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Independent Seville: A Mosaic of Ancient Cultures

Program No. 23911RJ
Discover the rich cultural legacy of Seville as you explore the city alongside local experts, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites and learn about Moorish architecture and Flamenco dance.

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
May 6 - May 14, 2024
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Sep 16 - Sep 24, 2024
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Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
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May 6 - May 14, 2024
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Sep 16 - Sep 24, 2024
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Filling Fast!
Oct 14 - Oct 22, 2024
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At a Glance

Welcome to Seville, where history flourishes around every corner and vestiges of ancient cultures are abundant in the Moorish architecture, Gothic cathedrals and centuries-old neighborhoods you’ll learn about on this educational adventure. In the south of Spain, join local experts on a journey through this bustling city’s cultural legacy, from its Ancient Roman origins to its role as the capital of Andalusia today. With plenty of time to explore on your own, gain insider’s knowledge of Seville’s rich past, visit breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites and learn about the Old and New World traditions of its lively people.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Extensive walking: up to 4 miles with some uneven ground, cobblestone streets and stairs.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting substantial independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the Alcázar Royal Palace with a local historian and attend a traditional Flamenco dance performance.
  • Discover Córdoba, an important Islamic center from the Middle Ages, and study the Islamic and Jewish landmarks that still stand tall today.
  • Learn how to make traditional Spanish paella during a hands-on cooking class with a professional chef.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and most meals will be on your own to enjoy what you like. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities are provided in preparatory materials.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Sara Rumbso
Sara Rumbao holds two degrees: one in travel management and another one in English language and literature. She worked in the United States as a Spanish teacher for four years. She has been working at The Center for Crosscultural Studies since she returned to Spain eighteen years ago. After returning, she got a master’s in education and in history. She currently teaches classes on language, literature and history. In her free time, she enjoys reading and studying about religious history, art history and visiting museums.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Sara Rumbso
Sara Rumbso View biography
Sara Rumbao holds two degrees: one in travel management and another one in English language and literature. She worked in the United States as a Spanish teacher for four years. She has been working at The Center for Crosscultural Studies since she returned to Spain eighteen years ago. After returning, she got a master’s in education and in history. She currently teaches classes on language, literature and history. In her free time, she enjoys reading and studying about religious history, art history and visiting museums.
Profile Image of Covadonga Hortal
Covadonga Hortal View biography
Covadonga Hortal is passionate about education travel and has always wanted to specialize in the field. Covadonga graduated from university with a degree in tourism and moved to the UK after graduation in order to improve her language skills. Back in Spain, Ms. Hortal led her first travel program in 1999 and continues to enjoy leading groups. She is a certified English teacher, speaks fluent Spanish and some French, and is currently learning Chinese. In Covadonga's free time, she enjoys learning about other cultures.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir About Food, Flamenco and Falling in Love
by Nellie Bennett
In this exuberant memoir, an enthusiastic young Australian discovers a passion for Spanish culture (especially flamenco) as she explores Seville and Madrid. https://www.amazon.com/Only-Spain-Foot-Stomping-Firecracker-Flamenco/dp/1402293852/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=only+in+spain+a+foot-stomping&qid=1571307498&s=books&sr=1-1
The world's strangest borders Part 2: Spain (Video)
by Unknown
Video (00:05:31) There are some really weird borders in the world, and Spain is probably the cause of some of the strangest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6tJ-mvhznU
Arabs in Spain (Video)
by Unknown
Video (00:29:11) Award winning documentary. Fascinating and beautifully shot documentary which examines the spread of Islam and how its crusaders finally took most of Spain, arriving from Morocco in 711. In one summer the "Arabs had taken half of the peninsular and in five years controlled almost all of the country". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gqrBXG6ec4
10 Things you MUST know before coming to Spain (Video)
by Unknown
Video (00:14:22) How does tipping work in Spain? What are tapas? What time to do shops open? What are the Spanish eating hours? Do Spaniards take siestas? James Blick answers the top 10 Spain travel tips so you can explore Spain like a local! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPBzlSvp_Nk
Andalus: Unlocking the secrets of Moorish Spain
by Jason Webster
Spain's Moorish past is evident everywhere you look. For centuries, Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in Spain side by side in peace, and it was home to some of the greatest minds in the world. After the Moors' expulsion in the seventeenth century, much of their knowledge, skill and artistry was lost. Jason Webster originally travelled to Spain to play the flamenco guitar. A qualified Arabist, he now embarks on a quest for Spain's forgotten Arab legacy, and gets embroiled with characters who are as wild and original as those he described so vividly in Duende. What lessons can we learn today from the harmony that existed for so long in medieval Spain - and from the subsequent expulsion of its Muslims and Jews? https://www.amazon.com/Andalus-Unlocking-Secrets-Moorish-Spain/dp/0385605072/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=andalus+unlocking+the+secret&qid=1571305122&s=books&sr=1-1
A day in the Life of Spain
by David Cohen and Rick Smolan
This splendidly illustrated volume in the Day in the Life series and the first to focus on a European country depicts Spain on May 7, 1987, as captured by 100 international photojournalists. The photographs contrast modern and traditional life: the Iberia Airlines shuttle between Madrid and Barcelona that carries 3000 passengers a day; farm laborers and fishermen; topless sunbathers; a punk-rocker; men playing dominoes; the stock exchange; produce markets and coal miners; steelworkers and gypsy children; an assembly line and a subway-turnstile jumper; a bullfighting school and a flamenco dancer; windmills turned into weekend homes. Among the 275 color and black-and-white photographs, some images are brilliantly artistic, others amusing, moody, throbbing with hustle, charming or solemn, providing a lively close-up of a day in the life of this Iberian land. https://www.amazon.com/Day-Life-Spain-Rick-Smolan/dp/0002179679/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+day+in+the+life+of+spain&qid=1571304931&s=books&sr=1-1
Art of Spain (Video)
by BBC4
Video. Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon travels from southern to northern Spain to tell the story of some of Europe's most exciting and vital art. Here, he presents an exploration of Moorish Spain. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008wthr/episodes/guide 3 episodes
Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its silent past
by Giles Tremlett
The appearance, more than sixty years after the Spanish Civil War ended, of mass graves containing victims of Francisco Franco’s death squads finally broke what Spaniards call “the pact of forgetting”—the unwritten understanding that their recent, painful past was best left unexplored. At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around the country and through its history to discover why some of Europe’s most voluble people have kept silent so long. Ghosts of Spain is the fascinating result of that journey. In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today. Delving into such emotional questions as who caused the Civil War, why Basque terrorists kill, why Catalans hate Madrid, and whether the Islamist bombers who killed 190 people in 2004 dreamed of a return to Spain’s Moorish past, Tremlett finds the ghosts of the past everywhere. At the same time, he offers trenchant observations on more quotidian aspects of Spanish life today: the reasons, for example, Spaniards dislike authority figures, but are cowed by a doctor’s white coat, and how women have embraced feminism without men noticing. Drawing on the author’s twenty years of experience living in Spain, Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory book about one of Europe’s most exciting countries. https://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Spain-Travels-Through-Silent/dp/0802716741/ref=sr_1_1?crid=29EZYTAR3HIV6&keywords=ghosts+of+spain+travels+through+spain+and+its+silent+past&qid=1571306235&sprefix=ghosts+of+spain%2Caps%2C221&sr=8-1
The Time in Between: A Novel
by María Dueñas
The Time in Between takes place in the 1930s and follows the story of a young Spanish woman who is suddenly abandoned by her lover in Morocco and has to forge a new life and identity for herself there. The Spanish Civil War is about to erupt and she cannot return home, so she begins using her skills as a seamstress to support herself. She soon becomes wrapped up in the politics of the time when she is approached to become a spy for the Allied Forces. While the first part of the book doesn’t take place during Spain, it’s a different perspective of the Spanish Civil War, written by a female Spanish author as opposed to an expat man. https://www.amazon.com/Time-Between-Novel-Maria-Duenas/dp/1451616899/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571309683&sr=1-1
Contemporary Spain: A Handbook
by Christopher Ross
This handbook to contemporary Spain and the Spanish language is packed with essential information on politics, economy, and institutions, covering the basics that are taken for granted by most Spaniards. Intended for readers without specialist knowledge in any of the subjects concerned, this is a valuable handbook for English-speaking students of Spanish. https://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Spain-2Ed-Christopher-Ross-dp-0340762152/dp/0340762152/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1571305398
The New Spaniards
by John Hooper
Modern-day Spain is a country changing at bewildering speed. In less than half a century, a predominantly rural society has been transformed into a mainly urban one. A dictatorship has become a democracy. A once-repressed society is being spoken of as a future ‘Sweden of the Mediterranean’. John Hooper’s masterly portrayal of the country and its people explores the causes behind these changes. Focusing on issues that affect ordinary Spaniards – from crime to education and from gambling to changing sexual mores – it paints a fascinating picture of contemporary Spanish society. This revised, updated edition incorporates some 70,000 words of fresh material and three new chapters, including sections on immigrants and Romanies and the Spaniards’ efforts to come to terms with their past. It is the essential guide to understanding twenty-first-century Spain: a land of paradox, progress and social change. https://www.amazon.com/New-Spaniards-2nd-John-Hooper/dp/0141016094/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1JF800OQAF8QI&keywords=the+new+spaniards&qid=1571309508&s=books&sprefix=the+new+span%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C212&sr=1-1
We saw Spain die: Foreign correspondents in the Spanish Civil War
by Paul Preston
The war in Spain and those who wrote at first hand of its horrors. From 1936 to 1939 the eyes of the world were fixed on the devastating Spanish conflict that drew both professional war correspondents and great writers. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Josephine Herbst, Martha Gellhorn, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Kim Philby, George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, André Malraux, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and others wrote eloquently about the horrors they saw at first hand. Together with many great and now largely forgotten journalists, they put their lives on the line, discarding professionally dispassionate approaches and keenly espousing the cause of the partisans. Facing censorship, they fought to expose the complacency with which the decision-makers of the West were appeasing Hitler and Mussolini. Many campaigned for the lifting of non-intervention, revealing the extent to which the Spanish Republic had been betrayed. Peter Preston's exhilarating account illuminates the moment when war correspondence came of age. https://www.amazon.com/We-Saw-Spain-Die-preston-paul/dp/1845299469/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1D3JDK03444NF&keywords=we+saw+spain+die&qid=1571309824&s=books&sprefix=we+saw+spai%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C212&sr=1-1

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.