Continuing my series on shops that only sell one thing… no wait; Casa de Diego sells two things! Fans and umbrellas, which pretty much has you covered for all the weather conditions in Madrid!
Fans are not just for decoration in Spain; people use them to keep cool – they really help in Madrid’s scorching hot, dry summers. I’d feel a bit self-conscious using a fan in most countries, but in Spain it’s very common, and if anyone is looking at you, it’s probably out of envy because they don’t have one!
I often buy summer visitors a fan from Diego’s as a welcome present. Or if someone borrows my fan and likes it, I give it to them, and go and buy another. I love coming here – drawers and cabinets filled with fans, which they are more than happy to show you. The prices vary wildly, from large undecorated ones for 8 euros, to elaborate hand-painted antique fans for many 100s of euros. They make all the fans themselves, and have been doing so since the 1800s.
As well as being practical, a fan is a brilliant keepsake or gift – they’re as Spanish as paella and sangria! This delightful shop is in the Plaza del Sol, which every visitor to Madrid has on their to-do list, so while you are there, step into Casa de Diego. If it’s not hot, you might need an umbrella, of which they have a great range which they also produce nearby.