Marbella is a name synonymous with glamorous hotel resorts, mass tourism and indulgent beach parties, tacky celebrities and multiple cosmetic surgeries. But as I have pointed out so many times before, beyond Puerto Banus and the vast stretches of tourist-ravaged coast either side, the actual centre of Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol is an authentic gem in the crown of Andalucia. Not only does the town boast an utterly picturesque old town at its core, including a baroque masterpiece of a church and ancient Moorish walls, but its modern expansion has an altogether more down to earth atmosphere, where chirpy Andalucian locals take a coffee on the sidewalk, walk along the seaside and even head occasionally to the gym.
This is the real Marbella which I am lucky enough to call my neighbourhood, for my family have owned a home at the heart of the old town for almost a decade and a half, and as a result I have become well accustomed to this part of the world. The result is that when I visit, I reflect more introspectively, and create on canvas rather than take a whole raft of new photos of sights often explored before. My collection from this year’s trip is not therefore extensive. But it is characterised by the very authenticity which makes this area of Marbella the real soul of the city, rather than the superficiality which exists at its fringes.
These photos were taken in literally a few hundred square metres of my house and the little hilly street we live in. They present just a few details from the neighbourhood we live in… the real Marbella which so many visitors miss.
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