Tag: #globetrotter

Civic Tourism – El Campo de Cebada

Travel is about transformation, a catalyst to make sense of people’s behaviour and observe the challenges and beauties of our planet. Visiting museums, sightseeing in a double decker bus or tasting the authentic dishes are experiences that we all strive to accomplish when we are travelling. However, our curiosity to get wind of the meaning of life for locals is indulged when we visit the ugly or the unpleasant still the charismatic neighbourhoods. Exploring the local slums & the stomping grounds, cast light on motives that influence political, social or cultural movement that spawn in a community.

El Campo de Cebada, in La Latina quarter, Madrid, is one of those local hangouts, with graffitis, musicians, plays and wave of people moving in and out. It was a sport centre that has been demolished and now is a temporary community space por y para los vecinos – for and by the neighbours”, until the funding for new centre is raised. The confined space is about self expression, camaraderie and joy. The sense of belonging fused with personal identity is in the air, ranging from group of youth playing cards to dancing or music lovers sitting on a rusted chairs to enjoy the local artist to different groups of individuals with different backgrounds drinking, reading or relaxing. They are all merged in this rugged yet vibrant space to enjoy life.

 

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The wisdom to engage the community to solve the collective challenges, foster creative learning and allow the abstract feelings of subjectivity rise between the inhabitants and the street performers and musicians, underlies the purpose of this space.

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It made me wonder whether creating community spaces where the neighbours contribute to its development as a mean of dialogue and healthy activism can encourage respect, responsibility and compassion among the inhabitants?

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Dolceacqua – A medieval village in Italian Riviera

Following the trail of Claude Monet, the picturesque village of Dolceacqua, at the bottom of Nervia Valley, in the Italian region of Liguria is an expressive sight.

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Dolceacqua’s iconic stone footbridge that arches over the Nervia river, dubbed by the master of impressionist, Claude Monet ” jewel of lightness” and the Doria Castle depicted in 1884 is the birth place of powerful Doria Clan who were lord of Genoa in 16th and 17th century. The castle is in ruins however at the top, the restoration has allowed an area for festivals and plays with a panoramic view of the spontaneous nature of Liguria.

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The cobblestone walkways and alleys with twists and loops, the artist shops and the adorable restaurants all air medieval romance and characterize the gentility of the knights of the round table. Among the eateries, “Casa e Bottega”, accentuates the essence of Dolceacqua charm and marvellous cuisine.

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The primary economic activities of the region are olives, production of roses, mimosas, brooms and local speciality wine called “Rossesse”. The wine grape is aromatic and garrigue flavoured, suggesting bushy, wild and fragrant plants.

With every old town and city, there is a story and the legend of Dolceacqua is about women’s emancipation. The tragic love story of Lucrezia and Basso, two lovers who fought against the “Jus Primae Noctis”, which means the newlywed bride should spend her wedding night with the lord of the region.  The story recounts that while Lucrezia and Basso were celebrating their secret marriage, the Marquise’s guards kidnaped her to perform her duty. However, she refused and was imprisoned and left to die in the dungeons of the castle. Basso broke in the castle and forced the Marquis to abolish the law with a knife at his throat. The residents of Dolceacqua celebrate this victory with a sweet pastry called “Michetta” accompanied by “Rossesse di Dolceacqua” wine.

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