Category Archives: Art

SRapallo, San Isidro dança, watercolor Madrid, 2018.

Madrid : San Isidro’s Party (Fiestas de San Isidro)

Madrid: May 11-15th, 2018

SRapallo, San Isidro dança, watercolor Madrid, 2018.
SRapallo, San Isidro dança, watercolor Madrid, 2018.

We’ve been there last year. In May, this year will be from 11 to 15th, Madrid holds the Feast of Saint Isidore the Farmer, the patron saint of the city and of all farmers.

Saint Isidore is said to have worked over a hundred miracles. His steps can be traced across part of the city in one of our guided tours.

His contemporaries claimed that Saint Isidore had a special talent for finding fresh water. In fact, the feast in his hon

our focuses on water. The festival takes place in Pradera de San Isidro Park and the adjacent streets, where chulapas, chulapos and goyescas (people dressed in traditional Madrid costumes) drink ‘the saint’s water’ pouring from a spring next to the Shrine of San Isidro.

Weather permitting, people eat doughnuts and drink lemonade at Pradera de San Isidro. In Madrid, lemonade is made with wine, lemon, sugar and diced fruit (usually apple). Doughnuts can be tontas (with egg), listas (with egg and powdered sugar glaze), Santa Clara (with a layer of white meringue) or French (with almonds).

As I always say I love Madrid!!!!



Madri: 11-15 de Maio, 2018

Estivemos na Feira de San Isidro no ano passado. Este ano, em Maio, de 11 a 15, Madri celebra a Festa de São Isidoro o Camponês, o santo patrono da cidade de Madri e de todos os trabalhadores rurais.

SRapallo, Xale, watercolor Madrid, 2018.
SRapallo, Xale, watercolor Madrid, 2018.

Dizem que São Isidoro realizou inúmeros milagres. Seus passos podem ser retraçados pela cidade acompanhados por guias turísticos.

Seus comtemporâneos clamam que São Isidoro tinha um talento especial para encontrar água fresca. De fato, a festa em sua homenagem foca a água como elemento principal. O festival acontece na Pradera de San Isidro e nas ruas adjacentes, onde chulapas, chulapos e goyescas (madrilenhos vestidos em trajes típicos) bebem a “água santa”numa fonte perto da Capela de São Isidoro.

Se o clima permitir, as pessoas fazem picnics; comem doces e bebem  limonada na Pradera de São Isidoro. Aqui, limonada é feita com vinho, limão, açúcar e pedaços de frutas (geralmente maças). O doce típico chama-se tontas, uma espécie de doughnuts (com ovos), listas (com ovo e glacê açucarado), Santa Clara (merengue) or Francês (com amêndoas).

Acomo sempre digo, Adoro Madri!!!!!!



SRapallo, Madrid 1.8, watercolor, 2018

Madrid “1.8”: Plaza Mayor


In February crossing Plaza Mayor I was surprised to see something colorful and beautiful floating over the Plaza Mayor. I later discover it was an installation of Janet Echelman, an American artist depicting the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. It symbolizes the fact that we are all connected between the Earth’s natural systems. She was one of the artists invited to celebrate the 400 years of the Plaza Mayor. Studio Echelman generated the 3D shape of the sculpture using groups of tsunami wave height data throughout the Pacific Ocean. The resulting vibrations momentarily accelerated the Earth’s rotation, shortening the day’s length by 1.8 microseconds, which became the catalyst concept of sculpture “1.8”.

SRapallo foto Madrid 1.8 dia.

SRapallo photo Madrid 1.8 daylight.

The Plaza Mayor’s northern wall stretches along Calle Mayor, the street that connects Puerta del Sol west towards Calle Bailén and, consequently, the Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral and Puente de Segovia. Follow any of the alleys south off this grand square and you’ll discover the Old City.

The most typical Madrid attractions are concentrated around the Plaza Mayor in the “Austrias” neighborhood. Discover Madrid food at classic restaurants like El Botín or Casa Lucío, see flamenco at any number of nearby venues, or get a glass of Vermouth, Cava or wine on the ever more hip Cava Baja street where locales old and new bustle all nights of the week. Los Austrias is a great neighborhood to amble along old winding streets and lose yourself in historic Madrid. I love Madrid!!!!




Este ano, em fevereiro, deparei-me com algo inesperado ao cruzar pela Praza Mayor. Uma coisa linda e colorida flutuando no céu  ao centro da Plaza Mayor. Depois vim a saber que tratava-se de uma escultura flutuante da artista plástica norte-americana Janet Echelman –  uma das comemorações dos 400 anos da Plaza Mayor em 2017, obra instalada foi intitulada Madri 1.8. O conceito da obra provêm de conjuntos de datos científicos do terremoto e do tsunami que atingiram o Japão em 2011. Simboliza o fato de que todos estamos conectados entre os sistemas naturais da Terra. Studio Echelman gerou as forma em 3D da escultura utilizando grupos de datos da altura das ondas do tsunami ao longo de todo o oceano Pacífico. As vibracões resultantes aceleraram momentâneamente a rotação da Terra, encurtando a longitude do dia em 1.8 microsegundos, o que se converteu no conceito ca

SRapallo foto Madrid 1.8 noite.

SRapallo foto Madrid 1.8 noite.

talizador da escultura “1.8”.

A Plaza Mayor acompanha as antigas mulharas nortes acompanhando a Calle Mayor, que são as ruas que conectam a Puerta del Sol a oeste à Calle Bailén e, consequentemente, ao Palácio Real, Catedral de Almudena e Puente de Segovia. Siga pelas ruas ao sul da praça para descobrir a cidade antiga.

Ao rededor da Praça Maior concentra-se o bairro “Áustrias”, aonde se localizam os restaurantes mais antigos de Madri, como El Botín ou Casa Lucío, danças flamengas e um grande número de bares onde servem o Vermouth local, Cavas e vinhos. Vale a pena um passeio pela Cava Baja, rua onde convivem os bares antigos com os bares mais modernos. Há muito movimento por ali todos os dias da semana, o lugar é “non stop”.  É um bairro tradicional e convida ao visitante a perder-se pelas ruas históricas de Madri. Adoro Madri!!!!!!



SRapallo, Mercado da Ribeira, watercolor, Lisbon, 2018

Lisbon: Mercado da Ribeira – Time Out

Last week we went to Lisbon to celebrate my B-day and even though we didn´t have dinner at the Ribeira Market, we had to check out this new place, at least for us, because last time we went to Lisbon was 2016, for the Adele Concert.

The Ribeira Market immediately reminded us of Mercado de San Miguel, in Madrid, but bigger, much bigger and more sophisticated, with chefs signing some of their creations specially for the Ribeira Market. I also checked out the store A Vida Portuguesa, and a Time Out super bar with a DJ that started playing music after 10:30pm… and some dancers exhibited their talent in front of the DJs. We tried some dancing too because it was a Brazilian song… We have to honor the mother country, right?

The magazine Time Out ventured out and won the concession of the Ribeira Market which became, as the magazine often refers to other cool places, an in-spot.

The space’s concept is simple: become the first magazine in the world that you can read, eat and drink. How do you make this possible? By inviting the spots that were highly recommended by its editorial staff to become a part of its physical space. This means you’ll find about 34 spaces in the Ribeira Market, each with a different concept but most of them with an identical principle – to promote Portuguese products and to work with the spaces within the market itself.

The market has a very special offer: top chef stands at low-cost prices (not really), where you can indulge in dishes signed by: Alexandre Silva (Bica do Sapato), Miguel Castro e Silva (Largo, DeCastro e DeCastro Elias), Henrique Sá Pessoa (Alma), Marlene Vieira (Avenue), Vítor Claro (Claro), Susana Felicidade (Restaurante Pharmácia, Taberna Ideal and Petiscaria Ideal) and Dieter Koschina (Vila Joya). Right alongside great names from Portuguese cuisine, you’ll also find the recent project Croqueteria, with its traditional croquette which includes, among other bold versions, a cuttlefish ink croquette.

The place that was crowded was serving a plate with asparagus, truffled mashed potatoes, jamon serrano and 64-degree egg… We couldn´t try the dish, but next time… for sure. But here is the recipe if you wanna try. We have this Sous-vide water bath equipament to control the temperature, but you can monitor the temperature yourself with a little bit of patience.

Good luck!!!

The 64-Degree Egg Recipe

  1. Place an egg in a 64 degree C water bath for 45 minutes.
  2. Monitor the temperature constantly – and adjust the water bath by adding hot water if the temperature drops, or scooping out water if it rises. Keeping the lid on helps conserve heat.
  3. Once the eggs are ready, crack the shell and remove it under a water bath to prevent stress to the delicate egg.
  4. Use a spoon to remove the egg
  5. Enjoy atop a sandwich, break it into a salad or pasta!

Back to the Ribeira Market. In the middle you’ll find beverage suggestions, namely Compal, which presents itself in a more handmade format with natural juices only; and Super Bock, that will teach you, with the aid of an interactive device, how to serve your own draft beer.

Besides those already mentioned, there are many other great concepts here, such as: Delta, Vista Alegre, Renova, Sea Me, Café de São Bento, Monte Mar, João Portugal Ramos, Cinco e Meio, Bar da Odete, Esporão, Casa da Ginja, O Prego da Peixaria, Asian Lab, Pizza a Pezzi, Confraria, Honorato, Manteigaria Silva, Arcádia, Conserveira de Lisboa, O Meu Amor é Verde, Folha do Cais, Santini, Nós é Mais Bolos, Garrafeira Nacional. And the terraces: Trincas (The Decadente), Aloma and Azul.

BTW. We went to As Salgadeiras for my birthday dinner…. Bacalhau ao Morro Alto!!!!!!!!!! Super duper delicious!!!!!!!

For more information:
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
Avenida 24 de Julho
1200 – 481
Lisbon+351 213 460 333


SRapallo, watercolor, Madrid, 2018

Sorolla, el pintor de la luz

One of my favorite´s  place to sketch  in Madrid. The Spanish painter, Joaquín Sorolla was born on February 27, 1863 in Valencia, Spain. The artist’s house and was converted into a museum after the death of his widow. It is situated at Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 37 -Chamberí – Madrid.

Sorolla’s work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe, America, and in many private collections in Europe and America. In 1909 he made a successful debut in the United States in a solo exhibition at the Hispanic Society in New York City. The resulting critical acclaim won him a commission to paint President William Howard Taft in 1909. In 1933, J. Paul Getty purchased ten Impressionist beach scenes made by Sorolla, several of which are now housed in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

In 1960, Sorolla, el pintor de la luz, the master of depicting sun and water, a short documentary written and directed by Manuel Domínguez was presented at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2007 many of his works were exhibited at the Petit Palais in Paris. In 2009, there was a special exhibition of his works at the Prado in Madrid, and in 2010, the exhibition visited the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Brazil.

From 5 December 2011 to 10 March 2012, several of Sorolla’s works were exhibited in Queen Sofía Spanish Institute, in New York. This exhibition included pieces used during Sorolla’s eight-year research for The Vision of Spain. His style was a variant of Impressionism and whose best works, painted in the open air, vividly portray the sunny seacoast of Valencia. Sorolla was from a poor family and was orphaned at age two. He displayed an early talent and was admitted to the Academy of San Carlos in Valencia at age 15. After further studies in Rome and Paris, he returned to Valencia.

Upon his return to Spain, he purchased a beach house in Valencia, on the Mediterranean shore. For the rest of his career, he drew his inspiration from the dazzling light on the waters by his home, and his beach scenes are marked by sharp contrasts of light and shade, brilliant colours, and vigorous brushstrokes. That´s why he is called the ¨painter of the light¨ (el pintor de la luz).

The Museo Sorolla – The building was originally the artist’s house and was converted into a museum after the death of his widow. Designed by Enrique María Repullés. The principal rooms continue to be furnished as they were during the artist’s life, including Sorolla’s large, well-lit studio, where the walls are filled with his canvasses. Other rooms are used as galleries to display Sorolla’s paintings, while the upstairs rooms are a gallery for special exhibitions. In 2014, these rooms held an exhibition of David Palacin photographs of the ballet Sorolla produced by the Spanish National Dance Company.

It´s nice to see the actual place where he lived and produced so many of his artworks. There is also a nice entrance garden with a fountain where you can just seat there and make some sketches while admire the flowers and statues.

Don´t forget to visit this small museum if you have a chance on your next trip to Madrid. You won´t regret it!!


Srapallo, Calle Hortaleza, watercolor, Madrid, 2018

St Valentine’s Day in Spain

It’s not a traditional holiday in Spain, but most of the places in the world celebrate it with the traditional bouquet of flowers and romantic diners. the closest concept about it is from people of Valencia and their most romantic day of the year is, in fact, October 9th, when they celebrate both; the Day of the Valencian Community (Sant Valentin) as well as the Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Dionís), locally known as the patron saint of lovers. This is a public holiday marked by many festivities and colorful costume parades held in the main plaza of every town and village.

A distinctive tradition on the Day of Saint Dionysius is the custom of offering ladies a Mocadora (Mocaorà) as a sign of love and appreciation. This traditional gift consists of a nice package of marzipan figurines handcrafted by local confectioners and then wrapped up in an elegant piece of silk.

In the Land of Cervantes, you don’t need a reason to get caught up in the fire and romance of Spain. The whole country is teeming with spectacular parks and gardens that inspire love.

Here is the recipe.

150 grams of ground almonds
135 grams of sugar glass
1 egg white
30 grams of mashed potato
Pastry dyes and flavor extract of each fruit. Cocoa powder
If you have too much thickened water
Some pine nuts to decorate

Start boling a potato and make a very fine mashed potato. Set it apart to use later. Beat the egg white to the point of very compact snow. Until the container is turned over, it stays well attached and does not fall. Add the icing sugar and mix well taking into account that the point does not get off. Add the mashed potato and almond flour and knead well. Distribute the dough in as many portions as we want to make different figurines and add to each portion the fruit dye, the flavor extract and let it rest for a while before making them. Take the dough and mold with the fingers the desired figures. Place in a tray and let dry a few hours and if you want to follow the tradition, wrap them in a neck scarf and give them away. If you have more dyes and flavor extracts, you can make pears, lemons, oranges, strawberries … Go on, you are totally allowed to just play with them and make fruits for the ones you love!


SRapallo, IPAD drawing, Hiking, Madrid, 2017

Santiago de Compostela (El camino) or The Way of St. James

This is my first blog in 2018. My last one was in June 2017. I had my personal journey fighting against cervical cancer last year and I had no energy whatsoever to post anything. Well, I’m still here! But after surgery in July and the beginning of chemo at the end of August, I’ve manage to travel to  Galícia and visited the city of Santiago de Compostela and the surroudings cities, Muxia, Ézaro, Carnota, Corcubión, Muros, Noia and also Finisterre, the last post of pilgrimage. I confess I didn’t do the whole “camino” but, you know, due to the circumstance at that particular moment of my life, I was happy just being there and somehow feeling blessed. Spain is a wonderful country to travel, full of history, wonderful food and spectacular wineries. It’s an energetic country to feel alive and enjoy living!! Something like “La Fiesta” therapy.

I love traveling by car. From Madrid to Santiago de Compostela is like 5.2 hours driving and the sightseeing change completely from the arid weather in Castilla La Mancha to a humid and ultra green meadows in Galicia. And I love eating fresh products from local producers. I specially recommend “O Graneiro de Amelia” ( where you can buy grains, species, dry nuts, teas and herbs. The colors, the smell of species and honey…. indescribable!!! And don’t forget to eat the Almond Tart, also a local food tradition.

There are eight main Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes in Spain:

Camino Frances – the busiest route.
Via de la Plata – the longest Camino.
Camino del Norte – along the sea.
Camino Ingles The English Road – the shortest Camino.
Camino Portugues, (finishes in Santiago de Compostela but starts in Portugal).
Camino Primitivo. the original one.

Even if you don’t do the Camino, visit the city, the Cathedral and also Santa Maria la Real de Sar, a medieval church from XVI Century. From the cathedral’s balcony you can contemplate the beauty of the roofs and the city’s skyline. Unfortunately the frontal cathedral’s facade (The Obradoiro) is being restored and only will be re-opening on 2023. Well, I’ll have to come back somehow!

The Way of St. James (El Camino) was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. (The name Santiago is the local Galician evolution of Vulgar Latin Sancti Iacobi, “Saint James”.)

The Way can take one of dozens of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of Saint James began at one’s home and ended at the pilgrimage site. However, a few of the routes are considered main ones. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly travelled. However, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation, and political unrest in 16th century Europe led to its decline. By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims per year arrived in Santiago.

Most pilgrims carry a document called the credencial, purchased for a few euros from a Spanish tourist agency, a church or parish house on the route, a refugio, their church back home, or outside of Spain through the national St. James organization of that country. The credencial is a pass which gives access to inexpensive, sometimes free, overnight accommodation in refugios along the trail. Also known as the “pilgrim’s passport”, the credencial is stamped with the official St. James stamp of each town or refugio at which the pilgrim has stayed. It provides pilgrims with a record of where they ate or slept, and serves as proof to the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago that the journey was accomplished according to an official route, and thus that the pilgrim qualifies to receive a compostela (certificate of completion of the pilgrimage).

The “Way of St James” is marked by a scallop shell, a symbol of humility that also served practical purposes for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. The shell was the right size for gathering water to drink or for eating out of as a makeshift bowl. The pilgrim’s staff is a walking stick used by pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela.

Most often the stamp can be obtained in the refugio, cathedral, or local church. If the church is closed, the town hall or office of tourism can provide a stamp, as can nearby youth hostels or private St. James addresses. Many of the small restaurants and cafes along the Camino also provide stamps. Outside Spain, the stamp can be associated with something of a ceremony, where the stamper and the pilgrim can share information. As the pilgrimage approaches Santiago, many of the stamps in small towns are self-service due to the greater number of pilgrims, while in the larger towns there are several options to obtain the stamp.