Last year, when my Madrid address read Calle Pizarro, there was nothing on the short street to hint at its namesake. However, when I visited Trujillo, it was clear that the town had strong ties to the Spanish conquistador. Within this tiny town there is a Calle Francisco Pizarro, a Calle Hernando Pizarro (Francisco’s half-brother), and even a huge statue of the former in the town square. In fact, if you type “Pizarro, Spain” into Google Maps it will plant you squarely in Trujillo’s Plaza Mayor.
Detail of Plaza Mayor arcades and balconies
The Pizarros, as you may have guessed, hailed from Trujillo. Francisco is the town’s most celebrated personality, but don’t let him be the town’s only explorer! With a castle, a charming old town, and plenty of countryside, this pueblo is ripe for discovery.
Francisco Pizarro towers over Trujllo’s Plaza Mayor
We started our explorations in the Plaza Mayor, one of the biggest I have ever set foot in. With its circular shape and wide expanse, I felt like I had been transported to the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy. There is a famous horse race held every summer in the Piazza del Campo, which should give you some idea of how sweeping Trujillo’s main square feels.
Sugared nut vendor in Trujillo’s main square
Next, we climbed a short way and were soon rewarded with views of the city.
Plaza Mayor, take two
From our perch we were surrounded by lush plants and budding flowers. This was very much a surprise to us–no one had ever mentioned how green Extremadura could be. It made sense when we thought about it; Extremadura is famous for cheeses and embutidos (meats in casing, like chorizo), which meant that many animals had to call the region home.
Green, green, green!
These stone walls lead us to…
A castillo!…and sunshine!!
Our next stop was the castle, which sits on the very tip-top of the hill. The views from this area were spectacular. Warm weather and sunshine was also very welcome. You could enter the castle but we opted to stay outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Nobody told us how lush Extremadura would be–this is what I might have imagine Ireland to look like
Great views in every direction
With Chelsea and Alison (and a gracias to Elle for the photo!)
Mountain-top view of ponds, and sheep, and ruins
We spent the rest of the daylight hours by the castle, observing the countryside. More than a few times our group mentioned how incredibly clean the air was; after our time in Madrid, there was no comparison. As the sun went down we grew quieter and more pensive–this was a beautiful, awe-inspiring place to stop the rush of travel and simply be.
Watching the sunset