25 APRIL 2007

The upmarket hotspot, with its golden mile of sandy beaches, is a favourite with the yachting fraternity who moor their luxury vessels in the nearby marina of Puerto Banus. While Marbella offers the kind of glitz and glamour associated with St Tropez, from the designer boutiques to elegant bars and boutique hotels, the old town has retained its traditional Andalusian charm. White-washed houses framed by bougainvillea, family-run tapas bars and the pretty Plaza de los Naranjos are all just part of its charm.

Flavio and Elisabetta also took the opportunity to visit nearby Seville, planning their trip to coincide with the famous Feria de Abril. From April 24-29 the city, heady with the scent of orange blossom, becomes a riot of colour as Spaniards dress up flamenco style and ride their horses and carriages through the streets. Locals dance the Sevillana, a variation of flamenco, while bars offer locally produced sherry and delicious fried fish.

Outside the festival season there's plenty to see, too. Seville's Moorish past is ever-present in the city's main sights, such as the stunning Alcazar - which features a series of lush, fountain-sprinkled gardens - and the cathedral, the world's largest.

Photo: Rex
Elisabetta and her multi-millionaire Italian beau soak up the sun during their break in Marbella
Photo: Getty Images
Yacht owners like Flavio often moor their vessel in Puerto Banus near Marbella during the winter and spring months to enjoy the balmy weather, making the surrounding bars and cafes ideal places to people watch
Photo: Getty Images
The pair have also taken in Seville's famous feria, where Spaniards parade on horseback through the city in traditional costume
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