Fodor's Expert Review Calleja de las Flores
A few yards off the northeastern corner of the Mezquita, this tiny street has the prettiest patios, many with ceramics, foliage, and iron grilles. The patios are key to Córdoba's architecture, at least in the old quarter, where life is lived behind sturdy white walls—a legacy of the Moors, who honored both the sanctity of the home and the need to shut out the fierce summer sun. Between the first and second week of May—right after the early-May Cruces de Mayo (Crosses of May) competition, when neighborhoods compete at setting up elaborate crosses decorated with flowers and plants—Córdoba throws a Patio Festival, during which private patios are filled with flowers, opened to the public, and judged in a municipal competition. Córdoba's tourist office publishes an itinerary of the best patios in town (downloadable from patios.cordoba.es/en)—note that most are open only in the late afternoon on weekdays but all day on weekends.