Happy birthday, Gran Via

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 6th, 2010

It is one of the most emblematic places of Madrid, the Broadway of this city. It’s Gran Via, and this year is celebrating it’s 100th birthday. Although its official birthdate is on April 4, during all 2010 Madrid is celebrating a lot of events commemorating the Gran Via.

It is the street that never sleeps. A frantic way. A street constantly moving. Gran Via offers a whole world of opportunities. In its two kilometers, you can take a coffee, eat in any restaurant, enjoy the best musicals, theatres, cinemas, coffee shops and get lost in its amazing stores or simply take a picture in some of its mythical builings like the Capitol, at Callao square and the famous corner of Schweppes, one of the untouchable advertising icons of the capital of Spain.

Gran Via has been also the stage chosen by several spanish directors to shoot some sequences of their movies, like Alejandro Amenabar with Abre los Ojos, or Santiago Segura, hanging out from a modernist building on El dia de la bestia. Gran Via was the first witness of the movida madrilena, a famous social movement in the 80’s.

Because of its anniversary it has been celebrating various concerts: El Sueno de Morfeo, Nek, Shanon Corr, Georgina, Carlos Baute and Marta Sanchez or Alex Ubago have been the ones who rattled the young people of Madrid in an exceptional day, because, only for one day, the traffic was closed and all of us could walk through the roadway. Something unique and exceptional in a street full of life.

The street style are really diverse, because there are looks for every kind of taste. From stylist young people dressed with the current season trends like flower printed dresses, navy shirts or mini-shorts with spot tights, to the most punk styles with leggings, leather jackets and hats. A whole universe of fashion, where everyone dare with anything. And you, do you want to come to Gran Via?



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 Fuencarral, the 1000 styles street in Madrid

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Abril 21st, 2010

My favourite area in Madrid is Fuencarral street. My whole world is there: shopping, pleasant surroundings, good stores, the best clothes, the latest styles, the most advanced trends, and the best friends… who are lucky to live in that zone, in old houses adapted to the top styles nowadays.

When I enter to Fuencarral street from Gran Via, another of the most special streets in Madrid, it’s like entering into a new world in another city. Beside it’s Chueca, slightly above it’s Tribunal, and if you continue walking thru, you will find Malasana. Three neighbourhoods where life is different, music changes, the bars and the atmosphere are as cosmopolitan as you could imagine.

Lucky me, Fuencarral had just been set only for pedestrians, and now you don’t have to walk through the little sidewalk, where on rush days you had to walk dodging everyone. The street ever had looked as beautiful as now…

At the moment, everything looks more beautiful. With this change, the stores seems as new, and the few cafes or restaurants that are at the beginning of the street are now more visible. But if you wish to take a coffee or something like that, after a good shopping evening, I recommend you going to Malasana (if you like an offhand plan) or going to Chueca (if you are looking for a modern plan).

After visiting the stores of this street, you have to stop at Mercado de Fuencarral. At the moment, it’s different from the past, but there are a lot of stores inside, offering the trendiest clothes of the new season. You can find everything: complements, T shirts, dresses, sweatshirts… and shoes! There are special reserved spaces with all the models.

Just before the market, walking up from Gran Via, we have a little square where we can take a coffee after a hard shopping evening. But, in the rush days, it’s like an impossible mission.

Your clothing style doesn’t mind at all. Fuencarral has from Hip Hop clothes and japanese trends, passing through laylike fashion, that I personally love, Indie style (perfect for the concerts I use to go), and if you want to dress more stylish, you can, because there is no one ruling style, everything is mixed.

I remember have seen the most striking styles in this street. My favourite was a woman with pink dyed hair who looked good with her dressing style. She looked very good. I don’t know how she did yet. A mistery.

That’s the magic of Fuencarral, where everyone is unique and special. You have to go!



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 Discovering Madrid

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Marzo 6th, 2010

A very busy but wonderful day begins in Madrid, we can expect many surprises: walks, partying, music, shopping. The capital of Spain has many neighborhoods, areas and secret corners, worthy of being mentioned.My journey begins with a ride in the Salamanca district, one of the most chic of Madrid that reminds me of the magic Notting Hill district of London. I was attracted by its streets, the colors of the houses, without forgetting the sobriety of London. Notting Hill is one of the most fashionable districts of London, famous for its Carnival, for its boutiques, its beautiful Victorian houses, restaurants and its famous Portobello Road market, the favorite of Londoners. Notting Hill, which is a neighborhood where many celebrities have moved, has always been a party place, filled with bars and clubs.

From there I go to Madrid’s Golden Mile, the shopping hub of the most exclusive shops and where the smallest thing can become the most expensive. Without doubt, my favorite hobby. Here you breathe a good but select atmosphere. An area that brings me one of my best memories of Paris, in particular La Rue Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris and the Champs Elysees. Where glamour is untouchable, it is just in the air. Along its two kilometers there are shops of fashion brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent… The rich and famous buy their clothes and accessories there.


And after a day of walking and shopping, what better choice than a fun time. Where? In the Latina area, for drinks and beers. An area with lots of atmosphere and a concentration of young people, ideal for canas y tapas, the most typical Spanish leisure pursuit, nothing else in the world compares to it. I sit on a terrace and relax listening to classical music; my mind takes me to the Latin Quarter of Paris. Located a few meters from Notre Dame and across the Seine river, it is one of Paris busiest places especially in the evening. In the small streets and alleys there are bars and restaurants from all over the world and for all budgets, not to mention the traditional pubs in the Parisian fashion style.

Walking the streets of Madrid, I realize that every corner has different bands and genders, representative of all cultures and ideas.
And to top off a fantastic day of leisure I go to Gran Via, full of noise, people, cars… the very center of Madrid. I have some theater tickets to see the musical Chicago.

It reminds me of the last time I saw a musical. It was on Broadway, the wide avenue that runs along the entire island of Manhattan in New York to see the great spectacle of Mamma Mia!

I leave the wonderful musical and the noise continues at downtown. Madrid never sleeps.



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