoy the slow rhythms of the Iberian culture, and wants to take a stylish pause from the gaudy movida, a dinner at Lhardy is a must: Madrid's most ancient restaurant, established in 1839, is an institution in its own right and offers authentic Spanish fine cuisine in a sophisticated ambience. Always chic is a brunch at the Ritz, Madrid's most famous deluxe hotel. And to leave the Spanish capital with a sweet memory, a visit to the Confiterina el Riojano is highly recommended: it's Madrid's best pastry shop, and one of the oldest. Because sweet memories never fade away.
Cabranes Jewelers: www.joyeroscabranes.com
Race and Career: www.carreraycarrera.com
Casa de Diego: www.casadediego.com
Charo Iglesias: www.charoiglesias.com
Confiterina el Riojano: www.confiteriaelriojano.com
Proprio Design: www.diseniopropio.net
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Museum: www.museothyssen.org
Elena Benarroch: www.elenabenarroch.com
Helena Rohner: www.helenarohner.com
Suarez Jewelry: www.joyeriasuarez.com
Grassy Jewelers: www.grassy.es
Prado National Museum: www.museodelprado.es
Reina Sofia Museum: www.museoreinasofia.es
Royal Palace of Madrid: www.patrimonionacional.es
Granda Art Workshops: www.granda.com