(Barcelona) The cloisters of the Monastery of Santa Maria di Valldonzela located in the northwestern part of the Catalan capital are silent, the vaults of the internal church majestically communicate a sense of calm. Barcelona it is a multifaceted city, whose history manifests itself in a different way passing from corner to corner. Once a royal capital, a proudly autonomous city today, the epicenter of Iberian Christianity yesterday, a secularist and environmentalist pole today, a city that has experienced a fluctuating relationship with its maritime identity before finally ceasing to turn its back on the sea after the 1992 Olympic rebirth, the Catalan metropolis lives in an apparent contradiction, a permanent tension that makes it attractive and full of charm. It’s not just the “nightlife”, it’s not just the Ramblas and it’s not even the Barça, “More than a football club”, to connote Barcelona’s identity, but the continuation of a story that recalls the difference between the transitory and the permanent.
Behind Santa Maria di Valldonzela, in the heart of the university district, there is an interactive museum dedicated to science and nature, the CosmoCaixa; in a few hundred meters two different types of eternity are commemorated. And from corner to corner the stillness gradually takes the form of a substantial sensation of serenity. Covid is now considered to be behind us, people return to crowd the streets, clubs, public transport and animate the public life of the city. Without proposing the myth of “resilience” Barcelona resists stress, starts again, gets back on the move. As the cultural capital and major economic hub of Spain and Catalonia, it is a city that cannot afford to stop. In few other places in Europe, and perhaps in the world, it would have been possible to embark, in the twentieth century, in that great monument to genius and human perseverance which is the sacred Family designed by Antoni Gaudì. Like the ancient cathedrals, it is alive precisely because it is constantly being built. And the queues for access to the Sagrada Familia testify to a further presence of a new normal in the city. For those accustomed to visiting the city, it will seem unusual to see the assiduous presence of the typical and marked Catalan pronunciation among visitors to the most important places in Barcelona, as if by returning to normality the Catalans somehow wanted to rediscover themselves, their history.
In Santa Maria di Valldonzella the owner of the shop of icons and sacred images attached to the complex speaks of hope: “These places transmit trust”. Barcelona, Spain, Catalonia and the whole of Europe need trust. Barcelona wants to look forward to broader perspectives. As the Colombo which, in Colon viewpoint which ends the Rambla and looks towards the sea over a column of almost sixty meters, enough not to be disturbed by the iconoclasts who elsewhere in the world launch the assault of the Genoese navigator. Life restarts and Barcelona restarts. As you can understand by moving to the suburbs, in the hive satellite city of L’Hospitalet, at the exhibition center that hosts the Mobile World Congress. As we wrote in recent days, scenario of rebirth and restart. This year’s fair, which occupies three pavilions against the nine usually covered, has a unique value and specific weight: never more than in recent months it is essential to talk about the impact of technologies on our world and never as much today as events, fairs, conferences allow to remind those who crowd them that in addition to Covid there is more in the world. At the Mwc Barcelona and Catalonia show their pride: young companies active in robotics, space exploration, biotechnology, fintech contribute to making the city a pole of innovation and creation of culture and entrepreneurial skills that bode well for the new routes of a city that continues to renew itself. And what moreover in the continuous attempt, in the latent tension to try to reconcile tradition and modernity brings its unique identity into the 21st century. Not scratched by Covid.