I would imagine that many travelers’ first impressions of Seville are not good ones. Even for me, driving down the Paseo del las Delicias into the city, my initial thoughts of the place were not positive. But Seville will seduce you. It will lull you into thinking that it doesn’t have much to offer, but then it will capture your heart like a Spanish lover.
Thoughts of the City
Seville is a large city for Spain (700,000+ inhabitants), but it doesn’t seem that way. Largely devoid of high-rise buildings, it is a big city that doesn’t feel big. Narrow city streets hide its size, compartmentizing the city into distinct neighborhoods, each with their own style and charm. But that’s one of the ways that Seville draws you in. You are not overwhelmed by the dimensions of it. Largely devoid of busy avenues, you don’t feel the hustle and bustle of it, even on a week day. Seville doesn’t scream at you; it slaps you on the back like an old friend.
Because of the heat (everyone will tell you that the region is hot. Do yourself a favor and just believe them…), Seville takes its siesta seriously. In the afternoon hours the inhabitants escape to the shade or inside. However this brief respite is just the city gathering its energy for the evening hours. As the temperature cools, activity in the city centre heats up. Most nights and weekends people flock to the city centre to meet, shop and eat. Seville comes alive, and the music of the city is the rhythm of its heart beat, the city centre.
If the heart of Seville is the city centre, the soul of the city is its citizens. Sevillanos are friendly, outgoing people, fiercely proud of their city. Seville has a mix of young and old, but no matter what the age of the people, the city feels young. Down almost every narrow street and alleyway, the tapas bars and restaurants come alive with a cacophony of people; laughing, joking, drinking and eating. They place their importance on family, friends and futbol. More than any other Spanish city I’ve been in, Sevillanos “live to live”.