Francisco Giner de los Rios was born in the south of Spain in 1839. He trained as a lawyer but quickly discovered that his passion was the education of children; in 1876 he opened the Institución Libre de Enseñanza to encourage academic freedom and whose main tenets included co-education, rationalism and freedom of literary communication. Today the Fundación Giner de los Rios continues the work of the radical thinker, who died in Madrid aged 75.
Italian interior-designer Federico Crocellá has had his studio on the street for three years, and opened his boutique, Wunderkammer, in September last year. He sells furniture, home accessories and jewellery, which he has either designed himself or hand-picked on his travels to markets in France and India. Crocellá chose Francisco Giner as his base because of the neighbourhood’s reputation as a culturally rich and diverse place. “I like the street because it is in such an artistic and vibrant place,” he said. “With my designs, and the pieces I sell, I select the things that I like, and that I think people in Barcelona would be unlikely to find elsewhere.”
La Singular (nº. 50) is an intimate Catalan restaurant, which has been going for around 15 years. Everything is locally sourced and homemade, and it has a loyal following of Gràcìa residents who come to enjoy dishes such as duck with passion fruit and banana sauce, and chocolate, pear and almond tart.
Husband-and-wife partnership Vincenzo Petrucci and Raquel Pla run Italian restaurant Santa Madonna, with the aim of bringing real Italian cuisine to Barcelona, putting quality before cost-cutting, and Raquel said that Gràcia was the only place they wanted to be. “The people living and working here are the type of people we want to visit our restaurant,” she explained. “They are artistic and autonomous people, and understand what it is we are trying to achieve. We already have a steady flow of loyal customers and people we call friends.”
If you're looking for an unusual gift for the sports' lover in your life, the place to head here isn't the FC Barcelona shop but Sangenis Sports' Antique shop (nº. 52), where you might find old golf clubs and part of a ski lift from the 1936 Winter Olympics.