Like fish and chips in England, and gelato in Italy, bocadillo de calamares is a quintessential must-eat in Madrid. Fresh squid rings are coated in flour and deep-fried in olive oil until they’re brown and crispy. Once they’re tucked into a fresh hunk of bread, your bocadillo de calamares is ready to eat. Squid sandwiches are best when they’re made to order so never buy one that’s been pre-made. Madrileños have been known to eat bocadillo de calamares for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner – so it’s always the right time of day to eat one in Madrid.
Like Ferrara’s aceto balsamico di modeno (balsamic vinegar), Spain’s aceite de oliva, (olive oil) is good enough to drink. The country’s dry, hot climate makes it perfect for cultivating olives, which Spaniards have done for more than 3,000 years. In fact, Spain hosts some of the oldest olive trees on earth and is the biggest producer of olive oil in the world, far exceeding that of both Italy and Greece. Every home has a bottle of aceite de oliva on the counter at the ready for drizzling on tortilla de patatas at breakfast, salads at lunch, and over fish or grilled vegetables at dinner. See if you can match a typical Spaniard’s annual 2.5-gallon consumption of olive oil.
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is home to Real Madrid, one of the winningest and popular football teams in the world. A tour of their 80,000-seat stadium can take up to four hours but is worth the experience. You’ll discover this world-renowned venue has played host to the European Cup/UEFA Champions League four times, the European Nation’s Cup, the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro final. A tour includes the dugouts, where some of the world’s best players have waited their turn on the bench, presidential box, press room, changing rooms, player’s tunnel, trophy room, and of course the club shop where you can outfit yourself in fan gear.