Whether you're planning an upcoming trip, or simply enjoy reading about far away places, our collection of travel books at Hachette is a great place to start. Here, try. ▲▲ Sorolla Museum Delightful, intimate collection of portraits and landscapes by Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla. They serve gazpacho May through September. Madrid was once the capital of the mightiest Empire on earth. Dive headlong into the grandeur and intimate charm of Madrid. Hit Europe's can't-miss art, sights, and bites with Rick Steves Best of Europe Expert advice from Rick Steves on what's worth your time and moneyItineraries for one to four days in the top destinations in England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and SwitzerlandRick's tips for beating the crowds, skipping lines, and avoiding tourist trapsThe best of local culture, flavors, and haun My Spanish friend and fellow tour guide Carlos Galvin is joining us to share a local's insight into Madrid's culture and food. But it continued to produce great artists. It's as if shards from the bombing are pasted onto the canvas. Carlos: That's right. He's popular for his refreshing gazpacho — the cold tomato-and-garlic soup. In the mid-1500s, King Phillip II needed a suitably grand palace to establish his family dynasty — the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs. (47:06), Itinerary with Teens in Spain for 4 weeks. Former parking lots are once again grand and people-friendly squares. The king's front yard? Today, it's packed with history and art — offering an evocative trip back to Spain's most fascinating age. Siesta in this 300-acre green-and-breezy escape from the city. For dinner in Madrid…it's a movable feast. These peaceful gardens offer great picnicking and people-watching (closes at dusk). I think they prove that the matador does not always win. The Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol mark the center. ▲▲▲ Prado Museum One of the world's great museums, loaded with masterpieces by Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and more. You'll feel the emotion of this special time as the Passion of Christ unfolds during Holy Week. And he is brave enough, and he's wearing this suit and people are so supportive of him they want to see him like doing well. Rick, look at these photographs. Danae, also by Titian, is a virtual Renaissance "Miss August." Guernica caused an immediate sensation, and with each passing year…and war, it seems more prophetic. A 500 foot-tall granite cross marks the Valley of the Fallen — an immense and powerful underground monument to the victims of Spain's devastating Civil War. Experiencing Madrid at its fun-loving best, we' re mesmerized by flamenco dancers and munch on pigs' ears. For another thought-provoking excursion, we're side-tripping from Madrid up into the Guadarrama Mountains. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Rick Steves' European Easter takes you on a spring journey through Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece, to celebrate this 2,000-year-old story in a variety of cultures. Madrid's Royal Palace was built by Phillip V in the 1700s. Carlos: Yes, right at the hands of El Cordobés, with Franco in the audience… I like gambas al ajillo shrimp sautéed with garlic and gambas a la plancha (grilled shrimp). Ignoring the rebels' passionate pleas, a faceless firing squad mows them down — without mercy. The right-wing Fascists ultimately won and Franco ruled Spain, as its dictator, until 1975. Carlos: I can, yes. For the first time, the world could see the destructive force of the rising fascist movement — a prelude to World War II. We will be in Madrid for six days in October and I'd love to have your recommendations for a tour guide for perhaps a 1/2 to 1 day engagement on the front end of our visit to give us an overview, orientation, and help us organize the remainder of our stay. Rick Steves Snapshot: Madrid & Toledo contains the complete chapters on both of these cities and their day trips, excerpted from Rick's complete Spain guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other destinations. For maximum fun, people, and atmosphere, do the "tapa tango." By Rick Steves. And it's big — over 2,000 rooms…. Rick: Chin Chin! The town has charm…but everybody visits for this: its sprawling palace. With sleek marble, red carpet runners along the halls, happy Muzak charm, and an attentive staff, Hotel Europa is a tremendous value. Franco's prisoners, the enemies of the right, were put to work digging this memorial out of solid rock. Wow, pigs' ears. ▲ Zarzuela Madrid's delightful light opera. And during the Inquisition, many suspected heretics were tried here and punished…in this case, publicly strangled. Home to Picasso's Guernica, the Reina Sofía is one of Europe's most enjoyable modern-art museums. Rick: So this is? ▲▲▲ Paseo Evening stroll among the Madrileños. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, This time we're in Madrid — palaces, paseo…and perhaps Europe's finest ham: jamón.Thanks for joining us. While these days the royal family lives in a mansion a few miles away, this place still functions as the ceremonial palace (call ahead to make sure it's not closed for a royal function), used for formal state receptions, royal weddings, and tourists' daydreams. Dunk and chat…recalling highlights of the day…and looking forward to tomorrow. It's a time-honored tradition of going from one bar to the next, munching, drinking, and socializing. The palace was designed to be Phillip's Versailles — to help establish a new dynasty…the Bourbons. These slim guides offer all of Rick's up-to-date advice on what sights are worth your time and money. Have just completed the "Best of Barcelona and Madrid in 8 Days" tour. It's a hub for the Metro, buses, city celebrations, and a busy pedestrian shopping zone. I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the Best of Europe. Aficionados gather at a bar like this after fights — or to watch one on TV. A woman looks to the sky, horses scream, a soldier falls — body shattered, sword broken. Hasta luego. We'll marvel at lavish palaces, ponder the Prado's evocative art, belly up to a bull bar, day-trip to Spain's imposing civil war memorial, stare down a flamenco dancer, delve deep into Picasso's greatest masterpiece…and munch on pigs' ears during a tapas crawl. Carlos: So, here we have regular jamón serrano and we have ibérico. Carlos is taking me to a place famous for a food Spaniards are crazy about. Green Salida signs point to the exit. The eatery, called the Museum of Ham, is tastefully decorated…unless you're a vegetarian, or a pig. The focus is on 20th-century Spanish artists — Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Gris, and Tàpies — but you'll also find plenty of works by Kandinsky, Braque, and many other giants of modern art. [Franco's remains were exhumed in 2019 and moved to a cemetery outside the valley.]. Host Rick Steves strolled through Madrid's majestic historic center during his travel show "Rick Steves' Europe," eating, drinking, and roaming its pedestrian-friendly streets. In this wonderfully 3-D painting, the unique perspective is that of the king and queen as they pose. Sign up to access services associated with Rick Steves Tours or Travel Forum. This one has been eating acorns. It's not about the cruelty, it's just an art, and it's a whole aesthetic. No major sight is more than a 20-minute walk or a five-minute cab ride from Madrid's lively main square the Puerto del Sol. Its convenient cafeteria is just right for breakfast or a relaxing coffee break. For starters we're going for one of Madrid's quirkiest snacks and this spot [La Oreja de Jaime] is named for it, la oreja de oro — sautéed pigs' ears. Carlos: Yes, it's a little bit cloudy, so you don't see the poor quality. Carlos: Chin Chin! RICK STEVES' EUROPE offers a fresh perspective on the best travel advice, including where to stay, what to see and how to get around in Europe. Featuring books from Rick Steves and other best-selling authors, our selection includes popular guides and brand new releases. This is the cartilage actually. We've got all those different kinds there. Rick: Carlos, gazpacho is really refreshing in the summer, right? The lavish Royal Palace rivals Versailles, the Prado has Europe's top collection of paintings, and nearby hangs Picasso's chilling masterpiece, Guernica. When it comes to variety, Madrid is Spain's tapas capital. It's enjoyed by all the people of Madrid. Snapshot guides are a great choice for travelers visiting a specific city or region, rather than multiple European destinations. But one brutal spectacle that survives today — anchored deep in the psyche of Spain — is the bullfight. After exploring its main attractions and local favorites, it's easy to see why so many travelers, including myself, have … Carlos: Oh absolutely. And in the old center, it seems there's a surprise around every corner. El Escorial was built during the Reformation, a time when Catholic Spain was defending the Church against Protestant "heretics." Where's all the traffic? Below, you can watch the part of my Madrid episode that is, thankfully, now out of date. The elaborate model — constructed after the age of Copernicus — insists on proving that the solar system revolves unmistakably around the earth. In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the best of Madrid and Toledo, including tips on arrival, orientation, and transportation. At midday on Saturday and Sunday, the area around the lake becomes a street carnival, with jugglers, puppeteers, and lots of local color. Goya's painting called The Second of May recalls how Spain hoped the ideals of Revolutionary France would spread, bringing democracy to Spain. Starting in the 1600s, Spain entered a long slow period of decline. Carlos: This is pig's ear. Madrid's mayor is nicknamed "the mole" for all the digging he's done. I've used his Europe Through The Back Door strategies for independent travel to Italy many times, along with TA input. ▲ Museum of the Americas Pre-Columbian and colonial artifacts from the New World. Series: Rick Steves' Europe The Majesty of Madrid. And the fine old buildings show off their original elegance. Rick: So some bullfighters are actually very popular, like heroes or popular heroes? While pig ears are a Madrid dish (fun to try, hard to swallow), this place is Galician — they serve pimientos de Padrón (sautéed miniature green peppers) and the distinctive ribeiro (ree-BAY-roh) wine, served Galician-style, in characteristic little ceramic bowls to disguise its lack of clarity (Calle de la Cruz 12, tel. In addition to Spanish works, you'll find paintings by Italian and Flemish masters, including Hieronymus Bosch's fantastical Garden of Earthly Delights altarpiece. The artist paints himself at work, along with a princess, who's watching her mom and dad pose. Hieronymous Bosch — who painted 500 years ago and seems radical even today — gives all this hedonism a different spin. In this program we wander the Plaza Mayor, ogle the lavish Royal Palace, rub shoulders with aficionados at a bull bar, ponder perplexing art at the Prado Museum, stare down a flamenco dancer, take in the cost of Spain's civil war at the Valley of the Fallen, look deep into Picasso's greatest work — Guernica — at the Centro Reina Sofía, and munch on pigs' ears in a "tapa tango.". If Spain had a national food it would probably be jamón — that's ham. We tour the lavish Royal Palace, enjoy art-packed museums, and look deep into Picasso's greatest masterpiece. In this guide, you’ll find an inviting mix of exciting cities and cozy towns. Madrid has a few easy and affordable options: Intimate Casa Patas ("House of Feet") attracts big-name flamenco artists, with contemporary flamenco that may be jazzier than your notion — it depends on who's performing (reservations smart). ▲ Naval Museum Seafaring history of a country famous for its Armada. This modern-art museum has a fine collection of paintings, but we're heading directly to the epic work showing the harsh realities of modern war. Rick Steves Snapshot guides consist of excerpted chapters from Rick Steves European country guidebooks. It rents 100 squeaky-clean rooms, many with balconies overlooking the pedestrian zone or an inner courtyard. Europe%27s well-organized rail system makes touring by train a breeze ... Munich, or Madrid. Rick: Hemingway? The world has definitely come to a fast pace in terms of daily living, but what is the fastest speed that everyone in the universe can go to? On May 2, 1808, Madrid's working people staged a protest. Under your feet. ... PBS Utah on YouTube. This is where seafood lovers savor sizzling plates of tasty little gambas (shrimp) and langostinos (prawns), with bread to sop up the delightful juices. Carlos: No, we have different kinds. He also needed a headquarters from which to run a strong centralized Spanish state. A glass of the house red wine — right out of the keg — is incredibly cheap. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Madrid and Toledo. Short posts keep cars off the sidewalks. www.ricksteves.com Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. Then, foolish people chase after earthly delights — a pursuit that is ultimately a vicious cycle. This one, the pig has been killed after three months and has been eating just basic pig-food. The historic center is enjoyably covered on foot. The ceiling celebrates the seven classical disciplines with a burst of color. It divided every village. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Madrid and Toledo.. Downstairs, the Royal Pantheon is the gilded resting place of four centuries of Spanish kings and queens. While touring the Gothic Quarter, we passed by a building that Federico called the Music Palace. Rick: And that's actually the cartilage? The Spanish artist Pablo Picasso heard the shocking news and immediately set to work sketching the destruction as he imagined it. I never thought I'd be eating actual pigs' ears. On Sundays, cheer for the bull at a bullfight or bargain like mad at a mega-size flea market. Francisco de Goya was Spain's official court painter. The next day — this painting's called The Third of May — the French began reprisals. It was a kind of dress rehearsal for the horrors of World War II — approved by Franco, carried out by Hitler. The Prado is the best place to enjoy the great Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, and it's also the home of Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas, considered by many to be the world's finest painting, period. This vibrant capital — Europe's highest, at 2,000 feet — has a population of over four million. Rick: It's nice, yes. ▲ Bullfight Spain's controversial pastime. ▲▲ Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum A great complement to the Prado, with lesser-known yet still impressive works and an especially good Impressionist collection. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Two lovers are suspended in a bubble…. Thankfully, the brutality of the Inquisition is long gone. ▲▲▲ Royal Palace Spain's sumptuous, lavishly furnished national palace. With acres of lavish paintings and tapestries, a king's ransom of chandeliers, priceless treasures, and bronze decor covered in gold leaf. Lively Madrid has enough street-singing, bar-hopping, and people-watching vitality to give any visitor a boost of youth. Rent and save from the world's largest eBookstore. Start traveling the world here! Run by Toni, this memorable little place has a helpful English menu and several fun, classic dishes to try: patatas bravas (fried potatoes in a spicy sauce), berenjena (deep-fried slices of eggplant), champiñones (sautéed mushrooms), and gazpacho that is generally served only during the hot season, but available here year-round just for tourists like you (closed July). We tour the lavish Royal Palace, enjoy art-packed museums, and look deep into Picasso's greatest masterpiece. Opposite the park, the Prado Museum holds my favorite collection of paintings anywhere. His guide books are thoughtful, well researched and offer a lot for the budget minded traveler. I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the Best of Europe. Jim The emotional intensity of Spanish culture can be experienced in its royal palaces. So if all you want is Madrid, Toledo, and what's nearby, this compact Snapshot guide delivers everything you'll need to know — for about half the price and half the bulk. 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