Fall in love with Jerez in “The Summer We Lived”

There are stories that last through time and have the capacity to make us fall in love despite the years. Such is the case of ‘The Summer We Lived’ (2020), a production of the companies Mr. Fields and Friends, Atresmedia Cine, Warner Bros. España, Bambú Producciones and La Claqueta PC, under the direction of Carlos Sedes. This is the film that will take you back to an idyllic summer in Jerez in the 1950s.

This film inspires a romantic journey among the vineyards and monuments that make Jerez de la Frontera one of the most outstanding tourist destinations in the province of Cádiz. Thanks to the collaboration of the Andalucía Film Commission and the Jerez Film Office, we can make the magic of the screen come true by touring the same places where Gonzalo and Lucía, the characters in the film, fell in love in the past.

Travel to Cádiz with Blanca Suárez and Javier Rey

The film focuses on a surprising story of immortal love investigated by a young journalist, Isabel (Guiomar Puerta), who works at a local newspaper in Galicia. In charge of the obituaries, she discovers that for two decades a man has published an obituary dedicated to a deceased woman. This marks the starting point for the two interwoven stories in the film. On the one hand, there is the passionate romance in the hot summer of 1958 in Cádiz between Gonzalo (Javier Rey) and Lucía (Blanca Suárez). On the other, there is the story, set in 1998, of journalist Isabel and Carlos (Carlos Cuevas), Gonzalo’s son.

Scene from “The Summer We Lived” in the province of Cádiz / Andalucía Film Commission

Jerez de la Frontera was the epicentre of the filming, where Carlos Sedes has masterfully woven this story through the old town, its small palaces and the traditional “tabancos”, the local taverns where today you can taste the local wines while enjoying an evening of flamenco. However, it is the vineyards and wineries that play a key role in the film, as well as creating a bucolic image of a romantic weekend getaway. In this case, it was the González Byass wineries that were adapted to recreate the Jerez wine-growing atmosphere of the 1950s.

Bodegas Tio Pepe in Jerez de la Frontera, one of the settings of “The Summer We Lived” / Andalucía Film Commission

The film transports us to those dreamy landscapes that stretch beyond the city, showing us the best of the province of Cádiz. The love story that the protagonists live in secret flees from the sherry cellars to find refuge in dreamy corners such as the Trafalgar Lighthouse, the marshes of the Doñana Park, the beach of Rota or the sunset on the beach of Zahora.

Route through Jerez “The summer we lived”

If after watching the film you’ve got the itch to see these same locations, you’re in luck, Andalucía Destino de Cine has created a route around the filming locations in Jerez. Go back to the summer of 1958 to discover the most emblematic buildings, while you unravel the anecdotes behind the scenes.

The route covers eight essential locations in Jerez. An excellent starting point is the Alcázar, one of the city’s most emblematic monuments. This fortification of Arab origin represents the strength of the Andalusian power in the region, which today captivates us with its beauty. This is a popular film location, as well as being the setting for ‘The Summer We Live’, it has also been used in other successful productions, such as the acclaimed series ‘The Crown’ (2020), where the Alexandria in 1946 of a young Mohamed Al-Fayed was recreated.

Continue your visit with the nearby Cathedral of Jerez. Although the current temple dates back to the 17th century, it was built on the site of a former Great Mosque from the Umayyad period. This building is very characteristic as it combines Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical parts in the same construction and was the perfect setting for several scenes in the film.

Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral / Andalucía Film Commission

Jerez is home to a rich civil and palatial heritage, and the film gives you the opportunity to see it at first hand. The Palace of the Countess of Casares, built in the 19th century and located in the Plaza de la Asunción, where you will also find the Church of San Dionisio and the Cabildo Antiguo, the ancient Town Hall, stands out. In addition to its imposing beauty, this palace was selected to represent the home of Lucia, the protagonist of the film. On the other hand, the Petra de la Riva Palace was used to portray the family home of Hernán (Pablo Molinero), where lively flamenco parties took place, such as those in which the women of the traditional music association Peña Tío José de Paula participated.

In a film set around the world of wine, related scenarios could not be missing. In the city of Jerez itself, we find the Tío Pepe wineries, located next to the monumental complex of the Alcázar and the Cathedral. Without a doubt, it is an essential place to learn about the history of sherry wines and their production process, as well as being one of the main settings for “The summer we live in”. To complete your experience with Jerez wines, we recommend you visit one of the many Tabancos in the city, a business model that is experiencing a second youth. The film features Tabanco el Pasaje, the oldest Tabanco in Jerez, where years ago Lola Flores used to sing and Fernando Terremoto used to dance. It is a great place to taste some of the region’s best wines in an original flamenco atmosphere.

Tabanco el Pasaje, the ideal place to listen flamenco music and taste the best Jerez wine / Andalucía film Commission

Aren’t you seduced by the warm light of the sunset with a glass of “Fino” wine in your hand? Don’t hesitate any longer and start organising your next trip to Jerez today. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the city, enjoy its wines, its gastronomy and the beauty of its streets. If you stay a few days longer, you can explore the most charming corners of the province of Cadiz. This destination combines idyllic landscapes perfect for a romantic getaway with a festive atmosphere ideal for a get-together with friends. Don’t settle for just watching it on the screen, with the recommendations of Andalucía Destino de Cine and live your own film experience.

By Victor Cervelló

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