We present you a cheerful alfacinha, music lover and Lisbon connoisseur. In Lisbon in Us by Luís Lopes, this tourist guide reveals us his path and what made him “catch the virus” for this unique city.
Since I was a child, I was taken by my father (born in 1902), who was also an “alfacinha” (term to denote a person from Lisbon) and a lover of the city, to get to know/explore the city. We did entire bus, tram or funicular routes and visited the various museums (Ancient Art, Maritime, Archaeology, Ethnology, Popular Art, Military), the Vasco da Gama Aquarium, the Planetarium, the inevitable Lisbon Zoo and even the Church of São Domingos, right after the big fire of 1959. I believe that all these “guided” tours were what made me catch the virus for Lisbon!
Although I grew up in the Alvalade neighbourhood, I used to frequently go Downtown because my father had a small shop in Rua das Portas de Santo Antão and he’d take me there often. In truth, Downtown became my second neighbourhood, just like it was to him.
Years later during my Tourism Guiding studies, I had the enormous pleasure of studying and learning about the Patrimony of the city (and of the rest of the country). And thus, I never stopped continuing to explore and discover Lisbon. Plus, my passion for photography also helped me “see” the so beloved unique light of the city.
I often say that I only have one unsolved problem with Lisbon: the platonic nostalgia of the city and its architectural and cultural heritage from before the devastating earthquake of 1755. But I know I have to live with it :). However, as compensation, Belém stayed almost intact and the Pombaline Downtown, the enchanting Chiado and the beautiful Liberdade Avenue were born.
Throughout my life, the only extraordinary moment that I regret having missed in Lisbon was the Revolution of April 25. At that time, I was temporarily living 300km away from here…
Today, when I look at Lisbon I consider it a “total city” where there’s everything including its “opposite”. Where the past – or the several pasts – and the present live together (and where we can also look to the future). Where there’s a river that is almost sea and where there are hills. Where the city embraces a forest. Where we can admire the sunrise and sunset. Where we can observe it from the bottom up and from the top down. Where we have the privilege of walking – many times without noticing – over art pieces (the Portuguese pavement, where art is well implanted and carefully preserved). And all of this, under the diaphanous cloak of this so unique light! (I ask myself: how many cities are in Europe that have all of this?).
Today, I’d very hardly see myself living elsewhere without always missing Lisbon.
|Lisbon in Us by Luís Lopes|
|Mini introduction||I was born, raised and lived (almost always and I still do) in Lisbon. At an early age I decided what I wanted to be when I grew up – a Tourist Guide – and thus, I pursued my studies in that direction. I’ve been professionally connected to tourism since I was 19 years old. Throughout my life, I’ve developed several passions, such as music, history, photography and knowledge.|
|An inspiring place||Two: The Castelo de São Jorge Viewpoint and the Monument of the Discoveries|
|An unmissable visit||Interior: Saint Vincent Panels in the National Museum of Ancient Art and the Chapel of São João Baptista in the Church of São Roque|
Hibrid: The Cloister of the Jerónimos Monastery
Exterior: Cais das Colunas in the late afternoon
|His mouth waters with…||The inevitable Pastel de Belém (or any good egg custard tart), with cinnamon with a bica (espresso)!|
|A song…||(It’s hard to name a single song…) Um Homem na Cidade and Fado da Saudade, sung by Carlos do Carmo (and the versions in Fado by Carlos Saura)|
Luís Lopes is the author of the article Liszt in Lisbon, in the Midst of Lisztomania published in the series getLISBON invites.
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