Top 5 Retirement Cities In Spain Reply

Alhambra Granada Spain

Each year, International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index ranks and rates the best retirement destinations in the world, taking into consideration real estate, retiree benefits, cost of living, ease of integration, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, retirement infrastructure, and climate. Spain ranked number five in this year’s Index, scoring well across the board, and especially in real estate (with a score of 91 out of 100), entertainment and amenities (96), healthcare (91), and retirement infrastructure (93).

Spain is a popular tourist destination because of its climate, natural beauty, warm and engaging people, cuisine, festivals, and miles of coastline.  Retirees can enjoy these benefits, plus a low cost of living and a well-developed national health system. Here, we take a peek at five of Spain’s top retirement cities.



Black Limos and Body Guards: The Hotel Ritz Madrid Reply

The Ritz Madrid

Cheryl Blackerby writes from Madrid for the Palm Beach Daily, March 22, 2014–I was beginning to wonder if I needed a bodyguard. It seemed everyone else arriving at the Hotel Ritz in Madrid had security staffs, easily identifiable in black suits, frequently touching their earpieces and scrutinizing everyone in the vicinity. It seemed each time I approached the entrance to the Ritz someone extremely important was stepping out of a black limo.

But even without my own security entourage, I managed to maneuver the opulent hotel, and was greeted with elegant and meticulous care by the staff as if I, too, was a royal or a head of state.  More…

The Prado Museum’s New “Second Canvas” App Reply

Here’s the promotional video for Madrid’s Prado Museum’s new “Second Canvas” App that can be downloaded from the Mac AppStore. It features a zoom feature that permits giant blowups of 14 selected masterpieces to gigapixel proportions, plus 60 others to a lesser degree. It also has an X-ray vision feature that permits you to see what’s behind the top layer of paint, as well as commentaries, a TV connection and a Share feature. You might have some fun with it.

Spooky Night in the Prado Museum Reply

Rafael La Perla

This engaging 16-minute video is an interview with Spanish writer, Javier Sierra, on an eerie midnight stroll through the galleries of the Prado Museum with presenter, Iker Jiménez. They start out with Rafael’s Sacred Family (Sagrada Familia), known familiarly as The Pearl (La Perla). According to Sierra there’s something mysterious about this painting, as well as others in the museum. The baby Jesus seems to be looking in the wrong direction. What (or whom) is he looking at? It’s a mystery. There are others, such as The Triumph of Death (El triunfo de la muerte) by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. More…

Spanish Artist/Curator Has Some Fun with the Classics at the Prado Reply

Dolphin Venus Prado

“We’re in the most aquatic room in the Prado,” says Spanish artist, Miguel Angel Blanco, in his introduction to  Natural Histories, the exhibition he curated, on show in the Prado Museum until April 27, 2014. In this three-minute video he comments on the Roman sculpture The Venus of the Dolphin (La Venus del Delfín). The skeleton of a dolphin, lit so as to cast a shadow on the side wall, suspends from the ceiling of the exhibit hall, about which Blanco comments: “It’s not clear if it’s a skeleton or a sculpture…” In all it’s a fascinating and fun show. Don’t miss it if you’re in the vicinity of the Prado this spring.


The Furies: Political Allegory and Artistic Defiance Reply

The Furies

This exhibition in the Prado Museum (Jan. 21-May 4, 2014) consists of some twenty works by different artists whose protagonists are the “Furies”, four characters from classic mythology who had an important presence in 16th and 17th century European art. Tityus, Sisyphus, Ixion and Tantalus are the “Furies,” characters of mythological origin that became increasingly important in the Renaissance. Their emergence as such in the history of art is dated around the middle of the 16th century. In the Netherlands and Italy, they were considered a suitable theme for illustrating both maximum difficulty in art (they were monumental, nude, muscled figures in complicated poses); and for representing extreme pain, a subject very relevant to baroque sensitivity. More…

Curious French Virgin, Chubby Child and Sinister Angels Reply

Fouquet Madonna Prado

From Museo del–Etienne Chevalier, treasurer to the French monarchs Charles VII and Louis XI, commissioned a diptych from Jean Fouquet which remained in the collegiate church of Notre-Dame in Melun until it was split up in the late 18th century. The left-hand panel, now in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie, depicts Chevalier kneeling and accompanied by his patron saint Stephen. More…

Reports of New Spanish Sephardic Citizenship Law Are Premature 1

Sephardi Torah

By Sam Sokol and Marion Fischel for the Jerusalem Post, February 9, 2014–Reports that Spain had passed legislation granting citizenship to Sephardic Jews residing anywhere in the world were premature, representatives of the Spanish Jewish community told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. It was reported on Friday that the Spanish government had approved a law allowing descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country in 1492 to seek Spanish nationality without giving up their current citizenship.


Five Free Things in Madrid, from Symphonies to Art Reply

Templo Debod Madrid

Harold Heckle writes for the Associated Press, December 29,2013, MADRID — Spain has for decades been among the world’s top tourist destinations, mainly thanks to sun-seekers who flock each year to Mediterranean beaches or the Canary Islands.

The Spanish capital, with its vast array of bars, restaurants and a rocket-propelled nightlife that often causes traffic jams at 3 a.m., has always appealed to fun-lovers as well as travelers with an interest in history and culture. While top-end hotels and restaurants are expensive, it comes as a relief to find that some of Madrid’s best features can be enjoyed for free. More…

Wolves Migrate to Madrid, Alarm Locals Reply

Wolves in Madrid

John Vidal writes in The Guardian, January 4, 2014–A twig snaps, a crow calls, but nothing moves in the dense pine forests of Spain’s Guadarrama mountains. Vultures and eagles soar over the snowcapped peaks and wild boars roam the valleys below, as they have for centuries. But for the farmers who work this land, a threatening and worrying comeback is taking place in this timeless landscape, home to Spain’s newest national park. After an absence of 70 years, the wolf is back in the Guadarrama hills and breeding in Madrid province just 40 miles from the city. More…