On a recent visit to Extremadura, Spain – that region of natural beauty and unsurpassed food that lies along the border with Portugal – I stopped in Trujillo. It has a large square with a statue of Francisco Pizarro (he was born there) below and outside of the old walled city. The ancient stone ramparts and structures rise up behind the walls to an old Arab fortress on the hilltop. Everything is so perfectly preserved that you could walk the streets and think a time warp had sent you traveling back to the 12th century. It is an amazingly beautiful town.
So much so that two movies were being filmed there earlier this year. The castle on the hilltop is the home of one of the families in Game of Thrones to be seen next year. Before that – tonight, actually – ABC TV will air the first episode of Still Star-crossed, a show that picks up where Romeo and Juliet left off. It begins as the Capulets and Montagues are still feuding and a fight breaks out at the funeral of Romeo and Juliet. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.
The reality of this period piece is enhanced by the medieval setting that is Trujillo. Two of the photographs I included are of the old cistern on the hilltop next to the castle. With a few additions it was made to look like a Venetian fountain where one of the scenes from Still Star-crossed takes place. The other two are of the castle itself. One is from the road up and the other from the top. The aged stonework, scarred with lichen and centuries of use, really sets the mood for the films.
And, when you are done with the film tourism, visit one of the Paradores, Spain’s reasonably priced historic hotel chain, for a peek at what the insides of those old buildings look like and a taste of their fantastic food!