martedì 30 agosto 2016

Lisboa, o meu amor!

I travelled a bit around Europe and I went to Lisboa just few months ago. I know, I am so unforgivable but I tried to recover my pity and so I went there twice last few months. I’ms ure that there will be a third time…I need to discover more, especially some nice beaches and its Feiras. I suggest you to stop in Lisboa at least 3 days because it is a city that needs time to be enjoyed as a local.
Lisboa is tangy, vibrant, fragrant. The river, the light, the colours, the street, the breathtaking miradouros! !People...humble, smiling, happy, respectful, cultivated, polite, generous, polyglot.
You cannot leave Lisboa without:
-        a relaxing walk at Chiado and Barrio Alto. Enjoy the great atmosphere of Largo do Chiado (rest in the small square in front of the Opera Sao Carlo). Through Largo do Camões you arrive at Barrio Alto, an area full of bars and restaurants, especially in Rua Nova do Carvalho  (well known as The Pink Street for its pink painted asphalt). There is also a wonderful area close to Parque Príncipe Real, my favourite,  full of nice shops and inspiring atmosphere, one of my favourite place together with Largo do Carmo: a small square full of jacaranda trees, a timeless and a very charming place.
-        a stroll at Baixa, the tourist area that will leave you breathless especially for the Santa Justa miraduro. The area is delimited by two wonderful squares: Praça dos restauradores and the magnificent Praça do Comércio.
-        a climbing up to Alfama. I love this quartier, because it is so authentic, old and full of life. The voices of fado that you can listen from the streets is moving and touching. There is the nice church of Santo António da Sé and during the Feiras in june, the quartier is a never ending stage for parties and events where grilled sardinas and great wine are the perfect entry for your Lisboan night. Near the top of Alfama, there is the Castelo de São Jorge where the view of Lisboa and Tagus river are amazing.
-        a stop at Apolonia Station an try to look fi Jeremy Irons is still there J.
-        a tour out of Lisboa. I will suggest Cascais, a very nice place on the coast in which you can enjoy long beaches and great seafood (in Guincho, have a lunch at Santa Maria, great arroz de marisco) or Sintra, a UNESCO world heritage site with a special microcliamte (cool and grey), full of wonderful and coloured palacios.
-        a visit to Belem. The Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is a majestic monastery built in the late Gothic style just in front of the famous Belem tower, completely surrounded by water. After your walk you will deserve a delicious pastis de nata at the pasteleria de Belem. Make the line because it’s worth the wait.
-        some shopping at “A vida portugesa” to buy some local products.
Now the most amazing chapter of this post: FOOD in Lisboa!!!
I always had very very very very very very good food. Bacalhau is the national dish and they have 365 ways to cook it.  I enjoyed two of those and I loved because I do love bacalhau. Another traditional dish is the Pica pau, a sort of meat stew but Portugal is a fish paradise, try Percebes, Lingueirão, Conquilha, Carabineriros, Polvo..etc you will never disappointed because the ingredients are always very fresh and well cooked with a perfect balanced seasoning.
Coffee is so delicious and less expensive than Italy. Wine? Unbelievable, I did not know that Portugal is a so wonderful wine Country. Alentejo and Douro are the best regions that offer great wines, very competitive with Italian and French standard.
I will give you some restaurants in which you MUST stop, if you wanna live happy J
-        TASCARDOSO: I never had so delicious food for a so cheap price (at least not in Europe). The place is very cozy an rustic. I had wonderful seabass with veggies;
-        PHARMACIA: the restaurant is very nice and food delicious with outstanding cocktail. I had razor clams risotto (very very good) and a fig and prosciutto salad with pica pau: amazing! In front of the restaurant there is a nice miraduro;
-        BICA DO SAPATO: wonderful and romantic restaurant on the sea. I drank a great wine from Douro region, enjoing a nice octopus salad, cod tartare and a delicious risotto with veggies (Portuguese are very good with risotto dish);
-        SANTO ANTONIO DE ALFAMA, it is a very romantic restaurant that I would choose more for  the atmosphere than for food;
-        CERVEJARIA RAMIRO: fish, fish and fish. Try to be a bit before the opening because there is always a long line since they do not accept reservations. I had percebes, carabinerios and wonderful small clams;
-        BELCANTO and ALMA; Michelin starred restaurants held by two amazing chefs José Avillez and Henrique Sa Pessoa. Pricey restaurant but an experience to make ,especially if you choose to enjoy their tasting menus. Remember to book;
-        MERCADO DA RIBEIRA, a wonderful food market and food court in which you can enjoy every kind of food. Be ready to fight to have a seat, it is always crowded;
I lived and travelled in different cities and Countries but Lisboa is a world apart. It is alive! Yes, this is a declaration of love!
Lisboa, eu te amo!!!
A special thanks go to Marta and Lia Flores da Silva, a part of my family, who always host me in Lisboa.

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