Sacramento Neighborhood Guide

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada, Sacramento’s central location makes it a great jumping off point for all of Northern California. As yet, it is an undiscovered gem, but more and more, visitors are discovering all it has to offer. Its tree-lined streets, shady parks, gourmet restaurants and world-class attractions make it a great place to visit and to live.  

From UrbanBound.

From UrbanBound.

72 Hours in Sacramento

The economy may be heading slightly upward, but travelers are still hesitant to dole out the big bucks for spendy vacation destinations. Enter California's own city of trees, Sacramento. Sure, the capital can't compete with its larger neighbors to the south, but it truly has something for everyone: a burgeoning restaurant scene, outdoor adventures and a diverse cultural past.

Sacramento Travel

Sacramento is a cosmopolitan oasis rich with fine dining, high-end shopping, world-class museums and performing arts. Best of all, its central location means the ocean and mountains are only a short car ride away. Once a sleepy commuter town centered on state politics and agriculture, Sacramento has quickly blossomed into a bustling metropolis.

But Sacramento can't escape its past, and remnants of its golden era are found on every corner. Having begun as a base for miners on their way to the nearby Sierra Nevada during the Gold Rush era, the city is rich with nineteenth-century history.

Sacramento's central core — composed of its downtown and midtown areas, where most attractions are located — is relatively compact and easy to navigate by a lettered and numbered grid system. Most hotels are located within walking distance of major sites, and taxis are readily available. To reach outlying areas of town, rent a car. Parking is inexpensive and easy to find, and public transportation is often unreliable.

Guests of participating hotels can save a buck or two by picking up a complimentary Sacramento Gold Card. The card offers savings — many two-for-one deals — at dozens of restaurants, attractions and merchants throughout town. The Sacramento Convention and Visitor's Bureau, at 1608 I St., can help with room reservations at participating merchants or provide any other information you may need. 

Sacramento enjoys its share of high-end lodgings, boutique hotels and mid-range options. By far the best choices are the Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, located in the heart of downtown, or the Embassy Suites on the riverfront. Also downtown, the boutique hotel, The Citizen, retains its past with historic charm.

For a unique experience, book a room on the Riverboat Delta King, a 1920s paddle wheeler permanently moored in Old Sacramento. For cozy, residential hospitality, book a room at the Amber House Bed & Breakfast. Or, to surround yourself in turn-of-the-century romantic opulence, stay at The Sterling Hotel.

SACRAMENTO DAY 1: OLD TOWN, WALKING TOURS, CALIFORNIA STATE RAILROAD MUSEUM

Follow in the footsteps of the forty-niners and begin your tour of the River City in Old Sacramento. Plan your itinerary over breakfast at the Rio City Café, where you can enjoy Frangelico French toast or Cajun beef hash while gazing at the Sacramento River on the outdoor patio. Get acquainted by strolling along the raised wooden sidewalks and admire the nineteenth-century architecture.

As you look past the modern souvenir shops and restaurants, it's easy to imagine their former glory as general stores, saloons and bathhouses. Of particular interest is the B.F. Hastings building, which served as the Western terminus for the Pony Express; the Eagle Theatre, a replica of the first theater in California; and the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse, a reproduction of a one-room schoolhouse typical of the Old West. Many of these buildings now house shops and boutiques; besides souvenir T-shirts and fake gold nuggets, you'll also find unique — sometimes wacky — gifts at Evangeline, Hollywood memorabilia at Stage Nine Entertainment Store, eco-friendly home goods at the Solar Syndicate and nostalgic collectibles at Brooks Novelty Antiques and Records.

Old Sacramento.jpg

For a more in-depth perspective of Old Town, visit the Old Sacramento Visitors Center and take an hour-long Historical Walking Tour through the Old Sacramento Living History Program, led by a costumed docent. For a lighthearted take on the city's sordid history, take the Hysterical Walk comedic tour led by prospectors and riverboat gamblers, or a Ghost Tour hosted by the spirits of the dead. Or, go below the surface of the city's history with an underground tour, and see what the streets looked like before the city was raised to avoid annual floodwaters. A scenic, one-hour historic river cruise with Hornblower Cruises provides yet another unique perspective.

After a morning of sightseeing, it's time for lunch at Fat City. Housed in the Brannan Building, one of the first general merchandise stores in Old Town, the restaurant is decorated in Victorian artifacts, Tiffany-style lamps and beveled glass windows. The varied menu offers something for everyone, from satisfying entrée salads to burgers, sandwiches and pasta. 

Things to Do in Sacramento

After lunch, continue your trip back in time with a visit to one of the most popular attractions in Old Sacramento. The California State Railroad Museum, which traces the history of railroading and its impact on California, features restored nineteenth-century traincars, a steam locomotive and a reconstructed train depot. During the summer you can hop aboard a steam train for a six-mile excursion atop the levees of the Sacramento River. 

Other nearby museums include the California Military Museum, featuring artifacts, documents and memorabilia of California's rich military history; and the Wells Fargo History Museum, which depicts the early days of commerce through gold, stagecoaches and telegraph. 

For dinner, there are plenty of options in Old Sacramento. Get a taste of what the region has to offer at Ten22. This casual yet sophisticated American eatery features creative dishes designed around local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a showcase of local food with the six-course chef's table discovery menu, a one-of-a kind tasting menu designed especially for two.

SACRAMENTO DAY 2: STATE CAPITOL, GOVERNOR'S MANSION, SUTTER'S FORT

Head east today to explore all that midtown has to offer. Do what the locals do and begin with breakfast at the Tower Café. The palm-tree-lined outdoor patio, a quiet oasis on a busy intersection, is the perfect place to enjoy the famous custard-soaked French toast, a designer omelet or huevos rancheros. Afterwards, continue to the city's most recognizable landmark, the State Capitol. Completed in 1874, the Capitol building houses the state Senate and Assembly, and visitors can watch lawmakers in action in public viewing galleries. Take a tour of the restored historic offices or stand in the first-floor rotunda and admire the inner dome rising 120 feet. Step outside the massive structure into the serenity of Capitol Park, 40 acres of trees, shrubs and flowers. The park also features several key monuments, including the California Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Firefighters Memorial. 

Sacramento Restaurants

For lunch, head over to the bustling K Street corridor, which is home to several lively restaurants and nightclubs. A good bet for a casual lunch is Pizza Rock, a rock-and-roll themed pizza joint featuring dozens of creative pies — including the award-winning margherita baked in a wood-fired oven.

If you haven’t had enough of California government, head over to the Governor’s Mansion. Built by a hardware merchant in 1877, the mansion was home to thirteen governors before being turned over to the state in 1967 during Ronald Reagan’s tenure. With 30 rooms, nine bathrooms and fourteen-foot ceilings, the structure is an example of Second Empire-Italianate architecture.

Crocker Art Museum.jpg

Continue your tour of the midtown area with a visit to Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. Founded by John Sutter in 1839, the fort is all that remains of Sacramento’s earliest settlement, which was abandoned after gold was discovered in the nearby foothills. Tour the historical exhibits and witness living history with demonstrations in weaving, blacksmithing and carpentry.

No visit to Sacramento would be complete without a visit to the Crocker Art Museum. Founded in 1885, it’s the longest continually operating museum in the West. The museum is partially housed in a Victorian mansion, which is itself a work of art, and is home to one of the premier collections of California art.  The  California Hall of Fame at the California Museum for History highlights the innovative contributions of Californians; inductees include Amelia Earhart, César Chavez, Walt Disney, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.

If you're here on the second Saturday of the month, there is no better way to get a taste of Sacramento's burgeoning local art scene than by participating in Second Saturday Art Walk. Art galleries throughout town stay open late, usually until 9 p.m., welcoming guests free of charge to view their items, meet the artists and socialize with fellow art lovers.

By now, you should have worked up a hearty appetite. A good choice for dinner is The Porch Restaurant and Bar, a modern take on traditional Southern fare.

If you have enough energy left after dinner, enjoy Sacramento's thriving performing arts scene. The Music Circus, a nationally recognized theater-in-the-round, produces musical events during the summer months. The Sacramento Ballet offers world-class shows, and the Sacramento Community Center Theater stages Broadway musicals. At the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis, you'll find a full range of performing arts, from music to dance, traditional to innovative. Both the B Street Theater and Capital Stage are well-regarded for their local productions, or, for something more lighthearted, check out the Comedy Spotfor a night of local stand-up, sketch or improv.

SACRAMENTO DAY 3: OUTDOOR ADVENTURES, AMERICAN RIVER, WINE TASTING

On day three, it's time to conquer the great outdoors. Sacramento's mild weather makes it an outdoor enthusiast's dream — biking, hiking, rafting, boating and other activities are a regular part of life for Sacramentans. But first, fuel up with a hearty, inexpensive meal at a local favorite: Orphan Breakfast House. This neighborhood gem features an eclectic menu; popular items include the banana blackberry pancakes and soy chorizo scramble. 

Outdoor Activities and Adventures in Sacramento

After breakfast, consult your map and point yourself in the direction of the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail. Better known as the American River Bike Trail, this 23-mile-long paved, multi-use parkway stretches from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake. Rent a bicycle and pick up a courtesy map at City Bicycle Works, a quick ride from the trail's western access point. If biking isn't your thing, no worries; the American River Bike Trail is great for just taking a leisurely stroll and enjoying the scenery.

Sacramento's location at the conflux of the Sacramento and American rivers makes it an ideal choice for water enthusiasts as well — it isn't called the River City for nothing. Beat the summer heat by taking a rafting trip down the American. A number of companies offer trips suiting every skill level. A good bet for beginners is American River Raft Rentals, while the more adventurous can try American Whitewater Expeditions further upstream.

Back in town enjoy a much-needed lunch break at Zocalo, a midtown favorite for regional Mexican cuisine. Enjoy the sunshine on the outdoor patio while sipping a specialty cocktail, such as the Oaxacan old fashioned or caipirinha, and share several small plates, such as the beef empanadas or chorizo queso. 

Wine connoisseurs will be pleasantly surprised by what Sacramento has to offer. Not only is it less than an hour from the Amador and El Dorado wine growing regions, it is also home to several wineries of its own. Revolution Wines offers tasting and small plates in its bistro, open Tuesday through Sunday, while Rail Bridge Cellars offers tastings by appointment, and hosts special events throughout the year.

Today would also be a perfect day to pick up some souvenirs before your trip home. Sacramento is home to several world-class shopping centers and hundreds of one-of-a-kind boutiques. For high-end fashion, the outdoor Pavilions mall features designer fashions, home furnishings, gourmet cookware and an array specialty shops. The midtown area is home to dozens of independent boutiques selling designer clothing, vintage goods, handmade jewelry, imported gifts and local art.

For dinner, head to East Sacramento for Formoli's Bistro, featuring traditional American food with a gourmet twist; the whiskey burger is said to be one of the best burgers in town.

Originally published on www.gayot.com

Savor Seville

Few cities evoke the history, romance, beauty and passion of Seville. In the heart of the southern region of Andalucia, Seville conjures up images of swirling flamenco dancers, valiant bullfighters and labyrinthine stone passageways. Every plaza, courtyard and patio is enveloped in the rich scent of orange blossoms, while the distinct clap of castanets and classical guitar can be heard around every corner.

Seville may be known for its flamenco, bullfighting and history, but it is the people that carry the city's spirit. Every night, Sevillanos flood the city's bars and restaurants to eat, drink and be merry. To make the most of your trip, we suggest you do the same: slow down, sit back and take pleasure in all Seville has to offer. 

Seville is a walking city, so all you really need to get around are your own two feet. While rental cars are available, parking is scarce and expensive, and besides, many streets in the central district—the Barrio de Santa Cruz—are too narrow to accommodate vehicles. Public buses are available but aren't really necessary as most of the tourist sites are within close proximity to one another.

Seville Hotels

Seville has a wide range of accommodations. At the upper end, the luxurious Hotel Alfonso XIII, just steps from the Alcazar, offers expansive guestrooms in Baroque, Castilian or Moorish design, high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi, butler and chauffeur service and a swimming pool. Another high-end option is the Hotel Casa Imperial, a 16th-century palace that features suites with individual indoor patios, private terraces and access to the Club Antares sports center, complete with saunas and a heated pool.

More modest choices include Hotel Alcantara, a basic, modern hotel in the heart of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, just minutes from shops, restaurants and major attractions. Around the corner is Hotel rey Alfonso X, boasting terraces with views of the Cathedral. Another option is the Taberna del Alabardero, a small 19th-century house near the Plaza Nueva renowned for its prestigious Andalucían restaurant, wine shop and cooking courses.

Those on a budget don't have to sacrifice amenities or style in Seville. The Hostal Goya, a centrally located hotel designed in Spanish style with traditional ironwork and ceramic tiles, features clean, basic rooms and private bathrooms. The Hotel Simon, once a private 18th-century mansion, has an antique-filled central courtyard and tiled rooms.

DAY ONE: EL CENTRO — CATHEDRAL, LA GIRALDA, TAPAS CRAWL

The Rio Guadalquivir runs through the center of Seville, dividing the city into east and west. You're likely to spend most of your time in the eastern sector, which is where the Barrio de Santa Cruz is located. This medieval Jewish quarter is one of the city's most charmingly atmospheric neighborhoods.

But first, begin by fueling up with a hearty breakfast at the Horno de San Buenaventura. There are half a dozen locations around town, but the one on Avenida de la Constitucion is conveniently located and overlooks the Cathedral. On the ground floor, you can grab a quick bite—toast, pastry or coffee—while the dining room upstairs offers full English, American or Spanish breakfasts; we like the tortilla Espanol, or potato omelet.

After breakfast, stroll through the maze of narrow, winding, picturesquely set alleyways and streets lined with white houses and bougainvillea-bedecked balconies. You'll pass a number of charming cafes and a plethora of petite public squares gracefully shaded and exotically scented by orange and jasmine blossoms. Don't worry about choosing a specific destination; explore randomly, take your time, and you'll discover all sorts of fascinating sights. 

Seville

The barrio's El Centro, the geographical center of the city, houses the most popular landmarks: The Cathedral, Giralda and Alcazar. We don't recommend visiting them all on the same day, so instead start with the Cathedral and Giralda tower, the latter of which has spectacular views of the city and can help you get your bearings.

Located east of the main thoroughfare, Avenida de la Constitucion, the cathedral was built on the site of a former mosque. At the time, the Christians decreed: "Let us create such a structure that future generations will take us for lunatics." When the Gothic building was completed in 1507 (with some Renaissance touches added a few years later), they had indeed succeeded in putting together the largest cathedral in the world—an art, architecture and history museum rolled into one. Some of the church's stained glass windows are the originals set by Enrique Aleman in the 15th century, the golden age of stained glass design in Spain.

La Giralda, "The Rose of the Wind," looms on the northeastern side of the cathedral. Constructed during Islamic rule at the close of the 12th century, Giralda formerly functioned as the mosque's minaret. Identified by the bronze weather vane on top (known as giraldillo, or "little spinner," from which La Giralda takes its name), this is considered the loveliest building in Seville, and one of the most stellar displays of Islamic architecture on the planet. The crown jewel of the grounds is the Mudejar Palacio de Don Pedro, the intricacies of design rivaling Granada's Alhambra, though some view the orange tree courtyard as being just as majestic. The ascent up the bell chamber to the top of the Giralda is made easier by a series of ramps—built so guards could ride up on their horses. The panoramic vista afforded from this height is well worth the climb.

By this time you will no doubt be ready for a siesta. Though some say it's a dying tradition, the siesta is an important element to the life of Sevillanos, and we recommend following it as well. Most stores close from 2-5 p.m., and while many major attractions remain open, the heat of the day can be stifling. Instead, shift your schedule: opt for a late lunch and savor a much-needed afternoon break. That way, you'll be rested up for some Sevillian nightlife.

Seville Restaurants

Begin by lunching at one of the many restaurants in the Santa Cruz district along Calle Santa Maria La Blanca. While popular for early evening and late night tapas, many are also open for lunch. Try Cafe Bar Carmela and order up one of the daily specials, such as seafood paella with shrimp, calamari and whitefish. Sharing several small plates is also a good bet; try the cheese torta with fresh tomato or the tortilla Carmela with potato, onion and pepper. After lunch, return to your room to avoid the midday heat and rest up for the busy night ahead. 

Now that you're refreshed and rejuvenated, it's time to hit the town for a tapas crawl. Tapas, or small plates, are a practical solution to the fact that most Sevillanos—and Spaniards in general—eat much later than the rest of the world. In fact, many restaurants don't even open for dinner until 8 p.m. at the earliest. To hold you over until dinner, traditional tapas bars in the Barrio de Santa Cruz are Bar Entrecalles or Cafe Bar Las Teresas, both tiny places popular with locals. There are also dozens of places along Calle Mateos Gago; our favorite is Cafe Bar Patanchon. Try the ham cigars with mushrooms and cheese, the garlic prawns or the fried Camembert with raspberry sauce. Wash it all down with a glass of Spanish wine or sherry from the neighboring Cadiz province.

If you're still hungry, head to one of Seville's most renowned restaurants, Taberna del Alabardero, located in the hotel of the same name. In a 19th-century house, the restaurant features a seasonal Andalucían menu with local products. Appetizers may include such delights as red peppers stuffed with Iberian ham, couscous with tuna or scallop carpaccio, while mains include saffron monkfish, roasted wild boar or duck breast with fennel. The restaurant also boasts its own wine shop, with dozens of wines from throughout Spain. For a true insider's look into Andalucían cuisine, sign up for one of its evening cooking classes, focusing on topics such as traditional Lenten specialties and pastries.

DAY TWO: ALCAZAR, PLAZA DE TOROS, TORRE DE ORO, FLAMENCO

Photo courtesy Real Alcazar

Photo courtesy Real Alcazar

Begin your second day in Seville with a visit to the Alcazar. But first, stop by one of the many bars that surround the ancient fortress for a bite to eat. Try Bar Gonzalofor a simple Spanish breakfast of toast and coffee, and grab a table on the sidewalk for some first-rate people watching.

You can spend an entire day wandering the grounds of the Alcazar, so it's best to take a tour, or at the very least, rent an audio guide. Pedro the Cruel converted the former fortress into a royal palace (it remains to this day the Royal Family's official residence in Seville), incorporating fragments of earlier Moorish buildings into the reconstruction. The Alcazar, through centuries of war, fires and tremors, still encompasses some of the finest examples of Mudéjar architecture (a style developed by Moors working under Christian rule). The Renaissance gardens surrounding the palace are also steeped in history—legend has it that the Cruel One assassinated his brother in 1358 in the "Patio of the Doll," so named because it was where his daughter kept her toys. On a lighter note, the gardens provide a tranquil escape from the crowds, one of the most serene being the Jardin Ingles on the southwest side. 

After your visit, you should have worked up an appetite for lunch. Head a bit north and try Sierra Mayor, one of several locations in the city. Airy yet rustic, the branch on Calle Joaquin Guichot is hidden away on a narrow alley. Try the refreshing gazpacho, cold bread and tomato soup; the decadent tuna marinated in olive oil; or the house specialty, roast pork. After lunch, retreat to your room for a mid-day rest or laze under the trees in any of the city's neighborhood parks or plazas. 

In the evening, continue your exploration of Seville by heading toward El Arenal. This district, along the Guadalquivir River, is home to several key sites, including the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza, Seville's bullring. With construction having begun in 1758, the impressive gold-and-white bullring is one of the oldest in Spain. English tours are available and there is also a small museum on site showcasing the history of Spain's national sport. 

Nearby is the Torre de Oro, or Tower of Gold, a 13th-century defensive tower overlooking the Guadalquivir that was once lined with gold tiles; their reflections in the sun were visible for miles. Now, it is home to a maritime museum. The riverside promenade on which it lies is a pleasant stroll, especially at sunset. Marvel at the Puente de San Telmo to the south and Puente de Triana to the north, bridges leading across the river to the atmospheric barrio of Triana, chock-full of pottery and tile-making shops. Watch kayakers play their unique version of water polo in the river, or relax at a seasonal café with a coffee or glass of wine and behold the superb views. 

Photo courtesy Vanessa Morillo/El Patio Sevillano

Photo courtesy Vanessa Morillo/El Patio Sevillano

Tonight is the night to partake in the most Sevillian of all Sevillian pastimes: a flamenco show. While flamenco venues abound in the city—from tiny bars to large-scale productions—a good option for first-timers is El Patio Sevillano, just steps from the bullring. The hour-and-a-half long performances are a good introduction, and visitors can even arrive early for a brief lesson. Dinner/show packages are available, and while diners get the better seats closer to the stage, the pre-set menu is overpriced; save your money and eat later. Another nearby choice is Tablao El Arenal, a popular destination for tourist groups for more than a quarter century. If you want to delve deeper into the flamenco tradition, consider a course at Taller Flamenco. Weeklong classes are offered in traditional dance, guitar, singing and Spanish language. 

With the sounds of guitar and castanets stomping through your veins, it's now time for dinner. Head back to Santa Cruz for an upscale meal at one of the city's finest restaurants, La Albahaca. On the scenic Plaza de Santa Cruz, La Albahaca, or basil, is a favorite for royalty, politicians and celebrities. The setting is refined, the dishes Andalucian with a touch of French influence. A set menu is available, or try any of the house specialties, such as Iberian pork, roasted boar or grilled monkfish.

DAY THREE: PLAZA DE ESPAÑA, MUSEO ARQUEOLOGICO, IGLESIA DE SANTA MARIA MAGDALENA, CALLE SIERPES

There’s still plenty to see and do on your third day in Seville. But first, if you’re tired of simple Spanish breakfasts, head to Bar Restaurant Mezquita el Cordobes, which offers English and American-style fixed-price breakfast dishes, such as eggs and bacon. After breakfast, it’s time to escape the narrow, winding streets of the city center and head south to visit grand boulevards and expansive open spaces. Here, you’ll find the Parque de Maria Luisa, a sprawling enclave of flowers, trees, gardens and ponds. Across the street lies the somewhat eerie Plaza de España. Built for the Iberian-American Expo of 1929, the plaza, which is now used for government offices, has faded from its former glory, as evidenced by cracking tiles and dried-up fountains. Still, the ornate curved building of brick, ceramic and marble, with each of Spain’s provinces represented in ceramic tile work depicting scenes from historic events, is worth a visit. 

Nearby is Plaza de America, also created for the Iberian-American Expo. Dotted with rose bushes and white doves, the plaza is home to two notable museums: the Museo Arqueologico, containing jewelry, sculpture and other artifacts from prehistoric times; and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares, featuring historic garments, ceramics and model workshops. 

Photo courtesy Hosteria del Laurel

Photo courtesy Hosteria del Laurel

Head back toward the city center and you’ll find yourself along the backside of the Alcázar’s garden walls. Sneak into the barrio de Santa Cruz alongside the peaceful, shaded Jardines de Murillo, named after the famous Spanish painter.  You’ll find yourself near the lovely Plaza de los Venerables and the 17th-century church of the same name. 

By now you should be ready for a break, so take in the atmosphere by lunching at the Hosteria del Laurel, with tables right on the plaza beneath the orange trees. The menu features many traditional Spanish tapas as well as fresh seafood and meats, including suckling lamb and pig. In typical Spanish style, follow your lunch with a rest back at your hotel before heading out again.

A visit to Seville wouldn’t be complete without doing a little souvenir shopping. Instead of tacky trinkets, head over to Avenida de la Constitución and pay a visit to  Felix Cartelismo, which has a vast collection of vintage advertising posters. Head north to Plaza Nueva and its designer shops, and stop into Agua de Seville for the namesake perfume distilled from the orange blossoms that blanket the city. Around the corner is the bustling Plaza San Francisco, Seville’s main public square and former Muslim market, and the Ayuntamiento, or town hall.

It’s on the northern end of the plaza where you’ll catch the pedestrian-only Calle Sierpes, the heart of Seville’s shopping district. Calle Sierpes, as well as Calle Tetuan and Calle Valasquez to the west, are lined with dozens of shops loaded with shoes, jewelry, antiques and fashion. Although known for its high-end boutiques, there are plenty of moderately priced options as well. Due east is Calle de la Cuna, lined with shops specializing in custom-made or off-the-rack flamenco dresses. 

If you’ve had enough of the crowds and consumerism, sneak away to the nearby Iglesia de Santa Maria Magdalena, on the Plaza de la Magdalena, one of the city’s most stunning baroque churches. Inside, you’ll find paintings by Zubarán and frescoes by Lucas Valdés. 

To end the day, and your visit to Seville, dine at the  Restaurante San Marco. At the northern end of the shopping district, this palatial restaurant is housed in a neoclassical mansion adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble busts and original frescoes. The menu is mostly Italian with many Spanish influences. Try the homemade gnocchi with shrimp in tomato sauce, the cream-topped spinach tortellini with ham and peas, or the Iberian pork loin with red wine sauce atop freshly made pappardelle. 

Tonight, your last night in Seville, is yours to do with as you please. Perhaps you’ll revisit the Santa Cruz area to wander its winding passageways. Perhaps you’ll take one last look at El Centro’s Cathedral and Alcázar. Or perhaps you’ll go out with a bang by once again indulging in tapas and sherry. No matter how you say adios, the passion of Seville is now in your blood, and although you may be leaving Seville, Seville will never leave you.

Originally published on www.gayot.com