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La Manual Alpargatera

The King of Espadrilles

Inside the shop

Nothing could be more Catalan than the alpargata, or espadrille—archaeologists have found remains of them in caves over 4,000 years old. La Manual is a small workshop that has been making them by hand here since the 1940s. Over time they became famous (customers included Picasso and the Pope), and now they have a retail shop out front. It's old fashioned—they measure your feet to make sure they're right—and the prices are amazingly low.

La Manual's stocks every manner of espadrilles, all crammed into the little shop, from fashionable modern slip-on versions to the traditional kind, used for dancing the sardana; for these they'll give you a lesson in tying them up. The shop also sells hats and other made-in-Catalonia accessories.

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C/Avinyó 7

Hours 9am-1.30pm, 4.30-8pm; closed Sun

metro: Liceu

+34 93 301 01 72

Barri Gòtic

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by La Manual Alpargatera