Have you heard of Lope de Vega? He is considered Spain’s most important playwright ever. Born in 1562, 15 years after the great Cervantes, this astonishingly multi-faceted and prolific figure from Spain’s Golden Age led a colourful life which included producing over a thousand plays and having seventeen children with several wives and numerous lovers. He had a naval career, was exiled and was also ordained a priest at 52.
Now that you know a little, visit the house where he lived the last 25 years of his life, in the beautiful neighbourhood of “Letras”. This building has been painstakingly restored to show how it was during Lope’s time here, with books, furniture and objects from the period. To see the beautiful interior of the house and get the really informative (free!) half-hour tour, which is given by an enthusiastic expert guide, you must book ahead. I recommend phoning to reserve your slot, but you can also email – they got back to me within an hour. English and French tours are available, but only on certain days.
The garden is open to visits without reserving – again, a wonderful job has been done to recreate the period. There are free events going on all the time; plays, concerts and workshops. Some you can book, others you just show up for – it’s all on a first come first served basis as numbers are limited.
Do check out the website before you go; this fund of information will help you better appreciate the genius of Lope.