Favorite 10: Around Tirana with Simona Karafili - Into Albania

Favorite 10: Around Tirana with Simona Karafili

Soprano Simona Karafili, one the up-and-coming stars of the local opera scene, reveals her favorite spots around Tirana, her morning routine and love of pasta, as well as her passion for opera and her puppy, Zoi.

1. Favorite Café 

After waking up at around 7, I, sometimes still in my pajamas, put on my tennis shoes, a trench coat and walk towards Skanderbeg Square, my puppy Zoi by my side. Before getting there, we make a stop at Sophie Café where we get a double cappuccino (more coffee than milk!) which I enjoy while watching Zoi run and play in the park. Sophie is a lively coffeeshop: the baristas there are always friendly and efficient!

Simona with her puppy Zoi on their afternoon walk.

2. Landmark

My house.

The day starts and ends there. My home contains all of my states: order, chaos, happiness and sadness. It’s the place where my family, my biggest anchor and greatest joy at the end of the day, lives.

3. Random Spot

The New Bazaar because, in one way or another, I often find myself walking through it. Here, it seems to me, the combination of the noise and movement that is so typical of a market and the stylized ethnic aesthetic co-exist in perfect harmony.

New Bazaar

The New Bazaar in Tirana, photo by IntoAlbania

4. Go-to Lunch Restaurant

Who doesn’t love pasta?!

At Pastaria, the dishes are prepared quickly, always tasty and reasonably priced. Not to miss at the end of eveyr meal is the delicious crème brûlée!

5. Dish in a local restaurant

I have a few as I truly love food! I would single out grilled salmon with vegetables as the dish is both tasty and healthy!

6. Happy hour drink and place

A drink at Padam.

Drinking alcohol is an exception rather than the norm for me, but a white Martini with an olive enjoyed with a side dish of spicy shrimp and calamari is always a good choice.

7. Guilty Pleasure

A bike ride in the late evening at around 10 PM in Tirana. The city becomes so beautiful at night, as its streets grow emptier and it all becomes quieter.

Skanderbeg Square at night, photo by IntoAlbania

8. Culture Spot

The opera house!!!

It is not the elitist art it’s often assumed to be. Emotion could never be elitist! Opera is based on emotion, the easiest and most immediate to be perceived. The Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana offers a rich and varied calendar of activities. Oftentimes, we are on tour so, if you don’t come to us, we will come to you!

Simona Karafili interpreting Léila in “Les pécheurs de perles” by Georges Bizer. National Theatre of Opera and Ballet.

9. Go-to Dinner restaurant

“Artisti” (The Artist), located along the gorgeous road where the capital’s Artistic Lyceum is located.

10. Bar/Club

Padam.

By: IntoAlbania

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