This beautiful 15th-16th century mansion is one of central Seville’s hidden treasures, and its exquisite gardens, though smaller in scale, match anything you’ll see in the Alcázar. Begun by the wealthy conquistador and Mayor of Andalucia, Pedro Enriquez de Quiñones, in the late 1400s, Casa de Pilatos is another of Seville’s classic Mudéjar structures, built around a central courtyard in the traditional Andalusian style. Its name – Pilate’s House – was bestowed (hopefully with a touch of gentle mockery) after Quiñones’ son Fadrique traveled to Jerusalem in 1519 and returned overflowing with enthusiasm for the Holy Land. The palace’s undeniable good looks have earned it a starring role in two films: 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia and 2010’s Knight and Day.
Casa de Pilatos, 1 Plaza de Pilatos, Seville, Spain +34 954 22 52 98
Winding along beside the Alcázar is a narrow, shaded alleyway called Calle Agua, named after a mini-aqueduct that used to run along the top of the Moorish palace’s walls. This mysterious path brings you out onto the absurdly romantic Plaza Alfaro, likely to be busy with tourists pointing their cameras upwards and snapping away at the building that is said to have inspired the balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Whether this tale is apocryphal or not, it’s easy to imagine Romeo scaling this, one of Seville’s prettiest buildings, to reach the object of his desire.