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Neighborhoods of Rome, Vienna, and Madrid

Discovering Hidden Gems
Evening Program (Session 3 of 3-Session Course)

Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2084CS
$30 - Member
$35 - Non-Member
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Palazzo Doria Pamphilij, Rome (left), Vienna from St. Stephen Cathedral (right), and Egyptian Temple of Debod, Madrid (bottom)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.


Rome, Vienna, and Madrid were once the capital cities of vast empires. Each gathered within its confines the best artists, architects, thinkers, scientists, and chefs. All of them created deep roots in these cities, leaving treasures and pleasures often overlooked by visitors who spend their time in world-famous sites such as the Sistine Chapel, the Vienna State Opera, and the Prado. But it’s the off-the-beaten-track corners of these cities where unexpected gems await discovery.

Fred Plotkin, a popular Smithsonian Associates speaker on culture, history, and music, has lived in and visited Rome, Vienna, and Madrid over more than four decades. Join him for a richly illustrated series in which he looks at these places through the eyes of a flâneur—a French term for a person whose casual strolls through city streets produce delight in their chance discoveries. He shares what he’s found on his neighborhood walks: churches, theaters, specialty shops, restaurants, cafes, and unusual museums just a stone’s throw from world-famous landmarks.

For information on this Neighborhoods course or other sessions, please click here.



Spain’s empire was infinitely larger than those of Rome and Vienna, making Madrid incredibly rich in holdings of art and artifacts. The Museo de América holds Europe’s finest collection of works of pre-Columbian civilization. Visitors can walk in beautiful districts pursuing any number of themes: literature, tapas, royalty, or the life or work of notable Spaniards such as Cervantes, Goya, the Duchess of Alba, or director Pedro Almodóvar. Madrid is a city full of splendid gardens, but few visitors know the Capricho de la Alameda de Osuna, created in the 1780s as a place where artists and aristocrats could commune with nature and exchange ideas. Madrid may be Europe’s finest late-night city, with restaurants, flamenco clubs, and the street scene called the movida in full swing until the wee hours.


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  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.