Fate wanted us to meet Marilia, a Portuguese-Brazilian doctor who was born and lives in the state of São Paulo, but who likes to spend time in Lisbon. As an urban sketcher and with her enormous sympathy Marilia is bringing something new to our series, the perspective of someone who has never lived here. In Lisbon in Us by Marilia Varella, she shares with us the discovery of her origins and her feelings towards our city.
Fate wanted me to discover Lisbon after being granted Portuguese nationality. Brazilian, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Portuguese people, having travelled to a few countries and lived abroad for a few years, Portugal was a mandatory destination. I thought that officially becoming a Portuguese citizen was the perfect occasion. Thus, on June 20, 2017 I set foot for the first time in a city that I found beautiful, alive, modern, colourful and bright and I travelled through a country that brought back all the flavours and customs that I learned in my family and that shaped the basis of who I am today.
In 2017 I was already retired and working a little less, dedicating my free time to drawing. I joined the Urban Sketchers group in 2014 and in 2018 I participated in the wonderful UsK Symposium Porto, which brought me many memories, drawings and friends.
Since my first trip to Portugal I haven’t stopped coming to Lisbon. I come and stay here, always in pleasant places, usually twice a year (with the exception of 2020 and early 2021 due to the pandemic) and each time I come back with more nostalgia, more friends and more drawings. My youngest daughter, who now lives in Utrecht and who is also a Portuguese citizen, always comes to Portugal in search of the sun, joy, cuisine, Portuguese beaches, her friends from here and, of course, sometimes the maternal hug and affection as well.
Today I can say that I know Lisbon like an old friend, someone that I not only know, but that I found again somewhere inside my heart. Here I breathe freedom and culture. I think we get along very well, we understand each other deeply and without much explanation. By the way: I love the pronunciation of my name by Portuguese friends!
When I return to Brazil, I keep in touch with Portugal through courses such as Alfabeto Lisboeta and those promoted by Grupo Riscado. On my last trip, in March 2022, I explored on foot two Lisbon neighbourhoods that I didn’t know well, Mouraria and Príncipe Real and, of course, new bookshops. Although the rain was frequent, with fewer sunny days and the colours so typical of the city, the charm was present in each discovery. To bring even more joy, I also met in person: Gracinda, one of the founders of getLISBON, Isa, one of the coordinators of UsK Portugal, and other artists and urban sketchers with whom I had the opportunity to draw and spend pleasant moments.
Thank you, Lisbon and its people, for being so welcoming. See you soon!
|Lisbon in Us by Marilia Varella|
|Mini introduction||I am a pulmonologist, traveller, urban sketcher, born in the city of São Paulo and live in Mogi das Cruzes. I have 3 children and a beautiful granddaughter. My life in Brazil today consists of: teaching Pulmonology, attending drawing and watercolour classes, practising drawing and painting almost every day. I am part of the Urban Sketchers São Paulo and Urban Sketchers Brazil groups. When I’m in Lisbon, I reveal to myself my vocation as an explorer of this beautiful city, common or unusual places that I try to register in photographs and drawings.|
Follow my works on Instagram: baiaink_
|An inspiring place||Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation – Grand Auditorium! And the gardens, the Museum.|
|An unmissable visit||The next. I believe it will be visiting, in Amoreiras Garden, the sculpture in honour of Eduardo Salavisa.|
|Her mouth waters with…||Portuguese bread! With a good chorizo and a bit of wine, of course.|
|A song…||Several! O Pastor and Haja o que Houver, by Madredeus.|
Abril a quatro mãos – Grândolas, album by Mário Laginha and Bernardo Sassetti.
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