STOCKHOLM

Do you need an excuse to travel to Stockholm? Here you are: at Fotografiska, the museum of photography, during the summertime there are on show a monographic exhibition of Irving Penn, and a special project on the collaboration between photographer Michelangelo Di Battista and the artist Tina Berning. If you’ll have vacation at the end of summer, you’ll be on time to see the works of Dutch artist Viviane Sassen, from September the 1st. Other two amazing places for contemporary art in Stockholm are the Moderna Museet, where you’ll find from June to September the irreverent works of Marie-Louise Ekman, besides the beautiful permanent collection, party exhibited in the garden. The other one is Artipelag, in Värmdö, in Stockholm archipelago: here you won’t just enjoy art, but the whole experience of the trip to get the island, the design shop, the restaurants, the pine wood, the collection, and the huge windows on the open sea.

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Enjoy a 360° view from the SkyView: two round gondolas take you to the top of the biggest spherical building of the world, the Ericsson Globe, at about 130 metres asl. if you fancy loosing yourself in a wonderful landscape, into the most luxuriant nature, organise a trip on the scheduled ferries to go and discover the Stockholm archipelago, made up of about 24.000 islands and rocks. It’s evident at this point that would be very hard to choose where to go, our advise: Gällnö, an island in the central part of the archipelago,  deep in an absolute tranquility, surrounded by pine woods, spotted by few red-painted houses, and one and only bar and restaurant where you can enjoy typical Swedish tastes, sitting on the wood pier, with your feet dangling. You could also see some white-tail deers in the wild,  and a lot of mosquitos!

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At Vasastan there’s the Public Library designed by famous architect Gunnar Asplund. You can immediately recognize the library thanks to its circular structure upon the quadrangular base: inside, the round walls are covered with hundreds and hundreds of books, a real heaven for worldwide instagrammers! After that, stop aver at Konditorei Valand, where time stopped at 1954 when it first opened: 50’s classical wood furniture, and no names on paper cup to go!

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HELSINKI

Last winter we talked about KOTI Sleepover when it landed in Paris: now, the unique Bed&Breakfast created by the Finnish designer Linda Bergroth, to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence, comes back home, in Helsinki, with the same formula and bookable through the website of AirBnB rentals.

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LISBON

Portuguese capital has been the key player of the archy scene last autumn: in Lisbon opened the new Museum od art, architecture and technology, the MAAT, designed by British studio of Amanda Levete, and built with materials that create a mesmerising effect reflecting the light on the water of the Tagus River. It lays in the Belém neighborhood, surrounded by the old thermoelectric plant, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, with a gorgeous vista of the 25 de Abril Bridge.

A great spot in the city is Under the Cover, a paradise for magazines lovers, located near the appeasing Gulbenkian Park. The bookshop was started by Luis Cunha and Arturas Slidziauskas in late 2015 motivated by their love for print and their wish to grow a business together based off a common hobby. Under the Cover is a unique place in Lisbon, and offers a wide range of international magazines, journals, books and artworks that are carefully chosen to inspire the modern reader. The reading materials cover all kind of topics, from art, fashion, photography, food, traveling, architecture, culture and society, to design, literature and music.

For a coffee or the lunch break? Hello, Kristof, well curated place with wood sharing tables, international magazines to flick through, food with Scandinavian inspiration, cakes, brunches,  and a lot of coffee!

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Foto: Kevin Aldrich

MADRID

In these last years Madrid saw a new wave of changes, so many that you should visit the city at least twice a year. The arty “big ones” if you visit Madrid are the museum Reina Sofia, that houses Picasso masterpiece, Guernica, the Prado museum, and the Caixa Forum, with a marvellous building restored by Herzog & de Meuron. Reina Sofia organises also the exhibitions in two venues inside the city green space that is the Buen Retiro Park: so, while walking among trees and hamsters, you can also enjoy impeccable shows at the Palacio de Cristal and the Palacio de Velázquez. We suggest to visit also the Telefonica Foundation in c/Fuencarral, for the super interesting history of telecommunications in Spain, and the intriguing building.

Between the Prado museum and the Retiro, lays the Royal Botanical Garden, where you can also enjoy exhibitions, above all during PHotoESPAÑA.

Green lovers, this comes for you: in Madrid has just opened Desert City, a garden within more than 250 species of cactus, and you can also buy one in the plant nursery.

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With so many things to do in Madrid, do not forget to eat, and drink! Write down these addresses: La Dolores, historical and traditional taberna, go for a vermut and a tapas of boquerones; Olivia te Cuida for a healthy but tasty menù del dìa; the newly renovated Café Comercial for… a coffee, obviously, or an aperitivo; the small French patisserie Motteau for the best cakes in town, and the new-but-always-the-same pastry shop La Duquesita for an amazing butter croissant. Some more, Pum Pum Café and Federal Café for the brunch; Bolero meatballs if you feel like to eat many, different, and delicious versions of meatballs; Casa Macareno to lose yourself in the Spanish tradition with typical racionesMaricastaña and Dray Martina for a perfect fusion of modern design and excellent mediterranean food.

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Design shopping: the best two spots are  Baltico Estudio and Do. The first one offers a mix -dangerous for the wallet- of selected books and magazines, incredible pieces coming from Japan, and textiles made in Spain. Do is the perfect concept store, where you can find design objects, home and kitchen decor, cloths, bags and accessories, shoes and stationery.

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foto by Asier Rua

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APULIA

 

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