POINTS OF INTEREST
Just steps from La Rambla and one of Barcelona's most popular streets, lined with art galleries, xocolaterías (chocolate shops), and stationers, this narrow passageway dates back to the 15th century, when it was used as a shortcut through the backyard of a local property owner. Working up Petritxol from Plaça del Pi, stop to admire the late-17th-century sgraffito design (mural ornamentation made by scratching away a plaster surface), some of the city's best, on the facade over the Ganiveteria Roca knife store, the place for cutlery in Barcelona. Next on the right at Petritxol 2 is the 200-year-old Dulcinea, with a portrait of the great Catalan playwright Àngel Guimerà (1847–1924) over the fireplace; drop in for the house specialty, the suizo ("Swiss" hot chocolate and whipped cream). Also at Petritxol 2 is the Llibreria Quera, one of the city's best hiking and mountaineering bookstores.
Note the plaque to Àngel Guimerà over No. 4 and the Art Box gallery at Nos. 1–3 across the street. At No. 5 is Sala Parès, founded in 1840, the dean of Barcelona's art galleries, where major figures like Isidre Nonell, Santiago Russinyol, and Picasso have shown their work, and its affiliated Galeria Trama, which shows more contemporary work. Xocoa at No. 9 is another popular chocolate shop. Look carefully at the "curtains" carved into the wooden door at No. 11 and the floral ornamentation around the edges of the ceiling inside; the store is Granja la Pallaresa, yet another enclave of chocolate and ensaimada (a light-looking but deadly sweet Majorcan pastry, with confectioner's sugar dusted on top). Finally on the left at No. 17 is the Rigol fine arts supply store.