Bon dia CB!
I’ve been traveling to Barcelona for close to 15 years and one thing
that is for certain: there is a definite presence of metalsmiths/
jewelers because of La Massana’s excellent jewelry program which I
believe has both Carles Codina and Ramon Puig Cuyas on faculty.
I recommend that you stay in the El Born neighborhood and avoid the
Las Ramblas area. It is a nice walk by day but mostly its touristy,
dirty, and at night, full of inebriated people, sailors at port, and
a whole host of other “characters.” You should absolutely visit La
Boqueria on Las Ramblas–its the huge outdoor food market that has
to be seen to be believed.
If you wander through the twisty Gothic streets, you will happen
across individual artist studios. Currently, here are the handmade/
artisan galleries I am aware of, that carry high-quality, high
karat, and avant garde style:
Galerie Alea - Calle Argenteria 66
Hipotesi - Rambla de Catalunya 105
Wanna tool shop? I was given the address to this shop by some local
metalsmiths that had attended La Massana and this is their main
supply house. I love this shop. Great selection. No english spoken.
Prices aren’t good, considering the exchange, but I always take a cab
here and buy:
De Valsa - Luis Del Valle - Calle Bailen (at Arrago)
Where to stay? Rent an apartment in the Born barrio. Its so much
cheaper than a cramped and loud hotel room and it is really a great
way to assimilate into Catalan culture. Here’s the address to an
awesome apartment rental with all the amenities:
Where to eat? SOOOOOO many choices but one has to experience these:
Cal Pep - Placa de les Olles 8 —sitting at the bar is a must!!!
Salamanca - Almirall Cervera 34 —Langostinos, shrimp, etc caught
fresh that morning---- ask for the upstairs tables that look out at
Origen 99.9% - Passaig del Born 4 —Catalan home-cooked small
plates. Amazing. Unlike any other food I’ve experienced in the city.
There are several locations.
Bar Pinocchio - in the Boqueria market. Get up really early (6 a.m.)
and have a cafe con leche and tortilla at the bar and watch the
morning action (i.e. cops, produce vendors, club goers going
home…it HAS to be experienced)
So, there it is!
Buena suerte y tiene una experiencia inolvidable!!!