Barcelona? A Treat to Be Viewed from AboveA JOURNEY THROUGH THE LESS KNOWN BUT EQUALLY EVOCATIVE PLACES OF THE CATALAN CAPITAL
Everybody has been to Barcelona at least once in their lives; everybody is familiar with the jagged profile of the Sagrada Familia and the beaches of Barceloneta. Few tourists, however, venture in the places from where you can enjoy a privileged view of the Catalan city: the view from above. You can start from Parc Güell, where you have to leave the well-trodden paths to reach the Three Crosses; then you can continue to Mirador Virolai: you won’t find an artistic building there, but a breathtaking view of Barcelona placed by the sea. Behind the park, there is the hill whose summit houses the Tibidabo: a fairytale-like church that is the highest point of the whole city. Tibidabo is about the holy and the profane: there, you can ride the historic rollercoaster that winds through the woods. The speed of descent is never too high and leaves you time to watch the city down below. This huge green expanse, which embraces Barcelona from the hinterland, is bounded by the Carretera, a road that can only be walked on foot, and also offers a view of the city, in addition to the pleasure of silence and the scent of the vegetation, something you can’t certainly find in the Diagonal or in the streets of the Barrio Gotico.
Also in the Parc Güell area, the Bunkers del Carmel should not be missed. Dating back to the Spanish Civil War, today they are one of the favorite places for young people to hang out, especially at the end of the day, to enjoy an improvised aperitif while sitting on the walls, their feet dangling in the air. This is also one of the very few points in the city where you can watch the spectacle of the sun setting down, which otherwise is always hidden by the mountains that surround the city to the west. Returning towards the coast, you come to Montjuïc, the promontory south of the city that appears in every postcard of Barcelona. On this hill there are two destinations that can be reached either on foot from Plaza Espanya, or from the harbor via the Port Cable Car: in the middle of the mount lies Fundació Joan Miró, with its ingenious Mercury fountain, and on its top sits the castle. In July, inside the castle’s walls a very popular film festival is staged: with a few euros you can buy a ticket and bring your own food and drinks; people picnic while they wait for the sun to fall, and then enjoy open-air cinema as darkness comes. No matter the film being screened, the magic of the place is better than any movie.
edited by Ilaria De Bartolomeis
A Bocconi class of 2009 graduate in Business Administration and Management, she later got her MSc in Marketing Management and since 2015 she has been living in Barcelona. She works as Senior Brand Manager for Mattel, with the brief of implementing global strategies in EU subsidiaries, and, conversely, to transfer the inputs coming from European markets to the global marketing team. She oversees the launch of new products pertaining to the brands owned by the company, by developing a specific perspective on the market habits, needs and responses of European consumers.
by Martina Morello
Translated by Alex Foti