Malaga, capital of the Costa del Sol, boasts a mixture of old and new. It is filled with thriving, modern shopping centres contrasted with buildings from Roman and Moorish times.
As the capital city of the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a thriving Mediterranean port. Pheonician traders established the city in the 8th century.
In the bustling city of Malaga, the old and the new meet on Marques de Larios, Plaza de la Constitución and Calle de Granada. These form the backbone of the shopping area and the thriving nightlife. The narrow side streets are an intriguing maze of alleys crammed with tapas bars and bodegas - old-fashioned wine shops brimming with casks. Here you can sample the local sweet wine, which is similar to Port. At weekends the area is full of young people enjoying the thriving nightlife in the city's many bars, bar de copas (wine bars), or nightclubs. Locals often do not go out until midnight and will continue partying until the morning light, stopping for breakfast on their way home.
At Easter the city comes alive for Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the streets are packed until the early hours as the night air is filled with music from the processions. Large flotillas called tronos (throwns) with scenes of the crucifixion are carried through the town. The Semana Santa celebrations are among the largest in Spain and draw visitors from all over the world.
The summer fair (Malaga Feria) is the city's other major annual event. Held every August it is claimed to be the second largest fair in Europe. For one week city folk and visitors celebrate in traditional Andalusian style. The celebrations start around midday in the main pedestrian street of Calle Larios and continue until 6.00 or 7.00 in the evening. There is plenty to eat and drink and the streets are full of people enjoying themselves. Once the partying subsides it's time for a quick rest until 11.00 or midnight and then on to the fair ground outside the city centre. The fair has special temporary bars called Casetas, and most put on shows of Flamenco music and dancing.
Picasso spent the first 14 years of his life in Malaga before moving to Barcelona and the airport is named after him. Recently his daughter-in-law donated many of Picasso’s artworks to the city, which has built a museum dedicated to him. The house where he lived in Plaza de la Merced is a popular tourist attraction, although it is no longer open to the public.
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