Our travels in Europe had taken us to many distinct regions offering a variety of cultural, georgraphic and culinary experience. One common and often unnoticed feature of many such places are the street musicians. They are frequently there – at the Metro in mega cities like Barcelona, at the entrance to famous churches like the Notredame de la garde in Marseilles or even in the mountains of Bavaria by the Neuschwanstein castle. Their performance light up such places and give us that little joy and enthusiasm that we all can use. This blog is a photo narrative of these talented individuals, captured in images we took during our trips. I hope you enjoy the pictures. And next time you encounter one of them, be generous with tips that helps them support their daily activities.

Italy

Italy is frequently ranked as most popular destination for tourists. The sunny region of Tuscany in central Italy is home to many famous historic masterpieces and monuments in cities like Florence, Siena, Pisa and others. We can hear a variety of street music here from medival style to cheery folk music.

A busker playing his custom made medival music instrument in San Giminano, Tuscany, Italy (Fall, 2017)
A street musician band cheering up the long line of crowd outside Galleria del Academia museum in Florence, Italy (Fall, 2017)

Spain

Spain’s tradition in music goes back many centuries. Well known instruments like Spanish guitar is a staple of many genres here such as Flamenco. This is more evident in the southern regions like Andalusia, in the white villages and historic cities like Seville and Cordoba with their Moorish heritage. Up in Northern Spain, in regions like Catalonia, we find more diverse taste in music. You will find street performers in Barcelona frequently dancing to Pop music or serending to soft rock tunes in the Metro.

A street musician playing Spanish guitar by the Cathedral of Seville (Summer, 2019)
A street performance of Gypsy dancers in sunny Andalusia, Spain (Summer, 2019)
An evening performance at our historic hotel in Seville by a touring Flamenco group (Summer, 2019)
A local musician at a tunnel in the Metro station of Casa Batillo, Barcelona (Fall, 2021)
A street performance of a dance routine near Casa Milla, Barcelona, Spain (Fall, 2021)

Mediterranean Islands

The Mediterranean sea expands from the Spanish coast in the west all the way to Greek islands and shores of Turkey and Israel in the East. Western Mediterranean sea covers the Iberian coast, French and Italian Riviera, the popular Amalfi coast and Sicily – some of most popular tourist locations in the world. But there are also some amazing island chains here such as the Balearic islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Minorca and neighbor islands of Corsica and Sardinia near the Italian coast. Here the music is melodious and ancient.

A uniquely Mediterranean percussion instrument played by a local musician in castle Belvar in the island of Mallorca (Fall, 2021)
A violinist performing at the grand plaza across from the royal castle and cathedral of Palma de Mallorca (Fall, 2021)

Bavaria and the Alps

The mountain ranges of the Alps stretch east to west from Eastern France all the way to borders of Hungary and from Bavaria, Germany in the north to the lake region of Lombardy, Italy. Alpine music with local string instruments and accordion are quiet common in this area.

A local musician playing accordion at a street corner in Como, Italy (Fall, 2017)
Our band’s singer-songwriter Glenda posing with a Bavarian folk musician on the road to Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria, Germany (Summer, 2018)

Finally, I would like to share this popular YouTube clip of music celebrities joining impromptu performance of their own song, sometimes even with street musicians, bringing surprise and joy to the people around! Enjoy!