THE IN­SID­ERS LIS­BON

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - REGINA FER­REIRA

EX­PLORE: The best in­tro­duc­tion to Por­tu­gal’s cap­i­tal is to get lost in the colour­ful labyrinthine streets of Alfama, its old quar­ter. This vil­lage winds down from the 14th­cen­tury Sao Jorge Castelo (with breath­tak­ing views) to the River Tejo. Enjoy daily life, me­dieval build­ings, cafes and eater­ies sell­ing ginja (tra­di­tional sweet wine) and san­gria, from just 1 ($1.50). Tra­di­tional mu­sic floats through the air and fes­ti­vals are held through­out the year; vis­it­por­tu­gal.com. ENJOY: A trip to Lis­bon isn’t com­plete with­out a live fado (folk) show. Per­formed with one singer and two acous­tic gui­tar play­ers, it’s a spell­bind­ing and ro­man­ti­cally rich sound sourced from the de­spair wives felt when their hus­bands were at sea. Catch a show at Chapito, a cul­tural arts cen­tre for clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary fado with the bonus of ex­cel­lent city views; chapito.org. CEL­E­BRATE: The Por­tuguese ob­serve the an­nual feast of pa­tron saint An­thony with the Sar­dine Fes­ti­val. Ev­ery June 9 to 12, neigh­bour­hoods gather for nights of street mu­sic, wine and sardinhas grilled at ev­ery bend. The sar­dine sea­son runs from May to Oc­to­ber, when many restau­rants serve up this sim­ple, salty dish; fes­tas­delis­boa.com. SHOP: Off the beaten track, find Principe Real, a chic shop­ping strip high­light­ing Em­baix­ada, a fash­ion bazaar in a Moorish 18th-cen­tury build­ing. LX Fac­tory is a hip de­sign dis­trict un­der the Abril de 15 bridge. Get away from the crowds and hang out like a lo­cal with Lis­bon’s best de­sign­ers, en­trepreneurs and artists; lx­fac­tory.com. LEARN: One of a kind, the Na­tional Tile Mu­seum is an of­ten-over­looked yet de­light­ful venue shel­tered in the con­vent of Madre de Deus. Ex­plore cen­turies of the dec­o­ra­tive ce­ramic tiles (azule­jos) that Por­tu­gal is so fa­mous for. Don’t miss the splen­dour and op­u­lence of St An­thony Chapel and Lis­bon’s cityscape mo­saic cre­ated in 1738; museu­doazulejo.pt. TREA­SURE: A lovely way to spend a morn­ing is strolling Lis­bon Flea Mar­ket, also known as Thieves Mar­ket, which be­gan in the 13th cen­tury. Ev­ery Tues­day and Satur­day morn­ing just be­yond Alfama, find items that re­flect Por­tu­gal’s her­itage; carv­ings, lace, masks, pot­tery, even an­tiques await the bar­gain trea­sure hunter. STAY: I can’t go past rec­om­mend­ing my own Petite B&Bs com­pany; in Lis­bon we have 25 spe­cially se­lected ac­com­mo­da­tions where trav­ellers stay with lo­cal ex­pert hosts in a clas­sic B&B set­ting; info@pe­titepr.com.au.

Regina Fer­reira, born in Madeira and raised in Sydney, is a B&B spe­cial­ist and guide­book au­thor and the founder of Aus­tralian-based Petite B&Bs. The ser­vice’s early fo­cus was Paris but now also op­er­ates in Lis­bon, with a ded­i­cated web­site com­ing soon; pe­titeparis.com.au.

Gra­ham Er­bacher Gra­ham.Er­bacher@news.com.au

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