Museo Cerralbo in the hip Malasaña neighbourhood isn’t “very well known” by travellers, according to Dr Fracchia, but its elaborate setting and unusual collections make it a must-visit. “This is an absolute visual feast,” she says. “The main staircase belonging to this stately home was one of the most scenographic spaces in 19th-century mansions in Madrid. First-rate European and Spanish paintings and objects from all over the world are displayed in this former opulent residence,” which belonged to an eminent Spanish archaeologist and politician, Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, who died in 1922. Take a moment’s respite in the house’s ballroom, a maze of opulent mirrors, elaborate wall etchings and plush furnishings.