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I S S U E 12 | F E B R UA R Y 2 02 0

A WEEKEND IN

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL

Top 50 P R O M O T I N G

Alicante THE INS AND OUTS OF

French etiquette

F R A N C E ,   S PA I N ,   I TA LY   &   P O R T U G A L


Discover Southern Europe  |  Contents

Contents

30

FEBRUARY 20 2 0

23

12 The Ultimate Travel Top 50 So many places to visit and so little time. Luckily, our Ultimate Travel Top 50 guides you straight to all the greatest spots in Southern Europe. Dive into our sunny list of beaches, cities, mountains and so much more. 36

50 Spain’s finest business schools To become the next Jeff Bezos or Rupert Murdoch, a great education is paramount. Let us take you to Spain’s most prestigious business schools. 58 The future is now: Spain’s most innovative start-ups

A weekend in Alicante

Spain is packed with great ideas and enthusiastic young entrepreneurs who can turn them into reality. These are Spain’s most promising start-ups.

The Costa Blanca is more than just white sand and clear water. Join us on a trip to Alicante where we discover the authentic, Spanish culture during a relaxed weekend under the sun. 42 International education in Spain You’re never too young to learn a second language. Spain’s greatest international schools prepare your offspring for a successful life in a globalised world.

REGULARS 6

Design Finds

8

Style

54 Business & Innovation 62

Diary Dates

68 Food 70 Quiz

48 French etiquette for beginners

66

Dozens of pieces of cutlery, crystal glasses of Chardonnay and a long list of unwritten dos and don’ts. Without a crash course like ours, a fancy, French dinner can be quite the challenge. Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  3


Discover Southern Europe  |  Editor’s note

Dear Reader,

Discover Southern Europe Issue 12, February 2020

Published by Scan Group

Steve Flinders Esme Fox Kate Harvey Paola Maggiulli Ingrid Opstad Gerard Plana Noelia Santana Hannah Jane Thompson

Print Uniprint

Cover Photo Hari Nandakumar

Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Sales & Key Account Managers Katia Sfihi Victoria Crusafon Janina Delgado Mathilde Rineau Alice Tanghe

Published 02.2020 ISSN 2832-3398

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Arne Adriaenssens Copy-editor Karl Batterbee Graphic Designer Audrey Beullier Contributors Karl Batterbee Alex Beveridge

Publisher: Scan Group 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom Phone: +44 208 408 1938 info@discoversoutherneurope.com www.discoversoutherneurope.com

It is time for me to come clean: my name is Arne, and I am a traveloholic. Rumbling plane engines, unreadable menus in exotic languages, cracking the cover of a brand-new travel guide… all tickle my wanderlust and trigger my Skyscannerscrolling finger. If it were up to me, I would be on the road non-stop. Luckily, this month, my job allowed me to explore hundreds of fantastic destinations in Southern Europe and pick out my absolute favourites. Alongside an international team of Southern Europe connoisseurs and travel addicts, we nominated 50 amazing travel destinations and bundled them in the Ultimate Travel Top 50 – Southern Europe’s most relevant globetrotting ranking. It takes you from the jungle to the beach and from the metropole to the middle of nowhere. May there be no doubt any longer: Southern Europe is one of the most versatile places around. Away from the airports and luxury resorts, we get close and personal with today’s and tomorrow’s business prodigies. In light of Barcelona’s legendary Mobile World Congress and the associated start-up event 4YFN, we spoke with Spain’s most promising start-up entrepreneurs and the idea-wealthy students of the country’s greatest business schools. Furthermore, we dress up at the carnival in Venice, celebrate Valentine’s Day in the furniture store, spend a weekend in Alicante (the Costa Blanca’s very own metropole) and learn some proper table manners from the French. February might be the shortest month of the year, but our magazine is packedfull with Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese greatness. Enjoy the February issue!

Arne Adriaenssens Editor

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Group – a trading name of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles.

4  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  Design

Design Finds February – many of us associate the month with love and romance. Valentine’s Day is indeed a great excuse to celebrate that special person in our lives. If you want to do something extra to show your appreciation, whether small or large, we have selected a few items that ooze amore! TEXT: INGRID OPSTAD  I  PRESS PHOTOS

If you are lost for a gift idea, we have the solution. This personalisable pendant on a chain from Thomas Sabo is a great idea which we are sure she will love. With its simplistic, graphic and modern design, the necklace is available in silver, rose-gold or golden variations. It can be engraved on all four sides with a personal message of your choosing. Thomas Sabo, necklace cuboid, from €98 www.thomassabo.com

6  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  Design

Tell someone you love them with this classic mug featuring the iconic love heart design motif by Alexander Girard. Then, they will think of you every time they have a coffee, and smile. A sweet and simple gift. Vitra, ‘Love Heart’ coffee mug, gold, €25 www.vitra.com

Sans Tabù is a lifestyle brand with a know-how of high Italian craftsmanship, creating luxury home linens in which tradition is translated artistically with a modern spin. With romantic connotations, the ‘Kiss’ collection defines a modern ‘trousseau’ composed of silk cushions, linen tablecloths and table runners designed for romantic ‘tête-à-tête’ dinners. The delicate silk cushions are available in different shades of blue, yellow and coral tones. Sans Tabù, ‘Kiss’ pillow, €135 www.sanstabu.com

As part of their new ‘Kiss’ collection, Italian company Fornasetti has come out with this raised cabinet adorned with red lips. It is wood silk-screened, painted and lacquered by hand, to create a beautiful and decorative piece for the home which will look elegant and chic. Fornasetti, raised cabinet ‘Kiss’, €8,400 www.fornasetti.com

xxx www.

Many of us believe that the way to someone’s heart is through food, and what better way to exercise this than to cook a delicious homemade meal for your loved one? Use these pretty heart-shaped plates and dishes from the White Company to display your culinary delights. Not only is the collection perfect for presenting food for a special occasion, but they make lovely gifts, too. Robust and resistant to scratching and chipping, they are made in Portugal with a hand-painted pale-grey trim, which means no two pieces are the same. The White Company, ‘Porto Stoneware Heart’ dinner plate, €29; side plate, €13; ramekin, €16; small oven dish, €33; large oven dish, €59 www.thewhitecompany.com

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  7


STYLE

Venice from behind a mask February marks the start of many carnivals around the world, but one in particular stands out for its cultural, creative and historic uniqueness which has inspired many other festivities around the world, the ‘Carnival di Venezia’. TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA   I  PRESS PHOTOS

Venice – the dreamy city amidst the water – is a fairy-tale place to hide away from reality, especially during the 18 days of carnival. The city becomes more whimsical than ever when the Breton tops and straw boater hats are swapped for spectacular masks of impossible shapes, elegant ball gowns and an attitude of high lineage. The Venice carnival origins are not very clear, yet, some say that it started as a celebration of the victory of the Venice Republic against the Patriarch of Aquileia in 1162. It became a custom to come together in Piazza San Marco and, during the Renaissance, it officially became a Baroque carnival for creativity and pleasure. The sumptuary laws, which prevented commoners from copying the way aristocrats dressed, were also suspended, so, during the almost three months the festival lasted, there were no social ranks; everyone wore their best extravagant out8  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

fits and most grotesque masks, anyone could be their best (or worst) selves. Sadly, the carnival stopped after the falling of the Republic, but it was still celebrated privately on the islands of Murano and Burano. It took almost two centuries for the Italian government to realise the cultural and financial benefits that bringing back a major tourist attraction could have for the city. Since it restarted in What: A big party in the streets of Venice! Where: Venice, Italy  When: 8 to 25 February How: Just show up but book your accommodation well in advance. Most events are free and out in the streets, such as parades, ‘festas’ in the water, street shows and costume competitions. For around 500 euros, you can book a place at the official Venetian dinner ball.

1979, the carnival now attracts around three million tourists from all over the world every year. If you are visiting the city during this explosion of drama and colour, please dress accordingly. You don’t want to be the conspicuous tourist in boring clothes showing your face like a common peasant! Make sure your outfit speaks of who you want to be. Have fun choosing the most absurdly decorated mask and enter the competition of ‘La Maschera più Bella’, judged by international costume and fashion designers.

Gran Canaria-born, London-based Noelia Santana is wrapped in high fashion, from head to heel. As founder of Estilistas, she runs a digital one-stop-shop for fashion lovers and a personal styling platform for the masses. www.estilistas.co.uk


Discover Southern Europe  |  Style

W H AT T O W E A R ? Let your creativity flow when choosing an outfit. Wear a bunch of colours and interesting materials and top it all off with the perfect mask.

Who’s there? Get the mask to match your outfit. You can pick from a wide range of designs, all originally Venetian. Original Venice Shop, Sheba with tabby feathers, €129 www.originalveniceshop.com

Shoes to dance in all night Think fashion and function when choosing a pair of shoes to go with this fantastic gown. A high heel with a platform is a comfortable-yet-elegant shoe that will keep you dancing all night long. Uterque, leather platform sandal, €99 www.uterque.com

A bit of couture

Minimal accessories This simple chain bracelet from Zara will add a modern twist and some bling to your elegant gown.  Zara, chain link bracelet, €10 www.zara.com

You can’t go wrong with couture, especially in the hands of Italian designer Alberta Ferretti. This elegant gown takes you back to the glory days of the authentic carnival. Alberta Ferretti, satin dress with jewelled flowers, €3,240 www.albertaferretti.com

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  9


Discover Southern Europe  |  Design & Style

Designing the space of your dreams What inspires you? What is your source of passion, inspiration or creativity? Color palettes, materials and textures, the nature, the sea, the day-to-day architecture, the hustle-bustle of the streets… Everything around you can inspire if you look at it the right way. But perhaps most inspired by it all are the spaces of Claudia de Sousa, an interior designer from Portugal who crossed half the world in the search for her true passion. TEXT: GERARD PLANA  |  PHOTOS: CLAUDIA DE SOUSA

It all started in Naples, the city where Claudia learned to love design and how to search for beauty in the daily encounter between classic and contemporary design. Milan came next; the Mecca of Italian design, as some would say. In Milan, Claudia worked with Pablo Deganello, member of the famous Archizoom

studio. Here, designing had another perspective: it was more about living pleasantly without forgetting about the reality of one’s daily duties. Many years later, life took her to Beijing, working for a luxury design studio. Naples was the starting point, but her path ultimately led her to Barcelona, where

Small pleasures make a big impact Helping the world to move a little more mindfully, Bordeaux-based brand Le Petit Faon is putting the brakes on fast fashion with a delightfully playful line of clothing for all ages and genders. Its garments are thoughtfully made in ethical workshops, and feel good to wear – both inside and out. We spoke to founders, Matteo and Fanny, to see exactly how their collection inspires joy for everyone involved. Le Petit Faon, or ‘the little fawn’, is as the name suggests; its clothing advocates a much-needed return to nature and innocence. “We produce honest, purposeful clothing with a childlike style,” explains Matteo. Feel-good clothing requires openness in assembly line standards. Its alpaca wool jumpers, hats and headbands are made in

limited quantities by a small Bolivian social enterprise, and its shirts and sweatshirts produced with organic cotton in a Fair Wear workshop in Bangladesh. Each garment is made to last, and embroidered with its own motif in Toulouse. “We believe in the pleasure of giving before receiving, as well as respecting the environment and the work of each person

she lives now and runs her own business. By uniting all these experiences, her designs have an eclectic, Mediterranean style which enchants her customers. “We immediately felt comfortable with her approach and attitude. She developed a concept that incorporated both her and our vision, aligning our style and taste,” says one of her customers from New York, who wanted to furnish his apartment in Southern Europe. Understanding the needs of people is the key to creating a space that matches their personalities, and no one understands those better than Claudia de Sousa. claudiadesousa.com

TEXT: KATE HARVEY  |  PHOTOS: LE PETIT FAON

involved,” says Matteo. Keeping it as simple and clean as possible, Le Petit Faon selects GMO-free fibres that promote healthy crop rotation for healthier soil. Even its small amount of recycled polyester in some sweatshirts is made from recycled plastic bottles. The brand leans into ethical production wherever possible. The 20-person Bolivian workshop, of which 80 per cent are women and some with reduced mobility, provides a positive working environment – and a higherthan-minimum wage. And for every garment sold, a euro is donated, helping promote better education for children without nurseries in Burkina Faso. The organisation is founded by their friend Mathilde. You can browse the brand’s unisex, men, women and children collections online. Do you want to shop for honest, purposeful and playful clothing, as well? Buy it online at www.lepetitfaon.fr

bfk-enfance-burkina.e-monsite.com 10  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Alhambra.

The Ultimate Travel Top 50

Southern Europe’s most relevant travel ranking



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12  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Alhambra.

R

T O P

Granada, Andalusia, Spain Few Spanish buildings are as iconic as the regal fortress that is the Alhambra. Adorning the hills around the vibrant city of Granada, it is a stunning souvenir of Spain’s Moorish past. From the 11th until the late-15th century, the lion’s share of the Iberian Peninsula formed the Islamic empire of Al-Andalus. Being progressive and tolerant, the Moors ignited a prerenaissance on the peninsula, creating an atmosphere of creation and innovation. Pay the Alhambra a visit and see for yourself how ahead of their time the Moors were, and what they were capable of doing.

T

E L

1/ ALHAMBRA

I M A T L T E

V

TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

U

A

A lifetime is much too short to be able to walk every square metre of the earth. Therefore, some choices have to be made. But how do you decide which places to visit and which to pass on? As experts on all that’s Southern European, our in-house jury has selected the ultimate travel destinations in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal for you. From exciting cities to majestic mountain peaks, from scenic beaches to marvellous monuments: our Ultimate Travel Top 50 has it all. Join us on a trip past Southern Europe’s 50 greatest destinations to visit this year.


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

2 / M O N T S A I N T- M I C H E L

Mont Saint-Michel.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France For 12 hours a day, it is an island; the other 12, it is just a rock near the coast. The enchanting hill that is Mont-Saint Michel is what fairy tales are made of. Its vibrant, cobbled streets and the majestic abbey on top of the hill – which was used to remind the peasants at all times that God was all-seeing – transport you back to the busy city life of the Middle Ages. Most of the houses (the oldest of which are 13 centuries old) are stuffed with souvenirs and French delicacies, and the abbey is open to visitors. Since 2014, you can leave the island during all tides over the elevated pedestrian bridge. For the full pilgrim’s experience, however, you take a onekilometre hike from the mainland to the island, passing giant puddles and dangerous quicksand. You had best do this with a guide, as they know when high tide kicks in and which zones to avoid. Mont Saint-Michel.

Amalfi Coast.

3/ AMALFI COAST

Amalfi Coast.

Campania, Italy Few coastlines are as picture-perfect and lush as the legendary Amalfi Coast. Anywhere the soft, crystal-clear, Mediterranean waves touch land, you will find colourful houses, built against the mountain slopes. The history of the area takes us back millennia and is strongly entangled with the stories of the many tribes and people who passed here or even conquered it. Today, it is mainly tourists who conquer Amalfi’s streets. The numerous boats leaving the harbours are full of picture-craving travellers and the narrow streets you find in the towns count numerous souvenir shops. With a local guide, however, you might just escape the tourist bubble and discover the real Amalfi, a place 2,000 years in the making. Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  13


Photo: Museum of Illusions

4 / PA R I S

Reconnect in the family-friendly French capital The city of Paris is monumental – both literally and figuratively. That’s why a little help from the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau will make your family trip one to remember forever. Whether you’re planning a whistle-stop tour or an extended break, the cultural and culinary capital of the world will capture the imaginations of even the most jaded of youngsters. TEXT: KATE HARVEY

T

he city of Paris is a sensory delight for all ages, and unlike most city breaks, is more or less two hours away from most other major European destinations, such as London and Amsterdam. It is, therefore, the perfect antidote for antsy kids with the hunger to learn and explore. You may not have yet realised, but Paris is teeming with instructive and inno14  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

vative activities for children. And the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau is keen on developing the city’s reputation even further; by harnessing the educative power of new technology.

A ‘swipe’ at the museum A short attention span is an all-too familiar dilemma for parents of digital-age children.

Corinne Menegaux.


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

Drag a child around a museum against their will, and they’ll consider it a boredomauditorium. But bring it to life, and you’ll guarantee a lifelong interest in nature, history, art and culture. “Head to the Palais de la Porte Dorée,” an exceptional Art Deco building-cum-aquarium, advises Corinne Menegaux, general director of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ticking boxes for both parents and children, the aquarium is now home to more than 300 species of tropical fish from all over the world, including sharks and an array of jellyfish. With touchscreen guides to make exhibits easy to understand, it’s a must for your family itinerary.

Science and nature While Paris is home to some of the best ‘traditional’ museums in the world, there are also some to be discovered in the more bucolic spots of the city. “The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is in one of the most luscious parks in all of Paris, but is also a place for kids and adults to explore the countless secrets of science,” explains Menegaux. The Cité des Enfants offers two exhibitions: one for two-to-seven-year olds and the other for five-to-12-year olds to learn while playing both in and outdoors.

A passion for art begins here The stylish capital guarantees free entry to all national museums for under-18s, while some offer free entry on the first Sunday of the month. “Paris is the ideal destination to familiarise children with art and culture, and bring out their creative streak,” explains Menegaux.

Not only is the ‘inside out’ Centre Pompidou an architectural marvel, but it is widely considered to be one of the best modern art museums in Europe. Visit Studio 13/16, a multimedia space dedicated to teenagers and adults as they make their first foray into art appreciation. Visitors can expect interactive artworks and creativity workshops across multiple genres.

Discover France’s wonder of the world Nothing quite says Paris like the Eiffel Tower. Whether you climb halfway or hop into the elevator to the top, an adventure game of ‘Suis Gus’ is sure to keep the family entertained for hours on end. As you make your way around, learn all about the fascinating history of the tower. Suitable for adults, teenagers and children, you can solve puzzles as a family, while you navigate the old map from 1889 and walk in Gustave Eiffel’s footsteps. And after a long day of scavenging info, step back and admire the Iron Lady as she is illuminated throughout the evening.

All the city’s a stage Paris is geared up for family entertainment: from magicians and street artists in Montmartre, to puppet shows near Notre Dame, there is something around every corner. And in the ‘smart playroom’ in the Musée de l’Illusion, the fun continues. Using intriguing educational puzzles, the museum provides magic, laughter and surprise for all the family. Expect a brain workout that will challenge your vision

Find the perfect family accommodation When it comes to finding a place to stay in Paris, it’s good to have a helping hand. The Bureau features a list of accommodation options that can be booked online. Perhaps you prefer a central location, or triple and four-bed rooms for the family to stay together – you name it, they’ll find it. “We work closely with the tourism sector to develop family offers. Last summer, for example, families enjoyed hotel offers from Novotel and Citadines,” reveals Menegaux.

Enjoy the culinary heritage The cost of a Parisian weekend can really add up if you don’t know where to look. The Bureau offers tips and tricks on where best to eat and drink, which can come in handy when you’ve got more than two mouths to feed. And for foodie families, there are a whole range of special culinary experiences. Head to the Musée du Chocolat, where the ‘Choco-Story’ gives kids the chance to embark on a chocolatey treasure hunt, and see a real chocolatier at work. From play areas for the little ones to blow off some steam, big dining tables and pastoral settings, the Bureau can assist with every aspect of your trip, to make it as stress-free as possible. www.parisinfo.com

Eiffel Tower. Photo: SETE – E. Livinec

Porte Dorée. Photo: DR

Eiffel Tower. Photo: SETE – E. Livinec

and intellect – and certainly keep you entertained.

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Photo: Museum of Illusions

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  15


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

5/ BENAGIL CAVES

Aigüestortes.

Lagao, Algarves, Spain The Algarves, in the far south of the European continent, is a popular destination for beach lovers. Its rough, rocky coastline caters to the many sunbathers, as well as to hikers and nature gazers. Even more impressive than its stunning sandpits are the Benagil Caves, a natural dome with a hole on top, covering the grotto in daylight. The unpredictable tides make it dangerous to swim to the caves, so you are better to go by boat or on a stand-up paddleboard.

6/ AIGÜESTORTES

Benagil Caves.

Pyrenees, Catalonia, Spain Aigüestortes is a natural gem, hidden amidst the Catalan Pyrenees. The peaks’ shadows, ice-cold mountain lakes, meandering rivers and the sporadic pine trees shape this unique national park. In summer, the place is perfect for hiking and for finding your inner peace. In winter, it becomes a snowy wonderland.

7/ CHÂTEAU DE CHAMBORD

8/ DOLOMITES

Chambord, Loire Valley, France The Loire Valley is home to over 300 chateaux. Yet, the Château de Chambord easily stands out from the crowd. With 440 rooms, 365 towers, 1,036 windows and a 5,500-hectare estate, this 16th-century castle is as huge as it is elegant. Oddly enough, it never served as a primary residence, but only as a summerhouse for five centuries of wealthy aristocrats.

Northern Italy The Dolomites is a mountain range on the northern border of Italy. With its unique, steep peaks, it looks nothing like any other European mountain range. For the best views, head to the Gardena Pass, Mount Settsass or the iconic Tre Crime de Lavaredo (Three Peaks of Lavaredo), of which the steep walls climb as high as 2,999 metres.

Château de Chambord.

9/ VENICE Venice, Veneto, Italy With its magical channels, elegant façades and colourful people, it is no wonder that Venice adorns millions of travel bucket lists. Its glory era was the 12th century when the Venetian Republic stretched as far as Greece and its capital was a trading crossroad. These traders, you won’t find here anymore. But while strolling through the alleys, floating through the Canal Grande or visiting the Dodges Palace, it isn’t hard to imagine how it must have been.

Venice.

16  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Dolomites.

Dolomites.


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

10/ CORSICA

Ronda.

11/ PALACE OF VERSAILLES

12/ RONDA

Versailles, Île-de-France, France Rather than having been the scene of many a historic event, the Palace of Versailles is instead a symbol of Louis XIV – the Sun King’s – hybris. The castle is one of the biggest ones in the world; at its glory days, between 3,000 and 10,000 people worked in it daily. To visit it, you had better free up two days, as the garden alone requires more than a day of exploring. Yet, it all becomes worth it once you start to wander through the incredible corridors.

Ronda, Andalusia, Spain Although the city itself is drenched in Andalusian beauty, Ronda is at its prettiest from a distance. The city is split by a 98-metre-deep gorge. Crossing it, you do so over the Moorish Puente Nuevo, a feat of engineering that took almost half a century to build. If you have got time, walk down to the river through the Camino de los Molinos. In spring, the bottom of the gorge is covered in bright-yellow, wild flowers.

Palace of Versailles.

Sintra.

Corsica, France Located centrally in the Mediterranean Sea, Corsica has it all. The island’s core is one big natural park and at its edges, you will find cosy villages with appealing terraces and mighty, rocky cliffs. Adventurers can walk the GR20, a challenging walking trail of 200 kilometres through the mountains. Although you are conquering the island’s core, you have seascapes from beginning to end. Corsica.

13/ SINTRA Sintra, Estremadura, Portugal When the king buys himself a summer house in the countryside, the rest of the country’s aristocrats follows. So it happened that the once-so-quiet, hilly coastal town of Sintra became a palace hotspot. Today, you can visit most of them, but most interesting is the bright-yellow eclectic castle on top of the hill, which once belonged to the king.

14/ FARGAS DE EUME Galicia, Spain The Fargas de Eume is one of Europe’s few temperate rainforests. Its many streams, mossy trunks and humid climate make you forget that you are in Spain. It took a long time for tourism to kick off here, as the woods are a maze in which only a few locals could orientate. Therefore, it is still an untainted and vibrant biotope for many rare ferns and amphibians.

1 5 / C I R Q U E D E M A FAT E

Fargas de Eume. Photo: Wikipedia

Réunion, France In one of the French Empire’s furthest stretches, the island of Réunion, you enter the world of Cirque de Mafate. This green area in the centre of the island is only accessible on foot and by helicopter. La Nouvelle, the only village in the reserve, still houses 180 locals who live separate from the other islanders. The hospitable people do, however, give passing hikers a warm welcome. So, make sure to plan a stop in this unique village.

Cirque de Mafate.

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  17


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

16/ SAN GIMIGNANO

17/ EL BAIX EMPORDÀ

San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy When approaching the medieval village of San Gimignano, it is hard to miss the 14 towers that peak above its skyline. From the 12th until the 14th century, there were up to 72 of them, which served as houses, defence towers and – foremost – objects of prestige. Today, they fit in beautifully with the slender, tall cypresses and the hilly nature of the Tuscan landscape.

Catalonia, Spain Although all of Costa Brava is known for its beautiful cliffs and enchanting beaches, nothing compares to El Baix Empordà. In this region, stunning villages like Pals, Begur and the charming Calella de Palafrugell are connected by the amazing Cami de Ronda, a 43-kilometre trail over beaches and rocks with stunning seascapes from beginning to end. Make sure to take a dive and discover the area’s vivid underwater world.

San Gimignano. El Baix Empordà.

18/ MADEIRA PEAKS Madeira, Portugal While the Portuguese island is famous for its food and its eponymous wine, it is mainly popular as a hiking destination. In its core, a beautiful walking trail leads you to the island’s peak, 1,862 metres above the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the humid climate, you are often up in the clouds at this height, providing you with an unforgettable view of the sea of clouds amidst the peaks.

Madeira Peaks.

19/ CÍES ISLANDS

20/ NÎMES

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain Located mere kilometres from the Galician coast, the Cíes Islands seem a world away from civilisation. The archipelago is practically uninhabited and is one big nature reserve. In summer, tourists head here to enjoy a day in nature or to lay on the Rodas Beach, which was named ‘best beach in the world’ by The Guardian. Cleanliness is key, however. The island has no dust bins, so you are expected to take all your waste back with you, leaving the place paradisiacal and pure.

Nîmes, Occitanie, France The origins of the city of Nîmes date back to 600 BC, and that long history is still tangible in its centre. With the Arena of Nîmes (a theatre inspired by the Colosseum) and the Maison Carrée (the best-preserved Roman temple around), the city is drenched in Roman elegance. In its lovely city park, you stumble upon the springs around which the Kelts built their original settlement. Nîmes. Photo:Atout France/Martine Prunevieille

21/ SEGOVIA

Segovia.

18  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Segovia, Castile and Léon, Spain Far away from the costas, at the so-called backside of Spain, lies Segovia, the underrated capital of Castile and Léon. Its old town is declared world heritage by UNESCO and that has everything to do with its mighty cathedral and the immense viaduct that crosses the city. 19 centuries ago, this feat of engineering transported water from the mountains to the city, a 15-kilometre trip.

Cíes Islands.


22/ DOMAINE DE LA CORNICHE

Serenity of the Seine Float downstream along the Seine, and you’ll soon end up at the breathtaking Domaine de la Corniche. Plucked straight out of a Claude Monet painting, this charming hotel, spa and Michelin-star restaurant offers unparalleled views across France’s most famous river. Now’s the chance to recharge your batteries and soak up the Giverny region – which is a work of art in itself. TEXT: KATE HARVEY  |  PHOTOS: DOMAINE DE LA CORNICHE

F

rom its leafy position on top of chalk cliffs, the Domaine gazes out over the River Seine; a sight one might not expect just 40 minutes’ drive from the centre of Paris. Nestled at the heart of Giverny, the wellness complex is the ideal spot for a weekend away, whether you’re visiting as a couple, a group, or even just for some ‘me’ time. “There are two legends,” explains Laurène Jordan, sales director. “One is that King Leopold II of Belgium had the castle built for him and his 20  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

lover, and the other is that the Baroness of Wulf had it built to welcome her Parisian acquaintances.” With its myriad of spaces where the bourgeoisie once roamed, the Domaine is bursting with character. Expect traditional stone masonry, a rich history and tree-lined paths away from the hustle and bustle. Not forgetting the Temple of Love: a romantic stone lookout that can be booked for private spa treatments.

A wellness centre for total tranquillity The Seine inspires every inch of the Domaine, and the luxury ‘Sequana spa’ (Latin for ‘Seine’) is even named after the meandering curves of the nearby river. Gain access to a stylish indoor pool, equipped with a Jacuzzi and massaging jets, comfy alcoves and sunbeds, large steam room, sauna and a solarium. “We have spa deals for couples, friends – even mothers and children,” says Laurène. French skincare is Giverny.


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

serious business, and the spa offers a range of treatments from two luxury brands: Cinq Mondes and Nougatine. “The former is rich in exotic balms and oils from all over the globe, and the latter is perfect for younger skin: with honey, sweet almond and macadamia oil formulas,” says Laurène. Spa packages can be combined with various activities and can even be reserved in the evenings for you and your closest circle.

Rest your head in style Guests can choose to stay in one of four distinct buildings that combine charm with contemporary comfort. “Most of the bedroom windows open out to the countryside or gardens,” explains Laurène. Escape to one of the 18 castle bedrooms, or opt for one of nine bedrooms in the bucolic 19th-century La Jeanette manor house. There’s also the Forestier cabin, with themed rooms and proximity to the spa, or the Sequana spa itself and its ten contemporary bedrooms.

Michelin-star-studded wining and dining France has a world-famous culinary heritage, and is something the Domaine promotes with great passion. Not only does its

Panoramique restaurant offer enviable views across the Seine, but it has been awarded a Michelin star. And why not combine a lazy lunch with an afternoon of relaxation? “Dine at the Panoramique and spend the afternoon in the spa for half the price,” suggests Laurène. Refined epicureans can even try a fine selection of wines handpicked by the head sommelier. “We organise wine tasting experiences every Friday, Saturday and Sunday." Families will also adore the warm and familiar 20 du Domaine restaurant and wine bar, which also doubles as a quirky ‘bric-à-brac’ shop. “Chef Valentin presents an à la carte menu of traditional dishes from the region and beyond.”

Entertainment fit for a king When the sun sets, guests can lounge in the Leopold Bar, named after the Belgian king himself. But in this cocktail lounge, resident mixologist Gildas is king. Select one of his bespoke cocktails; or for those that enjoy a flute of something bubbly, the Domaine is also a partner of Moët & Chandon champagne. In the summer months, the veranda opens up and the Leopold bar extends across a sun-

soaked terrace. You can even while away the afternoon with a tipple and a game of pool, chess or backgammon. And if you prefer something a little more active, there’s bocce, tennis and badminton on offer in the shaded forest. “We also have a kids’ club for three-to12-year olds that runs throughout the day to keep them entertained.” The fun does not stop there. What better way to end the evening than with a bottle of Champagne and a cinema viewing? Dim the lights, sink into the red velvet seats and enjoy a film screening in the state-of-the-art cinema room. “The room can also be used for seminars and business meetings – it’s truly versatile,” says Laurène.

Explore Monet’s home It will come as no surprise that the lush Giverny region is the former home of French impressionist artist, Claude Monet. And with a south-facing outdoor pool, children’s play area, hen house and winding cycling routes through the forest of Rosny-surSeine, guests can experience the heritage of Monet’s home not far from the Domaine. You can even rent bikes free of charge. The Domaine is about creating memories – and all family members are invited.

www.domainedelacorniche.com

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  21


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

23/ CHAMONIX

24/ SAN SEBASTIÁN

25/ LA MADDALENA

Chamonix, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes , France In winter, the village of Chamonix is the perfect place to isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Adjoined by the Alps’ highest peaks and the Mer de Glace glacier, it is perfect for winter sports aficionados or to read a book at a toasty fireplace.

San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain The Basque city of San Sebastián is mainly known as a culinary paradise but is way more than that. Its u-shaped bay offers plenty of white beaches on which to catch a tan, and right outside of the city centre, lots of natural beauty awaits hikers, cyclists and surfers.

La Maddalena, Sardinia, Italy Off the coast of Sardinia lies the La Maddalena archipelago, a paradise with bright-blue water, pearl-white beaches and deep-green flora. Its few hamlets are covered in Mediterranean tranquillity, making it the perfect setting for a weekend away.

Chamonix.

San Sebastián.

La Maddalena.

26/ MORELLA Morella, Valencia, Spain From a distance, it vaguely resembles a volcano. Up close, you will see how it’s a vibrant city with a giant fortress, tens of metres above the town. The stronghold was once used as a defence against its many enemies, who wanted to settle on this strategic location themselves. Today, it earns it a spot in the official list of Spain’s nicest villages.

27/ ISLET OF VILA FRANCA DO CAMPO

Islet of Vila Franco do Campo. Photo:Shutterstock

Morella.

Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal Right off the coast of São Miguel, lies the sunken volcano of Vila Franca do Campo. Throughout the ages, it sunk deeper inside the sea, showing just the circular outline of the crater, today. This makes it very appealing to snorkelers and cliff divers.

28/ CARCASSONNE Carcassonne, Occitanie, France Simple watch towers, city walls with battlements… The historic centre of Carcassonne is textbook medieval charm. Stroll over the walls, explore the fortress and amble through the alleys of France’s most authentic city.

Carcassonne.

29/ PUY DE SANCY Massif Central, France Although it is the little brother of the famous Puy-de-Dôme mountain, the narrow ridge of the Puy de Sancy provides you with some great vistas, as well. A lush green stretches out as far as you can see while you head from one peak to the next. 22  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Puy de Sancy.


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

30/ MARQUÉS DE RISCAL

Wines that make history Drinking wine is an experience, and if this experience is matched with beautiful surroundings, great company and amazing culture, it can create memories that, with a just a sniff and a taste of the same wine, can forever be recalled and relived.

avant-garde, is perfectly balanced, just like the balance of fruit and depth you can taste in your glass of Marqués de Riscal.

TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: MARQUÉS DE RISCAL

Its traditional cellars and vineyards are full of history, but the winery now has the luxury Hotel Marqués de Riscal on offer, which brings an ultra-modern breath of 21st-century air. Its coloured steel and titanium, curved structure somehow represents the burgundy beverage to perfection. A spectacular piece of modern architecture by Frank O. Gehry that fits right into this medieval town of Elciego.

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arqués de Riscal prides itself in helping people to create these everlasting memories, especially when visiting its winery. It is one of the most visited wineries in the world and the fact that it is located in the prestigious Rioja region is only one of the many reasons behind this. Ever since its founding by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga in 1858, the prizes have kept coming, too. It was the first non-French winery to receive the Diploma of Honour in the ’Exposition de Bordeaux’ in 1895. Its majestic empire extends over 540 hectares of vineyards and controls another 900 to produce more than ten million bottles of red and white a year from D.O. Rueda. Its location in the subzone of the Rioja Alavesa makes for the perfect spot to cultivate the Tempranillo and Graciano grape. The

winery is an expert in vintage wines, and it’s been said that the Marqués de Riscal Reserva is ‘what a Rioja Reserva must be’.   Apart from the obvious fact that you will be drinking plenty of great wine, make your visit even more interesting by booking a tour around the oldest cellar in Rioja, see and smell where your favourite wine is stored, and how its journey goes from a simple oak barrel to the joyous sensation on your palate. After the visit, it’s time to try some more wine, this time accompanied by the best Spanish aperitifs: chorizo, jamón, queso – you know, all the good stuff! 

Feel how your body and soul react to the powerful health benefits of the grape by booking a treatment at the Spa Vinothérapie by Caudalie. This can then be followed by some more delicious experiences at the Michelin-star restaurant, which perfectly pairs the wines with innovative Spanish cuisine.

Today, many more prizes later, the winery has extended to a whole ‘city’, ‘la Ciudad del Vino’, where the fusion between the old and the new, the traditional and the

www.marquesderiscal.com Bookings, tours and tastings: reservations.marquesderiscal@marriott.com Telephone: (+34) 945 180 888 Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  23


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

32/ CORRAL DE LA MORERÍA

Corral de la Morería. Photo: PromoMadrid

Madrid, Spain If you want to experience Flamenco, Corral de la Morería is the place to do so. With over 60 years on the counter, it is the oldest theatre in the city and it attracts the greatest artists. So, order a drink and enjoy a lively spectacle of music and dance.

Garajonay. Photo: Wikipedia

31/ OSTUNI

3 3 / G A R A J O N AY

Ostuni, Apulië, Italy La Città Bianca: that is how they refer to Ostuni. Nearly every wall of this town is painted in white. Even from up close, while walking through the streets, it is hard to spot a touch of colour, apart from the flowers on the balconies or an occasional bright-coloured door.

La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain Star Wars-lovers might mistake it for the Dagobah System, but in fact, it is just planet Earth. The Garajonay National Park is a humid forest with mainly laurel trees. Its eternal fog, mystical light and mossy trunks give the place an intriguing, swampy feel.

Marqueyssac Gardens.

34/ MARQUEYSSAC GARDENS

Ostuni.

Vézac, Dordogne, France Of all France’s gardens, the one of Marqueyssac is perhaps the most peculiar. Here, trimming has been elevated to an art form, and hedges and bushes stand out with their unique shapes. From smooth and organic to straight and geometrical, there’s plenty to admire, right here.

35/ LE CORBIER

Sun, ski and snow in Le Corbier Whether you’re a blue run beginner or you’ve got some skills on the slopes, there are many factors involved in making a skiing holiday sensational. If you’re setting foot on the snow this season, Le Corbier – found in the heart of Les Sybelles, France’s fourth largest ski area – boasts 310 kilometres of snow-covered slopes for all levels, as well as a wide range of fun, family-friendly activities. What makes Le Corbier so special is not only its breathtaking panoramic views, but its accessibility, with pedestrian circuits that can take you all over the resort. As a Famille Plus ski station, there are countless options available for both younger and older guests. More of a happy hiker than a seasoned skier? Not to worry! Numerous nature activities are on offer, including snowshoe trails or dogsled riding.

Photo: CORBIER TOURISME

24  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

If you’re not worn out after a day of snowmobile riding or toboggan racing, the Kids’ Riders Cup (for ages three to five), hosted on 11 March, is certainly something to catch if you’re in the area. The first of its kind, the competition will welcome participants to race on specially adapted bikes (fit with skis), alternating between flat runs and small jumps. Ready for some rest and relaxation? Well, once you’ve left the little ones at Club

Photo:MMV

TEXT: ALEX BEVERIDGE

Cosmos kids club, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, de-stress in the sauna or enjoy an après-ski aperitif on the terrace overlooking the slopes. When it comes to accommodation, why not snuggle up by the fire at the luxurious 15-bed Chalet Thoya and make the most of the prestigious packages it has on offer? The latest addition to Le Corbier will be the Étoile des Sybelles apart-hotel, opening December 2020. Constructed using local suppliers and renewable resources, you’ll be able to rest easy in one of its 99 eco-friendly apartments knowing you’re protecting the planet. en.le-corbier.com

Photo:JMC


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

36/ FORMENTERA

37/ MENTON

38/ AMIENS

Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain While not as famous as Mallorca or Ibiza, Formentera is everything you could want for your island holiday. The water’s shade is of the softest blue and the idyllical beaches are often entirely tourist-free. This is the ideal place to relax, far away from all that is mass tourism.

Menton, Côte d’Azur, France Right on the border with Italy, Menton shows what the French Riviera is all about. Its colourful buildings, bright-blue ports and laid-back lifestyle simply scream ‘La douce France’. Don’t miss de Rue Piétonne, where a farmers’ market lets you sample France’s greatest delicacies.

Amiens, Somme, France While Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral is being restored, you can visit this one in Amiens. Not only is it less busy than its Parisian counterpart, but it is also way bigger. In fact, it is the biggest Gothic cathedral of France and one of the world’s best examples of Gothic architecture.

Formentera.

Menton.

Amiens.

39/ MONSANTO Monsanto, Centro, Portugal Build on top of – and with – granite, the village of Monsanto is well-camouflaged in its surroundings. At some places, the smooth, mammoth rocks even curve themselves around the picturesque houses and through their roofs.

Monsanto. Photo:Wikipedia

40/ THÉÂTRE DE LA REINE BLANCHE

Science on stage

TEXT: ALEX BEVERIDGE

Petri dishes and particle physics, performance and props. Could the two ever truly bond? Like splitting the atom, bringing science and the arts together is a trying task indeed. However, the Théâtre de la Reine Blanche, a dynamic cultural space nestled in Paris’ 18th arrondissement, has fused these two elements in the most electrifying way. The catalyst of this exciting experiment is Elisabeth Bouchaud, a physicist, playwright, actress and director of the theatre since 2014, only hanging up her lab coat for the final time last year. The Théâtre de la Reine Blanche’s latest dramatic production, Majorana 370, captures both of Bouchaud's passions in a powerful piece about duality and disappearance. The play recounts two stories told in parallel: one retracing the life of renowned Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, who went missing in 1938 under mysterious circumstances, the other charting the course of two 21st-century women – one of whom is equally destined for disappearance aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. A pioneer of the golden era of physics vanishes 26  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

into thin air – a scientific impossibility. Many years later, a modern mystery unfolds as a plane becomes untraceable at the height of the high-tech age. Science and art meet in this profound performance, playing on the enigma and connections surrounding these two seemingly incompatible worlds.

Majorana 370, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant and Simon Rembado. Photo: Florient Azoulay and Elisabeth Bouchaud

The Théâtre de la Reine Blanche boasts an extensive calendar of events to entertain and intrigue, including its series of talks, Les Savants sur les Planches. In this informative and engaging spectacle, academics are invited to discuss their research as it’s interpreted through various art forms, from anthropology explained through the medium of dance to psychoanalysis acted out before your very eyes. Majorana 370 runs from 21 January to 5 April. www.reineblanche.com

Photo: Théâtre de la Reine Blanche


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

41/ TURIN Turin, Piëmont, Italy A walk through Turin is a bit like a ‘palazzo crawl’. Wherever you look, you find elegant palazzos and other regal buildings to visit. Some house museums, other are kept in their original shape, taking visitors back in time.

Turin.

Kaysersberg.

42/ BABIA

4 3 / K AY S E R S B E R G

Babia, Castile and Léon, Spain The region of Babia shows how desolate Spain can be if you venture away from the coast. In the shadow of the mountains, a few hamlets still live very simple lives in strong connection to nature.

Kaysersberg, Alsace, France A walk through the Alsace always feels like a trip to Germany. The village of Kaysersberg, for example, is one of colourful plastering and timber beams. Much more than in cities like Colmar or Strasbourg, the Beauty and the Beastatmosphere still lingers through its streets.

Babia. Photo: Wikipedia Carnac.

44/ CEFALÙ Cefalù, Sicily, Italy With a mammoth rock on top of it, Cefalù is nicknamed ‘the city with the hat’. Cramped in between the sea and the cliffs, it is one of Sicily’s most unique places. Don’t expect to do much sightseeing here, however. Cafalù is for sunbathing, strolling and swimming. Cefalù.

45/ CARNAC Carnac, Brittany, France Forget the 30 monoliths of Stonehenge: in Carnac, they have 1,029 of them, lined up in four neat rows. What they were used for is a mystery, how they managed to move them 6,500 years ago an even bigger one. So, fantasise away while walking amidst these peculiar rocks. 28  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  The Ultimate Travel Top 50

46/ ÉVORA Évora, Alentejo, Portugal The ancient, UNESCO-protected city of Évora is a history-lover's paradise. Besides its stunning cathedral and Roman Temple, you can’t miss the Capela dos Ossos, a chapel with walls that are covered in human bones and skulls. The bones were dug up when 43 cemeteries in and around the city had to make room for houses and farms in the late-16th century.

Verdon Gorge.

Évora. Photo: wikipedia

47/ VERDON GORGE Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France Many a gorge connoisseur calls it the most beautiful one around; and who are we to disagree? The tower-high, white walls and the soft-blue water set the perfect setting for some kayak sightseeing. The river flows amidst the mountains for 25 kilometres before it arrives in the gigantic Lake of Sainte-Croix. Pantelleria.

Toledo.

48/TOLEDO Toledo, Castile-La Mancha, Spain Protected by the surrounding river Taag and with the mighty Alcázar of Toledo looking over the town and its surroundings, it isn’t hard to see why the city formed an important strategic centre from the Roman Empire until the Spanish Civil War. Today, you can visit the many souvenirs that these battles, peoples and cultures have left behind.

4 9 / PA N T E L L E R I A

50/ BRAGA

Pantelleria, Sicily, Italy If it’s swimming you’re after, there is no better spot than the Sicilian island of Pantelleria. Besides a beautiful coastline and many luxury hotels with swimming pools, the Lago di Venere (an enchanting lake with attractive sandy beaches all around) is a great spot to take a plunge.

Braga, Norte, Portugal Athletic as we are, we can therefore never say no to a great staircase. To visit the sanctuary of Bon Jesus do Monte in Braga, pilgrims must first conquer 577 steps. Real devotees do this on their knees, to suffer like Jesus. Yet, if you can get up on foot, you can be proud of yourself just as much.

Braga.

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LANZAROTE  |   HOTEL OF THE MONTH

Sustainable luxury holiday on a volcanic island Lanzarote’s volcanic beauty is a Biosphere Reserve. The whole island is a habitat that has managed to maintain complete harmony between man and nature. The island is home to protected ecosystems and man-made artistic creations that enhance the atmosphere and the island’s culture. TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: RUBÉN ACOSTA

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or many years, the population of the island has worked hard to keep alive this harmony. They adapt their lives to the richness of the landscape, to use the natural resources of the island to their advantage, but always in a respectful way.

Luxury can be sustainable Blending in with Lanzarote’s volcanic landscape is La Isla y El Mar, an adults-only, 30  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

five-star hotel in Playa del Carmen, by the Martínez Hotel Group. It is the next generation in boutique hotels, a pioneer in eco-tourism and the first hotel in the world to be certified as ‘Biosphere-Smart’. It is working towards preserving the environment through the use of smart technologies and a rigorous sustainability approach. Doing everything it can to live up to its ethos: “Our environment, a source of life”.

Its approach to sustainable luxury means that it takes every step towards creating an enjoyable and deluxe environment but with the right practices. “Because of the way the hotel is built and the way the energy is managed, it consumes four times less energy and four times fewer carbon emissions than any non-sustainable building of the same size,” says Marga de Luis, corporate director of the Martínez Hotel Group. Just like the population of the island, it has made use of the natural resources to create energy. For example, the air conditioning systems work thanks to the seawater running through the pipes along the corridors. Although actually, air conditioning is rarely


Discover Southern Europe  |  Hotel of the month in Lanzarote

needed as the natural isolation of the walls means that the room temperature usually stays quite pleasant without being too hot or too cold. But being sustainable is a work in progress, and this is why it is conscious of raising awareness among its staff, partners and even its guests. One way is by encouraging recycling: each room has three types of recycling bins and intelligent lighting systems that help to reduce the electrical consumption and thermal load.

A reflection on Lanzarote The commitment to and love for the island are palpable in every architectural decision. The hotel was designed by José María Pérez with a simple concept in mind: a building that thrives thanks to the natural resources of the sea, the sun and the wind. José María worked closely with César Manrique, a firm believer of this concept and whose architectural and artistic legacy was and still is a big reference in the island’s development. The dynamic and natural architecture mimics Lanzarote’s environment to perfection. It’s the open spaces and discontinuous walls, it’s the rock materials and reflective elements mirroring the sea, making the guests feel like a part of the lunar landscape of Lanzarote. It is a natural haven that oozes relaxation, where the salty breeze of the deep blue sea, the gentle dance of the palm

trees and the spectacular views of ‘Isla de Lobos’ will make you feel far from reality. La Isla y El Mar Boutique Hotel has 81 suites, all facing the Atlantic sea. There is an outdoor and dynamic fresh-water pool – heated in winter by the solar panels, with hydromassage chairs, waterfall and water jets. There is also a wellness and beauty centre, ‘La Gruta de las Flores’, where you can choose from a wide range of customised treatments to pamper your body and soul even more.

Traditional cuisine with an eclectic twist The restaurant, Kentia Gourmet Club, plays with flavours from all over the world, adapt-

ing them to the traditional Canarian cuisine to create tasty and eclectic dishes that match the stylish decor of the venue. Its special ingredients are the volcanic terrain and its dedication to collaborate with the local agriculture. The vegetables and fruits are sourced from its own eco-farm, Finca Machinda, and the seafood is offered depending on the season; the guests can enjoy the best of the island’s fresh produce, like the ‘cherne’, red crab or prawns of La Santa. Last year, Kentia Gourmet Club hosted four gastronomic workshops, inviting the most innovative chefs of the Canary Islands to cook a taste menu that celebrates the fusion of local produce with other world cuisines. Due to the success of these events, new dates for 2020 are currently being planned. The perfect occasion for food lovers to indulge in avant-garde cuisine. La Isla y El Mar has designed exclusive experiences to make you enjoy the island to the fullest, from wine tastings at the local vineyards to plenty of yoga overlooking the sea or boat trips with a picnic and the opportunity to enjoy a swim. You will go home with your batteries fully charged (solar-powered) and a reinforced resolution of doing the best you can to look after our beautiful planet. www.laislayelmar.com Bookings: reservas@staymar.com Tel.: (+34) 928 513 725 Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  31


BARCELONA  |   HOTEL OF THE MONTH

Ecocosiness in its purest form Sharing is caring, they say. Sharing your passion for sustainability is indeed the best way to care for the environment and future generations. Sharing your ecofriendly place is caring about those who come to visit, caring about their needs, happiness, and joy. Hostal Grau is a full-caring, full-conscious Hotel Eco Boutique that will inspire you to care about what we all need most: our green planet.

lovingly restored. All mattresses are organic and handmade, and there are wooden recycling bins all around the hotel to raise awareness of separating rubbish, even while travelling abroad.

TEXT: GERARD PLANA  |  PHOTOS: HOSTAL GRAU

here’s no place like home; there’s no doubt about it. There’s nothing better than arriving home after a long day of sightseeing in the bustling city that is Barcelona. But wait, are we talking about getting home while visiting a new city? Is it even possible, you may ask. Monica Vallejo and her team have indeed made it possible, in Hostal Grau: a cosy, eco-friendly and social-caring boutique hotel located in the epicentre of this vibrant Catalan city.

manager of Hostal Grau. And they are managing to do so really well. They have already achieved the Leeds and the Biosphere Tourism certifications for sustainable and continuously improving accommodations. In Hostal Grau, there’s even a room called ‘Off room’: a pilot room where electromagnetic radiation is significantly reduced (not eliminated, but reduced). They have used special painting on the walls, and installed a special WIFI connection, for instance.

“The idea of learning new ways of travelling motivated us to create the Hostal Grau we know today," explains Monica. “Besides this, the current global need for sustainable improvement also prompted the concept of the eco-boutique hostel. Our guests are very conscious and are happy to find a place like ours”. Even happier they’ll be, with its new open-space kitchen and living room area, in which to enjoy local products, organic wines and homemade cakes. Who wouldn’t want to travel like that?

“We aim to be as sustainable and socially caring as we can”, says Monica Vallejo,

Furthermore, most of the furniture in the hotel comes from old buildings and has been

www.hostalgrau.com

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32  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  Amazing French wines

Bordeaux and beyond: the new art of trading The Sovex GrandsChateau has long cultivated a taste for trying new things. Here, the teams are not only experts on the Bordeaux region but on vineyards across the world, working as specialists to promote all wine cultures. TEXT: SOVEX GRANDSCHATEAUX  |  TRANSLATION: ALEX BEVERIDGE  |  PHOTOS: SOVEX GRANDSCHATEAUX

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ounded in Bordeaux in 1982, before joining the Ballande group in 1998, the Sovex GrandsChateux has carved a special place for itself in the wine merchant market. The company strives to represent every single facet of the wine world, a promise that has been kept and nurtured for more than 30 years by building strong relationships with estates and winegrowers. Today, Sovex GrandsChateaux follows its fundamental value, offering the opportunity to discover new vintages, all paired with the pure pleasure of wine tasting. "The wine trade only has value if people get on board with new products. It’s about knowing how to create value by expanding clients’ horizons," emphasises Daniel Immacolato, who took over as CEO of the company in 2016. Immacolato is the brave explorer venturing into these new horizons, having previously worked in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and even Argentina. Since taking over, explo34  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

ration has now become the brand's strategic approach, taking steps forward in diversifying the wine world, notably by opening it up to regions other than Bordeaux. Of course, Sovex GrandsChateaux hasn't forgotten its Bordeaux roots, and it continues to be an esteemed ambassador of the region's best appellations, be it large estates or small, independent vineyards. It now, however, welcomes a wide selection of wines from elsewhere. For example, the Grands Crus Classés and some of the best names in Champagne are now available alongside the most prestigious Italian listings, including the famous Super Tuscans. When it comes to ‘pleasure wines’, why not enjoy the expertise and craftsmanship of producers from Languedoc, Provence, Spain, the United States, Chile, Argentina or even Portugal? This geographical exploration has been driven by a desire to innovate, from devel-

oping house brands (such as Toquade, a sparkling wine launched at the end of 2017), to listing other drink categories such as spirits, creams and liqueurs. These new sensory adventures reaffirm Sovex GrandChateaux' desire to expand clients' horizons by constantly reinventing their tasting experience. www.sovex-grandschateaux.com Facebook: sovexgrandschateaux Instagram: @sovexgc


Photo: Wikipedia

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Discover Southern Europe  |  A weekend in Alicante

A weekend in Alicante

Admire the Mediterranean Sea under a quarter of a million palm trees Situated at roughly the halfway point between Barcelona in the north and Gibraltar in the south of Spain, Alicante is the largest city located on the Costa Blanca stretch of the Spanish coastline. A historic Mediterranean port, the city has benefitted hugely from the boom of the tourism industry over the last 60 years, as well as from an influx of Spanish and Europeans seeking a second residence by the sea. This has since led to Alicante being able to offer visitors and locals an impressive range of restaurants and bars to sit in and while away the hours, and also a great variety of things to do in and around the city itself. TEXT: KARL BATTERBEE

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ou could spend a fortnight based here and find a different daytrip to embark upon each day, be it a boat ride to the beautiful island of Tabarca, a 30-minute train journey to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the city of Elche, or a tram ride up the coast to the charming localities of El Campello, Calpe or Denia. That same tram will also take you to Benidorm, the infamous party town

beloved by the Brits, the Irish and the Northern Europeans. For our weekend in Alicante, however, we're going to stay inside the city itself. There's a lot to do and see, much to eat and drink, and plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind. Rumour has it that the city counts no less than 250,000 palm trees, giving the city a paradisical flair. Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  37


Discover Southern Europe  |  A weekend in Alicante

View over Alicante from El Castell de Santa Bàrbara. Photo: Faisal M

Saturday: In and above town We'll start the day as we mean to go on – by indulging all of our senses at once. A visit to Mercado Central is a feast for each of them. Located where the busy street of Avenida de El Alfonso X el Sabio meets La Rambla, it is the city's main source of top-quality, locally sourced food, drink and other goods typical of the region. There are just under 300 stalls on offer, most of them owned by families from Alicante and its surrounding towns that have been behind the same stalls since the market first opened almost a hundred years ago, with the stalls having been passed down generations. As you're visiting, you probably won't be here to shop for food, but a stop here is recommended as there are plenty of stalls offering sit-down 38  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

extensions of their outlets where you can try some of the treats on offer, enjoy a coffee while watching the sellers at work, or sample your first local apéritif of the day. Once your appetite has been appropriately whet by all of the sights and smells, it's time to saunter down La Rambla to an exceptional lunch location that most locals and tourists don't even realise they have access to. Stride confidently into TRYP Alicante Gran Sol Hotel, take the elevator to the 26th floor, and you'll be welcomed into the criminally hidden gem that is Convistas Restaurant. Open for both lunch and dinner, the food, while delicious and surprisingly friendly on the wallet, plays second fiddle to the loca-

tion. At an altitude of 90 metres and with an almost-360-degree view of the city, you'll barely be able to even look down at what you're eating. It goes without saying that this is an excellent introduction to Alicante, putting into clear focus just everything that the city has to offer. With lunch settled, it's time for a leisurely stroll to take in some of those sights up-close. Walk down to the bottom of La Rambla where you'll arrive at Alicante's most iconic stretch, La Explanada de España. It runs parallel to the port and is lined on both sides with rows of palm trees. The floor is decorated with six million tricolour marble tiles forming a design with a characteristic


Discover Southern Europe  |  A weekend in Alicante

wave-effect mosaic. Walk northwards and you'll arrive at Playa del Postiguet. Today's not the day for a beach trip, however (we'll be going to a much nicer, less crowded one tomorrow), so instead, you can continue your stroll along the promenade at the edge of the beach, taking in the views of the sea and sunbathers to your left, and of Alicante's most prominent sight to your right, El Castell de Santa Bàrbara. Should you choose this moment to take your obligatory trip up to the castle, you can do so by taking the elevator located across the road from Postiguet beach. However, it's much more rewarding to do it on foot, and particularly if you start your journey through the old town, which begins on the east side of La Rambla. If you’re not going up, walk southwards along La Explanada de España and a little

bit further on, and you'll end up at Parque el Palmeral, facing the sea. It's a stunning place to walk around, with various pathways meandering around lakes, waterfalls and an enormous variety of native vegetation typical of the region, including over 7,000 palm trees of many kinds. End your day by walking back along the coastline until you get to the port of Alicante. All along the Marina, you'll find various bars to watch the sunset from, and an array of restaurants offering up a great selection of cuisine – with fish and seafood, understandably, accounting for the largest proportion of food on offer. You can sit and chill at one or two spots, or you could walk from place to place, gazing out over the glistening waters with hundreds of yachts parked up for the night.

Parque el Palmeral. Photo: Karl Batterbee

Mercado Central. Photo: Wikipedia

Marina Deportivo del Puerto de Alicante. Photo: Alberto Gasco

La Explanada de España. Photo: Magdalena Pie

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  39


Discover Southern Europe  |  A weekend in Alicante

Sunday: Siesta and fiesta After yesterday's meandering, today is a day of rest. We're heading to Alicante's most beautiful beach, San Juan. It's a threekilometre stretch of fine sand and calm waters. Because of its enormous length and the fact that it's a little out of the way, it's much less crowded than Alicante's citycentre beach, Postiguet. You can get there via a 15-minute tram ride, or, if you fancy smashing your daily step goal, you can walk there from Alicante city centre, too. Time is on your side on a visit to San Juan beach, as due to the promenade full of bars, restaurants and cafes, you can stay around the beach for lunch, or indeed for dinner if you so wish. As you're only here for the weekend, though, it's recommended that you head back into Alicante's bustling city centre for the evening, to make the most of all that the city has to offer you. Commence your night with a pre-dinner drink in Soho Parc. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing sit-down in an outdoor, modernist kiosk bar surrounded by gigantic centennial ficus trees. Incidentally, Soho Parc is located right in the centre of Alicante, meaning it serves as a great place to start your evening of exploration around the city's culinary gems and nightlife. To the bar's east, you have the old town, to the west and north, you have plenty more (also quite old) town to tread upon, and to the south, you have all of the bars and restaurants that you will have clocked on yesterday wander along La Explanada de España.

Old Town. Photo: Karl Batterbee

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As for what to eat, if it's Spanish tapas you're after, then it's no exaggeration to say that every second bar or restaurant you stumble upon will be offering their own version of this, and it's probably best to spread your meal out over four or five spots, sampling a light bite or two in each. If it's a full plate you're hankering for, then there are a few absolute highlights that never fail to deliver, offering cuisines ranging from Lebanese (Mish Mish); Mexican (La Tia Juana) and Indian (New Delhi) to Italian (Sale & Pepe) or vegetarian (Bodhi Green). Finish your evening with a final drink in the salubrious surroundings of Manero Bar, taking stock of all you've seen over the weekend, and all you plan to fit in to your next trip here.


Discover Southern Europe  |  A weekend in Alicante

Getting there Alicante Airport is located a mere 15minute drive from the city. Upon arrival, the C6 bus leaves every 20 minutes (up until 10pm, after which it's once per hour, all through the night) from outside the departures terminal, and will take you right into the city for €3.80. Alicante Airport also serves Benidorm, meaning that most British airports and airlines offer direct flights there, and for not a lot of money.

Getting around Alicante city is well served by a great bus and tram network, and there's also a well connected train station, taking you to and from many other destinations in Spain. If you're only around for the weekend though, you can spend the whole time on foot, and still see plenty. Alternatively, electric scooters are very popular with locals, and there are numerous rental outlets. The city is also great for cyclists, with most of the area having assigned bicycle routes.

Shopping & culture As with most places in Spain, you can't assume that everything is going to be open on a Sunday. As such, it's best to get any shopping or museum-visiting you wish to do done on Saturday, leaving Sunday free for beach time and bar hopping!

Old Town. Photo: Karl Batterbee

Playa de San Juan. Photo: Alicante Turismo

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  41


SPAIN  |   INTER NATIONAL EDUCATION SPECIAL

International education in Spain Whereas being native in one global tongue gives you a massive head-start in life, being fluent in two presents you a potential ticket straight to the top. It is, therefore, not surprising that many of Spain’s locals and expats opt to send their children to an international school. Not only does this allow them to improve their level of English and Spanish (respectively the first and fourth most spoken languages around), but it also introduces them to the world’s rich spectrum of cultures while receiving an education of the highest standard. International schools are so much more than just bilingual hubs. They are fertile breeding grounds for citizens of the world.

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Discover Southern Europe  |  International Education in Spain

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  43


Quality education and training for aspiring footballers in Barcelona If you have a young, aspiring footballer in the family, where could be a better place to hone their skills than the home of one of the best football teams in the world – Barcelona? At Kaptiva Sports Academy in the European International School of Barcelona, young Messis and Piques in the making, can fulfill their sporting dreams, while combining them with a quality education in a residential football academy.

between the sea and the mountains, it offers plenty of opportunities to get fit off the pitch, too – from hiking and mountain biking to kayaking and sea swimming. That, mixed with a mild climate and plenty of sunny days, makes it a great place to train and live.

TEXT: ESME FOX  |  PHOTOS: KAPTIVA SPORTS & EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BARCELONA

Pursuing their passion

B

arcelona is an ideal city to study football, because it lives and breathes the game. You’ll find locals playing and watching football in every corner of the city, whether it be on a concrete patch outside their apartments or on one of the many AstroTurf or 11-a-side pitches. Not only will students be able to watch one of the world’s best teams play

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at Camp Nou, but also revel in the intense rivalry between Barça and Real Madrid during the world-famous El Clásico games. The passion for the game here, is sure to motivate any ambitious athlete to push harder to achieve their goals. Besides its footballing connections, Barcelona is the ideal city for athletes. Being based in

Kaptiva Sports Academy is a residential football academy, where players live on campus, in a residence hall exclusive to them. Students have full access to the AESA Prep International blended learning programme, which combines online education with face-to-face classes at the European International School of Barcelona. These blended learning programs are available for students from ages 14 to 18


Discover Southern Europe  |  International Education in Spain

(ninth to 12th grade), enabling athletes to pursue their passion, whilst also getting a world-class academic education. The football portion of the programme aims to turn youngsters into well-rounded players. From Monday to Friday, students typically have two practices per day – once in the morning focusing on strength and conditioning, and once in the afternoon, focusing on teamwork. “Every week, players also take part in invisible training,” says marketing coordinator Natalia Hernandez. “This places emphasis on players’ physical and mental strength within football. This can include things such as team video analysis sessions, weekly sessions with a sports psychologist, physical therapy, sessions with sports nutritionists, and masterclasses from experts within the world of football.”

Human and intellectual development The European International School of Barcelona is located in Sant Cugat de Valles, just outside of the city, a place with more space for facilities. The school has developed a special, comprehensive and integrative project based on more than 40 years of experience in the educational field. “I love that it’s a place where students can not only concentrate on their academic classes, but also on their human and intellectual development,” says Hernandez. Classes are taught in English, but students also learn in Spanish and Catalan. In addi-

tion, there are added optional extras to study French, German or Mandarin. This means that wherever the players end up going, they’ll already have a language advantage. Students attend classes at EIS Barcelona for six hours per day, giving them the time they need for daily training, as well. It also allows for them to miss class for tournaments and competitions, adapting to their needs.

High-level tournaments During their time at Kaptiva Sports Academy, players will compete in the Catalan Football Federation, a highly competitive football league. They also compete in high-level tournaments throughout Spain and get the chance to play against some of the best youth teams in the country, such as

Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and RCD Espanyol. Athletes will also gain a broader perspective of European football, because every season, they will take part in an international training clinic abroad. All students graduate with an American High School Diploma after earning the necessary credits. The curriculum includes core courses in math, science, English, and social studies, as well as electives and physical education. Many of Kaptiva Sports’ students have gone on to gain football scholarships to top universities after they graduate. www.kaptivasportsacademy.com www.eisbarcelona.com

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  45


Discover Southern Europe  |  International Education in Spain

An international school for athletes and non-athletes in Barcelona Does your child have ambitions to be the next Nadal, Federer or Djokovic? At the ES International School in Barcelona, students can combine academic learning with practising high-level sports, such as tennis or water polo. TEXT: ESME FOX  |  PHOTOS: ES INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

T

he ES International School, in combination with Academia SanchezCasal, is in fact one of the top schools in the world for tennis. Around 70 per cent of the students at the ES International School are there because of its affiliated athletic programs and the other 30 per cent attend purely for its academic curriculum. Athletes and non-athletes are welcomed alike. While most of the students are here to perfect their tennis, there are also others who train in water polo, equestrianism and various other sports. “Our school doesn’t look like a typical school,” says headmistress Joanne Burns. “It’s very green and has lots of open spaces. We have the privilege of 46  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

enjoying a beautiful green oasis, right beside the city and the airport.” The school currently has around 130 students and over 40 different nationalities, with people coming to study and train from as far as Japan, Australia and the United States. Working to an American curriculum, the school offers first through 12th grade. The elementary school is growing, and families are attracted to its multicultural, family-like atmosphere. By September 2020, the elementary school hopes to have gained authorisation as an official International Baccalaureate PYP school. Young learners benefit not only from the best international education possible, but also the best sports and physical training, too.

Student athletes benefit from the flexibility of being able to attend tournaments and competitions, without compromising their academics. Tennis students from the ages of 12 and above also have the option to live on campus in boarding accommodation, provided by the Academia Sanchez-Casal. Students graduate from ES International School with an American high school diploma, and they can opt to take Advanced Placement classes in tenth to 12th grades. About 95 per cent of graduates go to university, many with sports scholarships to colleges in the United States. “The thing I like best about our school is the focus on individualisation for each child. Because of our small size, we get to know each student very well. We watch them grow and achieve their own goals, and this is very rewarding,” concludes Joanne. www.es-school.com www.sanchez-casal.com


SPAIN  |   COACH OF THE MONTH

Goldie Uttamchandani.

Support for modern families   Bullying, the stresses of modern life or even overstimulation from the media can really affect how teenagers perceive themselves. It can lead to feelings of failure and struggling to stay motivated. It is important to target these issues early and help young ones gain a sense of direction and purpose in their lives.  TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA | PHOTOS: GOLDIE UTTAMCHANDANI

G

oldie Uttamchandani is a family and teenager life coach based in Barcelona. She found her niche after giving regular talks in high schools in 2013. She talked about common issues that families go through and realised that teenagers were encouraged to share their feelings with her. She draws from her own experience to support children and their families who are struggling to belong in their new home, as she too has endured the pressures of moving to a new country and being perceived as ‘different’ by her peers.  

Many of her clients have issues managing their time or need extra support in building their confidence. No matter what the issues are, Goldie’s process is very simple: she listens, showing genuine interest and finding the right questions to ask to get to the root of the problem. She works closely with her clients to find a solution, helping them to set attainable challenges to work towards reaching their goals. She knows that with the right tools and a lot of effort on their part, they can achieve powerful results.

“Coaching is not forever. After the end of your sessions, it should give you a sense of purpose, the power and the tools to face any stumbles that you may go through in your life,” says Goldie. After each session, she gives appropriate feedback to the parents, helping them to continue making progress by finding the right ways to keep open communication with their children, to support them once the coaching is finished. At the end of the day, as she puts it: “Children and teenagers are the future. By supporting them we are working towards creating a better society.”

www.goldieuttam.com Email: goldieuttam@gmail.com Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  47


French etiquette for beginners Like the Brits, the French love to adhere to etiquette and proper table manners at all times. When eating in French company, you are expected to do so, as well. The smallest mistake against the book of manners will cost you points (which they won’t specifically tell you, because… you know… etiquette). If you’re sweating just thinking about eight forks and as many knives surrounding your plate, you had better read this crash course on French table manners with care. And maybe – we say maybe – your French table companions might mistake you for a well-educated monsieur or madame. TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: UNSPLASH

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Discover Southern Europe  |  French etiquette for beginners

W

hat are the basic rules?

Table manners come in different grades of importance. Some will just induce an irked look on the host’s face, others might cost you a second invitation. Most important are the rules regarding ‘la politesse’ (or, the politeness). It is, for instance, a deadly sin to start eating and drinking before everyone is served, and even then, it is better to wait a little longer. Only start drinking when someone has made a toast (or when enough time has passed for someone to make one). For your food, the starting gun is your host saying ‘bon appétit’. During the meal, you’re supposed to keep your hands above the table. Your elbows, however, are not welcome on the table at any time.

How do I use my cutlery? Just start on the outside and work your way in. A French host will always ensure that your cutlery lies in order. Concerning those same utensils, never (we repeat: never) lick any of them. And also, never touch your food with your hands. So, you had better start practicing peeling a shrimp with knife and fork. When eating bread, on the other hand, you can use your hands and knife, but never a fork. The French call this ‘baguetiquette’. In the likely event that you would be served cheese instead of dessert, you are only allowed to touch it with your knife and bread. Never with your hands, nor with your fork. Trust us, cutlery politics like these can turn a French dinner into an advanced obstacle course for etiquette novices.

Are men and women equal while eating? Unfortunately not. Feminism hasn’t quite reached French dinner tables just yet. While serving food, for example, the cliché ‘ladies first’ still stands. Only when all the women’s plates are filled, can men serve themselves.

Women, on the other hand, are not allowed to handle a ladle or bottle themselves. A man should always fill their glasses and plates. In the days of yore, men were also supposed to drop their food and stand up every time the hostess stood up. Luckily, this slightly awkward tradition has faded over time.

Can I at least talk about whatever I want? Under no circumstances! Some subjects cannot be discussed at a dinner table. Mentioning a toilet is, for example, not done as long as there is food present. So, before dining, you had better figure out where the john is, because you can’t ask anyone while eating, regardless of how urgent the call of nature is. Another unwelcome subject is any criticism of the food. Even if the food is inedible, you are supposed to finish your plate with a smile and tell the cook how much you enjoyed it. If you want to go the extra mile, ask the host for the recipe. Small things like this gain you bonus points (which you might desperately need if, mere minutes later, you accidentally place your elbow on the table anyway). Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  49


SPAIN  |   BUSINESS SCHOOL SPECIAL

Spain’s finest business schools We live in the golden age of the young potentials. As many companies are struggling to survive the rapidly changing business landscape of today, there are opportunities galore for young blood and fresh ideas. Yet, to increase your odds of skyrocketing your career, receiving a great education is paramount. Luckily, Spain counts some of the greatest business schools in Europe. Spread over a myriad of programmes and courses, young prodigies and life-long learners can absorb all the knowledge and insights they need to become the best entrepreneur they can be. So, whether your ambitions lie in the vibrant start-up scene or the world of mammoth multinationals, these schools are your ticket to the top.

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Discover Southern Europe  |  Spain's finest business schools

Innovative learning and entrepreneurship in a global institution Esade is a global institution founded in Barcelona that has been training individuals into the fields of business, law and executive education for more than 60 years. It is tied into international alliances with top universities and institutions from all around the globe, which nourishes its approach to an internationalised way of teaching.

be proactive and interactive with the content. And always keep researching to widen their knowledge,” says Marc Cortés director of the Omnichannel and E-commerce Strategies ‘in-on’ programme.

TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: ESADE BUSINESS & LAW SCHOOL

Marc continues: “Esade’s values of autonomy, auto-organisation, identifying problems and how to solve them, together with the absolute relevant and up-to-date content gives students the entrepreneurial skills so valuable today”.  

I

ts flipped-learning methodology allows the students to acquire fundamental knowledge before the classes and develop on it with the professors’ guidance. The school believes that this strategy enhances the transformational power of the students’ educational experiences because they are playing an important role in their own learning process. According to its website, “meaningful change happens when innovation and social commitment come together”. This is why the school wants to be involved in creating a new generation of leaders that through knowledge and integrity will build a better future. 

To do so, the school has developed different entrepreneurship programmes like the MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Furthermore the full-time MBA programme which has been ranked as the best in Europe and fifth in the world for entrepreneurs by the Financial Times. There is the Esade Entrepreneurship Institute, which supports

students to develop their ideas into new businesses. Or, the Rambla of Innovation, where through the use of different ‘learning labs’, the students learn to do research and testing to find out if their ideas are achievable, to manufacture prototypes or to learn how to plan and implement a new company. One of Esade's latest proposals is the ‘in-on’ programme portfolio, including hybrid Executive Education master programmes that combine the advantages of face-to-face training with those of online training. The ‘in-on’ programmes also include the Open Programmes which are 100 per cent online and have syllabuses in Influence Management, Digital Transformation and eSports, among others.  With these programmes, the school is encouraging its innovative educational systems which help the student to play a central role in their own learning process. “We try to translate the same teaching techniques we do in class to their online learning, we provide them with dynamic content, so they need to

Esade’s involvement with entrepreneurship goes beyond the classroom as it takes part in 4YFN (‘Four Years from Now’) – start-up exhibition at Mobile World Congress. The school will be holding sessions and talks, where the main idea is how to bring education and innovation together to foster the leaders of a fair and prosperous society. Esade Digital Transformation Programs – Big Data Analytics for Executives – Executive Master in Business Analytics – Executive Master in Digital Business inDIGITAL+ – Digital Leadership – Master in ICT Law, Social Networks and Intellectual Property – MSc in Business Analytics

www.esade.edu Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  51


A career that leads into entrepreneurship For any student at the end of their educational journey, one of the big questions is: ‘What next?’. The goal of a university shouldn’t just be about teaching students their discipline, but also helping human beings to acquire the skills that will help them make their way into a society desperate for change. 

necessary to be key players in this everchanging global marketplace and society. To be on top of the latest trends in the industry and to be able to adapt to dramatic technology changes.  

TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: ESIC MARKETING AND BUSINESS SCHOOL

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n an era where digital start-ups are disrupting the global market, ESIC Business and Marketing School is investing fully in courses centred around entrepreneurship. It is assisting its alumni in transforming their innovative ideas, both into solvent businesses and strong brands that are breaking the moulds of a tired society, insightful new companies that are committed to transforming the future for the better.  

Transforming individuals ESIC was founded 55 years ago as the first school of marketing in Spain. It started with 52  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

a small group but has grown into an established institution today. ESIC Business and Marketing School has grown rapidly, now comprising 12 campuses all over Spain, offering its students some of the best degrees and postgraduate programmes in marketing as well as in communication, public relations, digital business and other syllabuses related to the business sector. It has more than 140 international agreements with institutions from all over the world. It is committed to transforming individuals, to give them the qualifications and skills

The school teaches the most relevant disciplines in the world of marketing, business management and digital entrepreneurship. Students are given a global vision whilst building respectable and ethical traits. They’re trained to be aware of the importance of learning from mistakes for deeper personal insight.

Nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit ESIC’s founders and staff are strong believers in the potential of their students. The school’s commitment to culture and innovation, along with the desire to see its students flourish, inspired it to set up


Discover Southern Europe  |  Spain's finest business schools

ESIC Entrepreneurial, giving students a platform to learn and improve the skills they need in order to develop their vision into an established business, whilst enriching their academic studies. With this project, the school provides the necessary services and support for the entrepreneurs to excel in the marketplace. It provides in-house counsellors who are available throughout the process, and an ‘incubator’ service, which offers a place to work along with technical support, as well as opportunities to get in touch with investors and advice on how to approach them.  All of these services are available to ESIC students, but most of the activities and events organised by ESIC are open to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. The school knows that one of the keys to entrepreneurial success is to network and learn from other like-minded people and their experiences.  “Besides the teachings and practices our students learn inside the classroom, we strongly encourage them to assist and participate in events, to learn to network and connect with the right people, to learn from their experiences, and to take part in specific workshops that will teach them new ideas and techniques,” says Vicente Arregui, chief of projects at ESIC Entrepreneurial.   

Start-up culture to lead the future

From 24 to 26 February, in Barcelona, ESIC is exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress – the largest mobile event in the world – that

The ESIC Campus in Madrid.

brings together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 companies. The event showcases tech workshops, talks from leaders in the digital industry, seminars and a wide variety of exhibitors, all to immerse visitors in a world of progress, expansion and digitisation. Inside the Mobile World Congress, the start-up exhibition 4YFN (Four Years from Now) has become one of the most important start-up events of Europe. This event is an opportunity for new companies to showcase their innovations and how they’re trying to make the world a better place, connecting them with partners and investors.  

ESIC provides everything needed to join the digital start-up revolution, the force that is disrupting the marketplace for the better. Understanding the changing ethical and work values and being able to adapt to them rapidly is something that many large businesses still struggle with. Students of ESIC Business and Marketing School will be armed with an attitude for collaboration more than competition, a willingness to fail in order to learn, and the confidence to pivot towards new ideas, to build strong brands that can deliver on the promises that are aligned to today’s society, a culture that can lead us into a brighter future.   www.esic.edu/en_gb

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  53


Photo: Unsplash

BUSINESS

Do what you like I have a coachee, just into his 30s, who is worried about his career. After ten years, he’s realised that music management is not what he wants to do. He has already left one job after nine months and is now worried about the impact on his CV if he leaves another after seven. He dreams of working abroad for a while but thinks that he’ll be classed as a waster if he does.

colleagues. This is an important insight for managers to take on board too. Taking risks requires courage. We all have this in us somewhere. The important message is: wait until you’re sure.

TEXT & PHOTO: STEVE FLINDERS

In mentoring rather than coaching mode, I sent him the link to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Watch it if you haven’t seen it. If you have, watch it again to remind yourself of his important messages. Jobs advises the new graduates: “...the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” And to conclude, he quotes the final words of The Whole Earth Catalog: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” 54  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

German astronaut Alexander Gerst has an equally moving message for his unborn grandchildren, sent from the International Space Station last year. “Dreams are more important than money,” he says, “and you have to give them a chance.” “Opportunities only come along once – you have to take a risk.” More prosaically, various psychometric tests also support this approach. The Team Management Systems profile shows that it’s important to distinguish between something you can do well and something you enjoy doing. Anyone who spends too much time doing a job they do not enjoy will suffer consequences, and so will their

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally:   steveflind@aol.com.


Discover Southern Europe  |  Business & Innovation

I N N O VAT I O N

Southern Europe tomorrow What’s awaiting us tomorrow is a mystery. But, if you want to catch a glimpse of the future, Southern Europe’s vibrant start-up and innovation scene might be the place to look. French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese visionaries are coming up with life-altering ideas daily and manage to turn them into reality in no-time. Welcome to Southern Europe’s future. TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  I  PHOTOS: UNSPLASH

TOMORROW’S INFLUENCING The power of sharing

With 1.9 million followers on Twitter, Italian football club AS Roma has a very solid and international follower base. Half a year ago, the club decided to use its influence for good and started accompanying its much-shared transfer announcements with pictures of missing children. After half a year, dozens of missing kids were featured on the profile and at least a few have since safely been returned home.

TOMORROW’S FOOD AI vs. gourmet chef

The times when the creation of haute cuisine required years of study and a lifetime of practice lie well behind us; if Sony has anything to say about it, at least. At Fusión, Madrid’s global culinary convention, the technology giant presented an artificial intelligence system that can come up with the greatest dishes and most surprising combinations. It is an expert in creating new recipes, calculating the perfect seasoning and inventing unseen textures. Expected, is that the software will discover new sorts of cooking which can’t be done by man.

TOMORROW’S DNA The ultimate cure

It’s been eight years since the French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American biochemist Jennifer Doudna discovered CRISPR. This revolutionary method allows us to make very specific changes to our genetic codes, which could wipe out genetic diseases like Alzheimer’s and AIDS once and for all. Although the safety tests are still going on in the labs, the team behind the technology will conduct a first human experiment later this year. While CRISPR is, potentially, the biggest medical revolution since the invention of penicillin, sceptics fear it might lead to the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’. Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  55


Photo: Fotolia

Temporary solutions to help companies thrive The unpredictable environment of the global marketplace can make it difficult for companies to adapt to rapid changes, to have the right people for the right outcomes. Many companies all over the world are recruiting interim management to adapt and succeed in different situations the marketplace might throw at them. TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: SERVITALENT

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nterim management is the temporary provision of management resources and skills: a professional with the qualifications, experience and abilities that can help companies achieve their business’ goals. This means that an organisation that is going through a new opportunity, or even a threat, can hire an outside person for a specific time, agreed in advance, to approach these issues. 56  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity Servitalent was founded in 2012 by two members of the board of directors of the Association of Interim Management of Spain, Alberto Fernandez (CEO) and Pío Iglesias (COO). They seized upon the gap in the Spanish market for interim management and filled it with Servitalent. They are currently expanding internationally as they

are facilitating many European organisations’ move to the Latin-American market. Alberto Fernandez explains that many of the companies they work with are immersed in what is referred to as a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) environment and to survive these conditions and achieve business success, they need the right tools to adapt and face these everchanging situations. They are convinced that interim management is the key tool to reach every company’s business goals.  

Noticable impact on the organisation Servitalent assists small- and mediumsized enterprises to understand and put


Discover Southern Europe  |  Business & Innovation

into practice the best way to hire interim managers by combining the more traditional headhunting methods of hiring with new trends to approach this very specific issue. “We handle the previous evaluations of our interims thoroughly, to determine how effective they were in the companies who requested their services. Yet, we do not consider their previous success as enough of a guarantee. It is necessary for us to evaluate if they will also fit into the culture and existing team of the organisation,” says Alberto Fernandez.  The interim manager has the right skills and experience for the job. They operate at a senior level often being over-qualified for the roles they are taking on. Therefore, their extensive experience and knowledge will make a noticeable impact on the organisation. For that reason, this service is more of an investment for the company rather than a total salary cost. The manager’s role and impact are flexible and wide but timelimited. Once the assignment is fulfilled, they leave without requiring a terminal bonus or severance payment. 

Alberto Fernandez, CEO, and Pío Iglesias, COO.

Integrate quickly for best results

The interim manager is usually more objective when determining a diagnosis and making decisions, as they are not as emotionally involved with – or contractually bound to – the company. Still, they work hard to integrate quickly into the structure of the company and with the existing team, mentoring staff along the way, to be able to obtain the best results; especially as having good references and success stories is key to building a career as an interim manager.  

Sometimes the role of an interim manager is confused with the job of an external consultant. These two roles complement each other. A consultant will diagnose a problem and recommend a solution, but the interim manager will take responsibility and get to work solving it.

This is a relatively new proposition to Spain. Many qualified people could make a career out of interim management, but don’t necessarily know the right steps to follow. This is where Servitalent also helps individuals to achieve their career goals, providing them

with training, qualifications and a portal to find the right companies to work for. “Servitalent is the only company in Spain who endorses their interim managers with a precise process of curricular certification. The goal of this certification is none other than to give transparency and accuracy to the companies who employ this type of service. Companies need to have the assurance and guarantees that they are hiring the right interim manager for the job,” explains Alberto Fernandez.

www.servitalent.com Telephone: (+34) 902 90 80 91   Email: comunica@servitalent.com

Servitalent team.

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  57


SPAIN  |   START-UP SPECIAL

The future is now: Spain’s most innovative start-ups For all its excitement, entrepreneurship can be isolating. Creating something from nothing, pitching for investment, risking it all for a dream... it’s clear: ‘starting up’ is not always simple. But while the word ‘startup’ might once have conjured visions of Silicon Valley, another less-obvious country has been steadily establishing itself as the next innovation nation: Spain. TEXT: HANNAH JANE THOMPSON  |  PHOTOS: UNSPLASH

58  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  Spain’s most innovative start-ups

O

ne such example is Barcelona’s 4FYN, one of the world’s leading start-up congresses, linked to the legendary Mobile World Congres. Its simple motto, ‘Connecting start-ups’, belies the brand’s impressive scope as the world’s largest exhibition for the start-up mobile industry. Last year, the Barcelona event attracted 23,000 attendees from 147 countries, 760 exhibitors and sponsors, and 420 speakers across seven stages. More than 950 investors attended to hear more than 300 pitches. The 2020 event, taking place from 24 to 26 February, promises to be bigger and better still, with more than 800 exhibitors, as well as top speakers so far including David Siegel (CEO of community network Meetup) and Helen Fuchs (design director at award-winning digital studio Ustwo). Overall, 4YFN seeks to provide real community and creative forward thinking. In fact, the clue is in the name: it means ‘4 Years From Now’. In other words: the startups will be changing the world by then.

Spanish Startups and Intelectium Providing yet more community is the homegrown entrepreneurial network Spanish Startups, which offers links to workshops and courses on key skills such as product design and sales. With more than 100,000 members to date, it is proof of just how fast the sector is growing in the country. As Diego Docavo from Spanish Startups says: “We believe that Spanish talent is brilliant, competitive and with enormous potential; and Spain’s culture, training and lifestyle fit

perfectly with the ‘start-up mindset’. Startups are looking for opportunities and we in Spain want and know how to promote them.” Subvenciona’m, on the other hand, is a start-up that helps other start-ups and innovative businesses by finding them grants that might suit them and by guiding them through the process. Another example is the funding accelerator Intelectium, which has offices in Barcelona and Madrid. Founded in 2004, it describes itself as “obsessed with supporting entrepreneurs who seek to solve real problems in society”, and offers personalised advice and funding – both private and public – to exciting tech start-ups. Over the past 15 years, it has successfully channelled millions of euros across more than 300 clients, and this year will launch a brandnew Business Angels club. “Spain is becoming an important global and European hub,” explains Intelectium’s Inés Martínez Mate. “Not only for its great climate, tourism and good quality of life, but for the relative affordability. Big companies are coming here, government funding is available, and external investors now have us in their sights. More Spanish start-ups are succeeding, such as transport app Cabify and courier app Glovo. There are so many possibilities. Spain is a business ecosystem to watch.” Do you want to meet these innovative entrepreneurs, as well? We went to talk with the brilliant minds behind some of Spain’s most promising start-ups. Flip the page and peak into the future.

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  59


Discover Southern Europe  |  Spain’s most innovative start-ups

Next-generation business events: Cutting costs and sky-rocketing results thanks to virtual 3D technology It’s a fact that traditional events are expensive, and not just financially. They take up hours, and in a lot of cases, days of people’s time. Additionally, the environmental cost is high, leaving a large carbon footprint for even the simplest of in-person events. Online events have simplified some of these issues, but the current available platforms tend to be boring, lacking interactivity and opportunities to network and carry out business activities. TEXT: NOELIA SANTANA  |  PHOTOS: VIRTWAY EVENTS

T

his is where Virtway Events comes in. Its 3D technology is changing the way the world is doing business meetings and events. Events on its platform are incredibly life-like and allow for a real-life social experience. People genuinely interact, get to know each other and network. And what’s more, you don’t need any expensive virtual reality headsets to access these events. Virtway Events is modernising corporate events, taking the user experience to the next level. People are connected in virtual 3D platforms from their own phones, tablets or computers, with 3G connectivity being the minimum requirement. Their platform is for your everyday business meetings, international conferences, job fairs, even trade 60  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

shows, and can accommodate an infinite amount of people in the same platform. Thanks to this technology, events of all shapes and sizes are possible. From virtual team-building activities, training sessions or board meetings to even bigger events like networking conferences and international summits, the opportunities are endless. Companies are significantly lowering the cost of their events, and also committing to a greener future given that less business travel results in a significant drop in a company’s carbon footprint. Virtway Events’ 3D virtual spaces can be tailored to the needs of the company and each virtual room can hold up to 500 ava-

tars. As an attendee, you create your own avatar which moves around, exchanges business cards, and uses your own voice to converse. Workers make the most of each event by connecting with the right people, learning about new topics and representing their company… all from the convenience of wherever they are. A key benefit that makes virtual events so relevant for companies today, is the metrics and big data available throughout the event. Virtual events can provide event participants with essential information, offering accurate data about their audience’s interactivity before, during and after an event. The advantages presented by Virtway Events’ technology open up a whole new range of possibilities to do business online. It is delivering a new generation of personalised experiences that are easy to access, immersive, sustainable and, most importantly, more life-like than ever.

www.virtwayevents.com


Discover Southern Europe  |  Spain’s most innovative start-ups

Discover social dining in local Spanish homes Imagine that you’re in Madrid or Barcelona on a city break and you’re after the most authentic Spanish food you can find. You’ve eaten on the famous tapas streets and visited the recommended restaurants, but you still want to experience the real Spanish cuisine that Spaniards eat at home. TEXT: ESME FOX   |  PHOTO: YOOMERS

You want to try the food that your Spanish friends keep talking about and flying home for every few months. The crispy ham croquettas made lovingly by the grandmas, or dad’s famous tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette). Well, thanks to a new app called Yoomers, you can. Any passionate home cooks can sign up to the platform and post their menus. Ratings by other guests and checks by Yoomers ensure quality and authenticity. Currently, the app is only available in Spain, but there are already pilots rolling out in New York, London and Italy. Not only is Yoomers a great way to try home-cooked local cuisine, but it’s also an ideal place to meet both locals and other

travellers. It’s especially useful for solo travellers who are tired of dining alone and want a social atmosphere. “We’re connecting foodies and visitors in real local homes,” says CEO Miguel Escassi. Another great function of the Yoomers app is that users can select categories to

find hosts and cooks to meet their needs. For example, there are those who specialise in vegetarian food and those who can cater for gluten-free diets. Because of all these unique qualities, the app has already been gaining recognition and acclaim, winning two awards by Innova Spain and TouriSMEshare. “Yoomers is much more than an app,” explains Miguel. “It’s a community of collaborative, open-minded people who are willing to taste new social experiences.” If you are intrigued and want to learn more, visit: yoomers.com


Strasbourg Mon Amour. Photo: Strasbourg

Diary Dates

TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

Cycle races, tattoo conventions, theatre festivals, lemon extravaganzas… They are all happening here, in Southern Europe. Don’t miss out on these fabulous events in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal this month. Milano Tattoo Convention 7-9 February, Milan, Italy Body art aficionados may well have heard of the Milano Tattoo Convention. This annual fair features the greatest tattoo artists, the most beautifully decorated bodies and gives you the chance to add a new chapter to the living artwork that is your body, as well. milanotattooconvention.it 62  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Strasbourg Mon Amour 7-16 February, Strasbourg, France Where better to celebrate the day of love than in a romantic city like Strasbourg? For the occasion, the city fills itself with opera, poetry and atmospheric music. You and your better half can stroll through romantic gardens, dance slowly through the ballroom or plunge into the pool together while accompanied by atmos-

Milano Tattoo Convention. Photo: Paolo Soro


Discover Southern Europe  |  Diary Dates

Photo: NauticSud

pheric lighting. And even your children, the fruit of many a love story, are welcome to experience an unforgettable afternoon of animation. strasbourg-monamour.eu

(from classic to musical and flamenco) head south to give it their best during a hugely entertaining concert and many a delightful cocktail party. nuits-caraibes.com

Les Nuits Caraibes 7-15 February, Martinique, Marie-Galante and Guadeloupe, France France is so much more than just the mainland. At its Caribbean territories, music and colours are king. During Les Nuits Caraibes, international musicians of all sorts

NauticSud 8-16 February, Napoli, Italy Boat lovers, set sail to NauticSud! As one of Europe’s biggest events on boats and sailing, it is an inspiring place to learn about ships, buy yourself a (not-so-) humble sloop or dream away at the mere sight of the

Volta ao Algarve. Photo: Vitor Pina

Photo: Lemon Festival

FETEN. Photo: Cultura Gijon

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  63


Discover Southern Europe  |  Diary Dates

64  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020


Discover Southern Europe  |  Diary Dates

floating villas. Talk to the experts, fall in love with a yacht and perhaps you will set sail homewards in your own craft. nauticsudofficial.it

FETEN 9-15 February, Gijón, Spain Or, the European Performing Arts Fair for Children. This event is a fun and educational way to introduce your offspring to the wonderful world of theatre. Both in the auditoriums as on the city streets, magical things will occur, tickling the lively imaginations of your little ones. feten.gijon.es

Lemon Festival 15 February - 3 March, Menton, France Lemon is so much more than a healthy addition to your cuppa. In Menton, it is almost a religion. Annually, the fruit is the protagonist of a Vitamin C-induced parade. Alongside limes and oranges, lemons give colour to lush floats that parade through the coastal town’s boulevards. fete-du-citron.com

Stew Fair 16 February, Lalín, Spain Stewing is one of the main pillars on which the Spanish cuisine is built. The so-called ‘cocido’ knows a myriad of uses in the hands of a Spanish chef; from stocks to main courses and pasta dishes. In Lalín, they therefore celebrate it with brass-band parades, speeches, floats and – of course – a soothing plate of fresh cocido to top it off. feiradococido.lalin.gal

Photo: Lemon Festival

Volta ao Algarve 19-23 February, Algarve, Portugal Where France has the ‘Tour’ and Italy the ‘Giro’, Portugal has the Volta ao Algarve; a challenging cycling race through the country’s most beautiful region for internationally praised cyclists. If you are more of a participant, rather than a spectator, you can ride the Granfondo yourself on the final day. This 121-kilometre trail for the most skilled amateur cyclists will prove to be a worthy challenge. voltaaoalgarve.com Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  65


Cádiz. Photo: Canal Sur Radio y Television

C A R N I VA L D AT E S

Southern Europe at its craziest Forget Rio, forget New Orleans! The best places to celebrate the feast of costumes and confetti are in Southern Europe. Not just at the famous ‘Carnevale di Venezia’ (which we visit on page 8) but everywhere in the region, there’s no escaping the masks, the beer and the craziness. Yet, in whatever village you land, the shindigs will always look a tad different than in the next. So, why not Carnival hop this year?

groups of people in disguise also ‘break into’ their friends’ houses to try to steal the festival’s most popular sweets: sonhos and malasadas. www.visitmadeira.pt

Dunkirk Carnival Until 19 April, Dunkirk, France Southern Europe’s most northern carnival is also one of its most peculiar. The festival runs for almost three months (from 25 January until mid-April) and was meant as a proper ‘adieu’ to the fishermen who would leave for sea on Ash Wednesday. To give them strength, there was herring for everyone as they threw the fish from the city hall’s balcony. In 2020, that tradition still stands. On Sunday 23 February, over 40,000 people gather in the centre, hoping

Cádiz Carnival 20 February - 1 March, Cádiz, Spain The carnival of Cádiz is the oldest, funniest and one of the biggest ones on the Spanish mainland. They started celebrating in the 16th century, when they were trading with the carnival-crazy city of Venice. Yet, the festival looked nothing like the elegant and dignified Italian feast. Instead, it is one of absurd outfits, comical floats and a multitude of sketches, parodies and funny songs. www.carnavaldecadiz.com

66  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

to catch one of the delicious fish, which will rain down over the town square www.carnaval-de-dunkerque.info

Madeira Carnival 19 February - 1 March, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal To experience the Brazilian or Caribbean carnival vibes, you only have to travel as far as Madeira. Here, no feathers nor glitter are spared to cover the island with exotic beats and lush cavalcades. Traditionally,


Discover Southern Europe  |  Carnival Dates Madeira. Photo: Visit Madeira

The Walking Forest. Photo: Carnevale di Satriano, Francesca Zito

The walking forest 22-23 February, Satriano di Lucania, Italy No extravagant masks or screaming colours in Satriano di Lucania, a small town in Italy. Here, carnival is all about concealing yourself. During the so-called ‘walk of the forest’, 131 people dress up like trees for a walk through the woods. The goal is to restore the relationship between mankind and the Earth, a relevant message to this day. www.carnevaledisatriano.it

Careto of Podence 22-25 February, Podence, Portugal The Careto, a traditional carnival in the north of Portugal, is as traditional as they come. In many villages, young men dress up in colourful fringe, wool suits, leather or wooden masks, and run through the village, shouting, frightening the people and trying to catch the attention of young, single girls. The origins of the event are unclear, but it is thought that it started as a fertility ritual. The most popular one amongst visitors is the Podence one. www.caretosdepodence.pt

Careto of Podence. Photo: VisitPorto

Issue 12  |  February 2020  |  67


Discover Southern Europe  |  Food

FOOD

Genoa, basil and pesto As my fork twirls, a bright green speckled sauce silkily coats the long, flat strands of my pasta. Sat in a quaint trattoria in central Genoa in the Italian region, Liguria, I enjoy some of the best cooking the city has to offer. 

fresh pesto yourself, and take your pasta game to the next level.

TEXT: PAOLA MAGGIULLI  I  PHOTOS: UNSPLASH

L

ocated in the north-west of the country, bordering France, this Mediterranean coastline is better known as the Italian riviera. However, when it comes to culinary successes, it's home to a well-known Italian pasta sauce – Pesto Alla Genovese; or commonly known as, basil pesto. Interestingly, the word pesto stems from the Italian verb ‘pestare’, which means ‘to pound’ or ‘to crush’, and that's exactly how its ingredients are handled. Originally made in the summer months, sweet, aromatic basil leaves were sealed with olive oil to last till winter. However, over time, the addition of other local, Ligurian produce has led to the well-known delicate flavour enjoyed today.  68  |  Issue 12  |  February 2020

Traditionally assembled with a pestle and mortar, garlic and pine nuts are first pounded together which helps release their natural oils. Next, basil leaves are added with  coarse salt and grounded into a creamy texture. Only then, a salty Italian cheese such as Parmesan or Pecorino Sardo is added. Finally, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil helps produce its creamy, silky consistency.  While purists choose this classic method, nowadays the food processor helps whip this up in only a few minutes. With no need to heat up, pesto is usually used to dress cooked pasta, potato gnocchi or even a spoonful can be added to a bowl of minestrone. So don't be lazy by grabbing that ready-made pesto jar, but recreate a little

Paola Maggiulli, a British foodie and passionate cook with Italian roots, has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all Italian food; pasta, pizza, gelato, you name it. On her blog, The Tiny Italian, she shares her delicious recipes with the world. www.thetinyitalian.com


Discover Southern Europe  |  Quiz

QUIZ

Know your Southern Europe TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS

1

2

3

4

6

5

7

1. In what year is Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia expected to be finished?

4. Which French shoe brand is known for its signature red soles?

2. What is Spain’s highest mountain, which is located on the island of Tenerife, called?

5. Lisbon is notorious for its steep climbs. On how many hills is the city built?

3. Which Southern European national anthem does not have any lyrics?

6. After this year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the event returns to Southern Europe next. Which city will host the 2024 Olympic Games?

7. France, Italy and Spain are the three biggest wine producers in the world. But which country produces the very most?

8. Mafalde, Tagliatelle or Fettuccine: which pasta is the widest?

9. What does the French acronym TGV stand for?

1. 2026 — 2. El Teide — 3. La Marcha Real from Spain — 4. Louboutin — 5. Seven — 6. Paris — 7. Italy — 8. Mafalde — 9. Train à Grande Vitesse (High Speed Train)

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Profile for Scan Client Publishing

Discover Southern Europe, Issue 12, February 2020  

Fasten your seatbelts, because we are off and away. In our February issue, we present to you the prestigious Ultimate Travel Top 50, Souther...

Discover Southern Europe, Issue 12, February 2020  

Fasten your seatbelts, because we are off and away. In our February issue, we present to you the prestigious Ultimate Travel Top 50, Souther...