Woody Allen famously loves Oviedo, choosing to film portions of his 2008 hit Vicky Cristina Barcelona in the northern Spanish city.
And the feeling is mutual; Oviedo adores the famed American film director, awarding him Spain's most prestigious arts prize, the Prince of Asturias award, in 2002. Allen attended the grand ceremony to receive his prize in Oviedo.
The city unveiled its next tribute to the iconic director the following year, with a lifesize bronze statue, designed by Spanish painter and sculptor, Vicente Menéndez Santarúa, known as Santarúa.
“It is always a pleasure to come back here,” the filmmaker said, as he returned to his favourite Spanish city this week, where he spent the day wandering around visiting all the tourist spots, including a stop off to take some photographs with his own statue.
— whereisasturias.com (@whereisasturias) July 2, 2015
He spent a day in the city with his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, sampling some jamón ibérico, seafood and traditional Asturian desserts.
It was a flying visit for Allen, who went largely unnoticed, wearing a sunhat and beige suit before travelling on to Madrid where he is working as artistic director of the opera, Gianni Schicchi.
— El Comercio (@elcomerciodigit) July 1, 2015
The opera will premiere on Sunday, July 5th and will star Spanish operatic legend Placido Domingo.
By the feet of his statue in the city, there is a quote Allen gave about his love for Oviedo, describing it as:
“…a delicious, exotic, beautiful, clean, lovely, tranquil and pedestrianized” city.
“It's like it doesn't belong to this world,” he added, “as if it did not exist…Oviedo is like a fairytale”.