Make your way to Plaza Mayor in the city center to meet your guide, and set off on a walking tour through the surrounding neighborhoods filled with many chapters of Spanish cultural history. The tour will focus on the plazas, buildings, and monuments with connections to the great cultural flourishing of the Spanish Golden Age in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Hear tales of prison life and royal intrigue at the former prison of Plaza Santa Cruz, which was later converted into a palace. Let your imagination run away with local legends on a prowl down narrow Cat’s Alley (El Callejón del Gato), and pass by sites with ties to one of the most famous novels of all time, Cervantes’ El Quijote. As you wind your way through the city, see the former homes and hangouts of many Spanish writers, and listen as your guide creates a picture of the inspiration, intrigue, and rivalries of the literati of this time.
Learn about the role of live theater in Golden Age Madrid as you pass the exterior of the Spanish Theater in Plaza del Angel, and understand the role of the Ateneo library on the city’s cultural evolution. Finally, feel transported to a different time and soak up the romance of Paseo del Prado as you pass the Congress building and walk through the lovely Plaza del Cortes. When you say farewell to your guide at the end of the 3-hour tour, you'll see Madrid in a romantic new light and may even be tempted to reach for some of the old Spanish classics next time you're at a library.