In Calabria (Italy) With Women from Malasaña

Maribel Orgaz / Translated by Isabel González - info@leerenmadrid.com
On March 9th I was the guest speaker at the Associazione Calabria-Spagna. I was invited to speak about my guided tour in Madrid for the company Carpetania Madrid. The topic of my talk was The Women of Malasaña, including artists, writers and other very special women among them.

The presentation was a challenge. This suburb of Madrid has been a people´s magnet for over a hundred years, attracting a large number of artists, men and women, painters, writers, musicians (it has been compared to Montparnasse).

I gave my presentation in Spanish and it was simultaneously translated into Italian.

Among the women I mentioned in the talk, the historical character who brought the highest admiration was Carmen de Burgos. A woman who suffered domestic violence from her husband but managed to study secretly at home to become a primary teacher. She was the first female war correspondent and also the first woman with a fixed column in a Newspaper earning the same salary as a man. She could only achieve all this after moving to Malasaña in Madrid, from a very poor area in the south of Spain (Almeria).

During my few days in Calabria I was interviewed for Gazzetta del Sud the most popular newspaper in Sicily and Calabria. My hostess was Rosa Fontana, the president of the association, and she guided me through some interesting and unique places, like their beautiful sea promenade, the Bronzes, a national pride, or their beautiful historic library, in which I left a copy of my latest book, Amores que podrían ser.

 Additionally, Calabria means something very special to me. It was in Calabria where my favourite poet, Garcilaso de la Vega, spent some time serving his King Charles I, although he would later apply for a transfer to Sicily.

I must say the coffee the Calabrians drink at any time is exquisite, and the local patisserie is excellent. Unlike some other Mediterranean sweet traditions based on the Arabic cuisine, heavy with nuts and honey, it was always delightful to be surprised, even in the most modest local Cafes, by marvellous pastries, tarts, cakes and other delicacies.

I would like also to share with you that TeleMadrid recorded a program of my guided tour. You can watch it here.

Onda Cero Radio also interviewed me about the tour. You can listen to it here, since 19´17

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