My mum called me a few days ago and said she watched a documentary about Seville that said it´s the most Spanish city in the whole of Spain.
I have to say I´ve never been to any other Spanish city, but I easily take her word for it. Seville seems to have everything. All the typical things you think of when thinking Spain. Narrow streets, ever-present sun, palm trees, orange trees, horses, flamenco, bull fighting... but at the same time I don´t feel overwhelmed or tourist trapped. If you go to Paris, you´ll probably see seventy souvenir shops every day, each of them full of miniature Eiffel towers and Sacre Coeurs. London is basically one big souvenir shop. And I´m sure Madrid is full of Spanish flags and castanetas. But Seville isn´t so much in your face and I like that.
Of course you get an occasional shop with flamenco dresses and traditional local ceramics, but it feels natural and mild. Seville shows you what it is in practical ways - horse drawn carriages offer rides around the city, and many tour companies, like ours, will take you around the beautiful sights and explain the history behind them.
I am a traveler. I love new places, different cultures, trying new food, taking pictures... Seville is a paradise for that. Every street is beautiful, no matter where. Orange trees are on every corner, and if you walk anywhere anytime apart from during the siesta, you´ll pass a fruteria every three minutes. You would be a fool if fruits and vegetables didn´t suddenly become your main source of nutrition. Oranges are the cheapest I´ve ever seen them - you can get two kilos for a euro. With the sky always clear and sun shining even on colder days, it´s so easy to eat healthy and cheap. If you´re not the cooking type, don´t despair - eating out in Seville is cheap and diverse. I come from a country, and especially a family, that doesn´t eat out. Eating out is a treat for special occasions. Here, it seems to be the complete opposite. People eat breakfast in a cafe almost every day. Tapas bars are always full. Sevilla is a city of friends and companionship.
Tapas is one thing, but don´t forget about paella, seafood, and local dishes foreigners don´t even know. On a trip to Italica, we stopped at a pub and our boss ordered a food I´ve never even heard about. He turned to me and said "It´s breadcrumbs, chorizo, garlic, and lots of love". The dish was read from the fried chorizo and full of big cloves of garlic still in their peels.
Bikes are also a big thing in Seville. I´ve never seen so many bike shops in a single city, they´re everywhere. Thanks to Seville being so flat and its streets so narrow, cycling is a logical, cheap alternative to public transport or owning a car. It also never gets so cold your hands are freezing even in gloves, and it only rains about five days a month even in winter months.
Maybe the most famous things about Seville are the flamenco festival and bullfighting. Flamenco dresses can be bought in every souvenir shop, as well as paintings of dancers and toreadors. There are numerous statues of famous toreadors, and toreadors are obviously the celebrities of this region, which I found out when I visited a local graveyard in Macarena. The biggest tomb with a large statue was reserved for Francisco Rivera, known as Paquirri. Rumour has it that the reason Seville is full of orange trees is because the royal family likes the look of them, since the fruit is so bitter no one picks them. However, a quick Google search proved this to be just that - a rumour. In fact, the tree has been brought to Seville in the tenth centuryby the Moors, long before the Spanish royal family even existed. The oranges can´t really be eaten fresh, unless you are a food masochist or eat lemons with their peel like an apple. The bitter orange is truly unpleasantly tasting, and although it has its uses (it makes for an amazing marmelade and can be used in a variety of ways), the locals don´t really bother picking them. This gives the streets of Seville a beautiful splash of colour.
Credit to sevilla.abc.es
Last but not least, it would be foolish not to mention the many works of art inspired and set in Seville. The most famous include operas like Bizet´s Carmen, Beethoven´s Fidelio, Mozart´s Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, Rossini´s The Barber of Seville, Prokofiev´s Betrothal in a Monastery, and Verdi´s La Forza De Destino. Just outside the city is Italica, which served as a filming location for Game of Thrones (and where you can go on our Italica tour), and the fictional kingdom of Dorne was filmed in Real Alcazar located about fifteen minutes walking distance from our office and included in our daily tour. The film Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz was set and filmed here as well as the Doctor Who´s The Two Doctors. The Plaza de Espana can be seen in Star Wars Episode II, The Dictator, and Lawrence of Arabia. Seville is also the setting of the famous Don Juan, and all of Assassin´s Creed film adaptation´s flashbacks were set here, with Leaps of Faith performed off the (then) unfinished Cathedral.
Credit to inverse.com
As you can see, there´s so much Seville can offer, and that´s just talking about the famous things - a small number of attractions everyone knows about out of so much more than you´ll only find out once you´re here.
I would advise everyone interested in film to go see these sights and soak in the atmosphere of their favourite works. Apart from the Leaps of Faith. Please don´t jump off of the Cathedral. And if you do, don´t name us.