Visiting Seville means…
Visiting Seville means entering into Spain of ancient traditions, of the past rich in history but above all of a beauty with an Arab charm. A Spain of bright and lively colors, spicy perfumes, blue skies, sunsets by the river, flamenco music…all elements that will make you fall in love with this city but also with the south of Spain, without a doubt.
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See
And if we talk about South of Spain it is obvious that we speak of Andalusia, the southernmost region of the Iberian nation, a land famous for good food, sun, flamenco and much more! Seville, the capital of Andalusia, is the city where the sun shines all year round, especially in summer when it is over 40°C. The Guadalquivir river that runs through the city adds a touch of beauty to the white and gold houses (color scheme that occurs throughout the city) and to the ancient buildings of predominantly Arab architecture.
Reales Alcázares de Sevilla
Countless points of interest: the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See better known as Seville Cathedral (the largest in Spain) where you find the tomb of Christopher Columbus; the Giralda Tower of 103 meters high that stands next to the cathedral; Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, the ancient Arab royal palace; the enchanting and unique Plaza de España (also known for being the background for some scenes of Star Wars Episode II-Attack of the Clones); the Torre del Oro (picture on top), iconic building of the city.
Plaza de España
The famous districts (in Spanish barrios) not to be missed are definitely Santa Cruz, an ancient Jewish barrio and Triana, a famous gypsy barrio where is said that the Sevillian flamenco is born.
Not many people know that flamenco, despite having become an emblematic element of all of Spain, was born in Andalusia. Danced by the nomadic people of the Gypsies, flamenco is a dance full of energy and sensuality, feelings and overwhelming passion. In the streets of Seville you will find flamenco dancers which create an atmosphere of joy and celebration. In fact, there are many classic tablaos de flamenco, that is, places where one attends dance and music performances, often sipping wine and eating tapas. A tablao not to be missed is La Carbonería, an ancient tavern where anyone can perform flamenco dances and guitar solos.
Semana Santa & Feria
If you are visiting Seville during the Easter period, you are in the right place. The Semana Santa is one of the most important religious events in the world, with the participation of dozens of Sevillian confraternities of very ancient and prestigious origins. The religious spirit during the Semana Santa is deeply felt by all the citizens who stay out into the streets to watch the processions organized by the confraternities until late at night.
Another unmissable event in the spring is La Feria de Abril which takes place for a whole week. Tourists from all over the world come to Seville exclusively to take part in the feria, during which the city is in a non-stop festive atmosphere.
Tradition has it that the Sevillian families gather in their casetas, (houses built inside the feria), inside which they dance, drink and eat, dressing traditional clothes. Casetas are also accessible for foreigners, but even just going around the city, you will be got into this atmosphere of fun and excitement!
What to eat
Espinacas with garbanzos
Andalusia boasts some of the best dishes of Spanish cuisine. The variety of foods satisfies all tastes. There are many dishes based on fish such as fried calamari or anchovies. Try the salmorejo, tomato soup similar to gazpacho, espinacas with garbanzos, (spinach and chickpeas seasoned with spices), patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy sauce) or aioli (white garlic sauce).
Where to Stay
Palacio de Villapanés is a boutique hotel in Seville, situated in historical building built in the 18th century, a stone’s throw from the historic Santa Cruz district, and close to the center of Seville. This beautiful hotel looks like a jewel that shines in all its splendor, combining its Baroque style with the typical Arab style of the Christian era. Inside there is a real aristocratic atmosphere made of high ceilings, balconies with wooden shutters, patios with marble columns and an impressive family crest placed on the grand staircase, all expertly completed and combined with a furniture dating back to the middle of the century, work of the famous Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola.
The wonderful 50 rooms invite you to appreciate all their splendor, designed to leave behind the superfluous and concentrate on essential comforts. Enjoy the real Andalusian flavors at the Los Rincones del Marqués, the restaurant of Palacio in Villapanés Hotel. A lovely restaurant with an exquisite Sevillian cuisine accompanied by a selection of wines that will surprise you with its special creativity. The menu is the essence of Mediterranean cuisine and it reflects the unmistakable personality of the Andalusian character. There is a small Spa in the basement as well as a gym equipped with machines and weights to keep you fit even on vacation. Instead during the summer, the roof terrace has a small pool and a bar overlooking the terracotta roofs of Seville.