A CITY THAT’S MOOR­ISH

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - ASK THE TOUR GUIDE - CE­LESTE MITCHELL

Ial­ways tell my guests that Seville is the clos­est to how they’d imag­ine a Span­ish city to look … (and) it truly em­bod­ies the good life,” says Is­abelle Ver­gara. Help­ing vis­i­tors sink into this en­vi­able life­style, Trafal­gar travel di­rec­tor Is­abelle says she loves show­ing off the ro­man­tic and vi­brant city where “the peo­ple are charis­matic and the food is in­cred­i­ble”.

“The his­toric Santa Cruz neigh­bour­hood is def­i­nitely the most pop­u­lar with its beau­ti­ful man­sions, flow­ered court­yards and ro­man­tic corners,” Is­abelle says. “It’s a must-visit for pho­tog­ra­phers and those look­ing for dif­fer­ent ar­ti­sanal sou­venirs. Or just sit at one of the many ter­races with a glass of man­zanilla (lo­cal sherry wine), una copa de san­gria (glass of san­gria) or una caña (a small draft beer) with some tapas and watch lo­cals and vis­i­tors pass­ing by.” If you’re plan­ning to find out why Lonely Planet named Seville the No.1 city to visit in 2018, Is­abelle has these ex­pert tips:

CATHE­DRAL OR AL­CAZAR?

For me, both mon­u­ments are a must for his­toric im­por­tance and grandeur so it’s a dif­fi­cult choice. How­ever, as a first-time vis­i­tor I would see the Al­cazar of Seville palace becOanuFsaec­the­bisOiOs okne of the three maOin FMao­co­er­biOshOk m@oen­su­cam­pen.ctOs imn.Sa­puain, all pro­tec@teeds­b­caype.cOm.au UNESCO ... and noth­ing like it can be found any­where else in Europe.

A guided visit will pro­vide lots of de­tails you miss when vis­it­ing by your­self or even with an au­dio guide. A lo­cal spe­cial­ist will show you where sev­eral scenes of Sea­son 5 of Game of On In­sta­gram Thrones were shot, as the Al­cazar palace was us@edesac­sat­pheesW­naat­pesr Dor@nees.Tc­ah­peerse­naal

Gar­dens of palace is even more cap­ti­vat­ing than what you see in GOT.

WHERE TO SEE REAL FLA­MENCO

The best op­por­tu­nity to see the ac­tual Fla­menco artists is dur­ing the so-called Bienal de Fla­menco de Sevilla fes­ti­val (this year, Septem­ber 6-18) and the per­for­mances are held in the­atres and cafes all over the city.

You can watch and lis­ten to a good fla­menco per­for­mance at one of the many renowned tablaos (small fla­menco the­atres) in the city any time of the year. El Are­nal or Los Gal­los have fla­menco-only per­for­mances and at El Pa­tio Sevil­lano, next to the fa­mous bull­ring, the pub­lic will en­joy fla­menco per­for­mance in com­bi­na­tion with the clas­si­cal Span­ish dance. In Seville every­one knows how to dance Sevil­lanas, a folk­loric dance trans­lated as fla­menco light. You can see this dur­ing the fa­mous April Fair, La Fe­ria de Abril. The dates vary, al­ways two weeks af­ter the end of the Easter week pro­ces­sions.

EAT LIKE A LO­CAL

Don’t go to restau­rants that dis­play pho­tos of their dishes on the menu, go to oth­ers where you see lo­cals. My favourite tapas bars are La Hostería del Lau­rel in Santa Cruz where you should try the jamón ibérico de bel­lota o de pata ne­gra (the fa­mous acorn-fed cured ham from the Ibe­rian black pig); las es­pinacas con gar­ban­zos (spinach with chick­peas); tor­tilla de patatas de la casa (Span­ish potato omelet of the house); or rabo de toro (stewed ox­tail).

In the same neigh­bour­hood you can find Casa Román where they serve sim­ple but de­li­cious patatas al­iñadas (pota­toes with vinai­grette dressing), or en­sal­ada de to­mate con bonito del norte (tomato salad with tuna from the Bay of Bis­cay). Hun­gry yet?

DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT TRY­ING ...

A horse and car­riage ride. You will see Seville from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and en­joy the city in slow mo­tion. The ride takes you along the main mon­u­ments and also to the ro­man­tic Maria Luisa gar­dens. This will prob­a­bly be one of your best mem­o­ries of Seville.

PIC­TURE: ISTOCK

Al­cazar of Seville, a UNESCO site, is even more cap­ti­vat­ing than what you see in Game of Thrones.

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