Alfama is one of the oldest historical districts in Lisbon. Its architecture has unique characteristics of old and colorful buildings, many of them before the great earthquake of 1755 that give it a joyful and peaceful character.
Strolling through Alfama’s narrow and cluttered streets and alleys, feel the true spirit of the district with clothes hanging on the windows and the residents’ daily life with their rhythms and customs.
Alfama is also the birthplace of Fado, a musical style that sings the sorrows of love, the longing for someone who left, the everyday life and the achievements of a nation’s folk.
A Portuguese guitar, a shawl and a peculiar voice are the necessary instruments. In November 2011, Fado was classified by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
June is the month of the Popular Saints’ parties, with festivities throughout the whole city; the streets are filled with colored paper bows and balloons.
In Alfama’s plazas and small streets there are popular balls and altars honoring the Saints, asking them for good luck. There are also ‘manjericos’, or small basil vases, with traditional quatrain poems. Of course food couldn’t be out of this so there’s always ‘caldo verde’ soup, grilled sardines, bread and red wine. Let yourself be carried away by the revelry of these days and celebrate St. Anthony's eve with us on the 12th of June, before the holiday in Lisbon.