Once you approach Ronda, coming from the coast, you notice two things. The temperature is slightly cooler and light is different. The sun casts shadows in this mountainous region, making the landscape a constantly changing one. This can be so exciting that it seems as if the sun shines differently here. Along with its exceptional location on the high plateau, the surrounding overwhelming nature and the historic buildings in the old town, it enables you to fall in love with this city. It is therefore that throughout the centuries many artists, temporarily or not, have established themselves in Ronda. Poets, painters, filmmakers, musicians and writers.
One of the best known writers is Rainer Maria Rilke, whose traces can still be found in the streetnames, museums and archives of Ronda, or even in company names. He wrote the much quoted phrase ‘He buscado por todas partes la ciudad Soñada, y al fin la he encontrado en Ronda’ (I have looked everywhere for the dream city, and finally found it in Ronda). Another well known writer is Ernest Hemingway. His book ‘the dangerous summer‘ is based on the rivalry between two of the greatest bullfighters of all time: the ‘Rondeño‘ Antonio Ordoñez and his brother-in-law Luis Miguel Dominguín. Along with celebrities like Orson Welles or Ava Gardner, Hemingway was, due to his friendship with bullfighter Ordoñez, a frequent visitor to Ronda. Orson Welles was so deeply touched by Ronda and his friendship with Antonio, that his ashes have been scattered in the finca of Ordoñez.
Of foreign 20th century painters who felt attracted to Ronda, David Bomberg has probably been the most important. In his footprints followed a number of his students from the ‘Borough Group’, including Miles Richmond and Cliff Holden , permanently located in Ronda . Unfortunately Bomberg, as has been the fate of many artists, lived in extreme poverty . He has fallen somewhat into oblivion, but soon the BBC will show a documentary dedicated to his work and life.