Logo Maria R. Manzano
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ABOUT ME

My name is María Ruiz Manzano and I'm a freelance licensed tour guide born, bred and based in Seville, Spain. After spending some time in Denmark and Madrid, I came back to my hometown where I've been guiding curious travellers through my beloved Andalusia ever since.

This is an insider's space about Seville & Andalusia's popular culture and my thoughts on responsible tourism. Click in ABOUT ME to know my story!

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About me

María R. Manzano

I know very little people that knows Seville better than my dad. At the age of 5 I told him: "I want to know as much about Seville as you do". Then he decided the time had come. Like his father had done with him before, mine began to take me on long walks around Seville every Sunday morning to show me around. He would choose one section of the city and we spent there the whole morning. Sometimes it was an entire neighbour, sometimes just one church.

Every Sunday.

For months.

For years.

At the age of 18 I decided I was going to study a quite strange University degree: Humanities.  To be honest, I wasn't able to choose between Arts, History, History of Art, Anthropology, Languages, Literature... so why not choosing a degree that had it all? After completing those 5 years (pretty long degrees in the past), I had a quite broad understanding on Spanish history, arts and culture that were complemented with a 2- years master degree in Madrid in Cultural Heritage.

 It was during this period when I found what I'm genuinely fascinated about is how we got to be like we are from a cultural point of view. Why is Andalusian food like this? Why we talk so loud? Why our houses look like they do? What made flamenco start? When did Andalusian way of speaking become a thing and why other Spanish speakers find it so funny? ... And what fascinated me about these questions is that the answers can hardly be found in war chronicles or kings' family trees.  Anyway, one doesn't exists without the other, and all big events lead to changes in people's ways of living and I always like to give this big picture on my tours. Not only we'll talk about Queen Isabella's role in Columbus' trips but I'll be the point of connection between you and the local community that makes this land shine...

...but my goal as a tour guide is that people are able to enjoy -and understand- Seville and Andalusia at its most. And when you need a big venue to fit in groups of 50 people, the chances to experience the local ambiance are reduced to 0, not to talk about the negative impact of massive tourism on popular touristic destinations. I know I might be losing audience and work for saying this, but as a professional of the tourism industry and as a local of Seville I feel I have a responsibility for this. I do believe there are ways to make both parts happy, it's just about going to the right places and with people that share your interest in responsible travelling :-)