Seville – Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Rich in culture, sizzling with energy, sleek yet startlingly sophisticated. The sultry flamenco star, that is Seville, has reinvented herself as a coveted destination in the heart of Spain’s sun baked Andalusia region, jazzing up her old world charm and traditional glamour with a cool, up market vibe.
Get caught up in a fantasy world of cobbled courtyards, tinkling fountains and gypsy guitarists. Let the Moorish town squares dotted with orange trees indulge your senses, while the Gothic cathedral and horse drawn carriages add a touch of historical magic. When night falls, the tangle of alleys and flamenco bars spilling out onto the pavement come alive, drawing you into bustling neighbourhoods celebrating music, passion and foot stomping dance. Allow yourself to be seduced by the atmosphere.
Once a traditional city in many respects, Seville still displays a subtle underlying class system that shines through with plenty of dynamism. Notice the locals’ stylish dress, the way they behave, the food and drink rituals they uphold. They are all so distinctively typical of the proud Sevillanos. The city can almost be forgiven for its eccentric impression of being culturally independent from the rest of Spain.
With its edgy urban fashion, designer shops moonlighting as art galleries, flamenco flamboyance and lost boho bars, the Andalusian capital promises something for everyone.
The tapas trail
Trailblazing tapas are almost a religious experience in Andalusia, and the Sevillanos love nothing more than a gourmet grazing pilgrimage through the city’s cobbled maze, home to some of Spain’s most creative and innovative tapas imaginable.
Indulge yourself in the cultural style of casual snacking from bar to bar: Order chilled sherry or ice-cold Cruzcampo beer with tapitas of crisp, fried fish and gambas (shrimp). Try traditional chickpeas and spinach, or pillow light croquetas with lemon aioli, cod with tomato and Iberian pork cheeks. In fact why settle for just one plate?
La Azotea is an excellent new tapas venue. Its vibe is busy, buzzy and bijou, which translates as small, so get there early to stake your claim on a barstool.
Zelai serves super sleek, contemporary Basque tapas in a striking, über chic setting. The restaurant area is in back, but it’s much more fun to hang out at the bustling bar.
Wherever your tapas route starts or ends, make absolutely certain it includes El Rinconcillo, the oldest recorded taberna in Seville. It’s a landmark rendezvous virtually unchanged since 1670. Order traditional tapas from nonchalant waiters at a dark-wood counter where your bill is chalked on the tiled walls. Stand shoulder to shoulder, perch on a barrel or hunt down a quiet table on the upper floor.
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