When the 15th of August arrives and it’s holiday time, you decide to treat yourself to a break in Madrid but having just checked, although it’s wonderful to enjoy a free Tuesday in the capital, practically everything is closed because it’s the holiday. Don’t panic, at the Petit Palace we have solutions for everything!
August is a big month in Madrid even if you can’t enjoy the shopping in Fuencarral or Gran Vía. This month lots of parties spring up in the capital’s most legendary and authentic neighbourhoods. Celebrations like those of San Cayetano (celebrated from the 2nd to the 8th of August in the zone of the Rastro / Embajadores) or San Lorenzo (that takes place in Lavapiés between the 9th and 11th of August) have as the grand finale the largest celebration of all in Madrid: the verbena de la Paloma which is our favourite!
With dates from the 12th to the 15 August, the verbena de la Paloma is the La Latina neighbourhood’s big party (about 15 minutes from the hotel Petit Palace Opera and a little more if we take as a starting point the hotels Petit Palace Alcalá and Petit Palace Tres Cruces). This highly recommended festival has no shortage of ‘chotis’, Madrid-style lemonade (very fresh and rich with flavour) and hundreds of party-goers take up the terraces of the popular “cavas”.
The beautiful Mercado de la Cebada is one of the highlights of this typical Madrid festival. This square (one of the many that takes part in with this festival) is adorned by thousands of colourful lanterns and there is great music and wonderful top-level gourmet food. Access is free for anyone who wants to get to know the most genuinely traditional Madrid. It is best to go to the event at around 12 noon and leave after midnight.
A day full of interesting events
Although the fiestas de la Paloma (festival of the Dove) begin on the 12th of August, it is this day (15th) when the main events of the celebration take place. The day begins with a floral offering to the Virgin who looks after the La Salle-Paloma College and continues with a procession and a parade of firefighters from the area (devotees of the well-known Virgin of the Dove).
After the religious celebrations, the event focuses on dancing to the rhythm of Madrid ‘chotis’ and meeting up with friends who, around a simple plastic table, enjoy the best homemade cuisine from Madrid.