Aug 24, 2015

DESIGN TRAVELS | 2 weeks in Portugal, part one



I must tell you that, the days before leaving Italy for our tour in Portugal, I was really excited but also somehow worried. I worked hard to put together a strong travel program, and I’ve contacted many people I had to talk with by person then, that the day before leaving it was even hard for me to fell asleep! That mix of happiness and fear you feel when you try things for first times, you know.

Now we are back, a week later, I can say this has been the best travel we’ve ever done.

We’ve really travelled this new country far and wide, with 2200km by car, I don’t know how many steps by foot, big cities and desert villages, beaches and hills, met many new interesting people, and while I’m looking back at all my pictures (more than 2000?) I hardly believe we’ve done such an amazing strong travel.

At present, I’ve created a new blog page for #portugalbark here where I’ve shared all live posts, the daily facebook page posts and the instagram gallery: indeed, when I was on travel I’ve decided to share on instagram, and on facebook with one post for each morning about the day before, and once back I was so happy to hear that many friends loved to travel somehow together with us

Two weeks in Portugal have been enough for us to visit this country, however the suggestion I can give you is to take a few days more if you want to relax a little bit as well!

The focus of the tour was to discover Portugal in its different architectures, landscapes, with original sightseeings, and to find out design accomodations, stores, restaurants, interiors: today I’m telling you about our itinerary and schedule (second part here), with some suggestions for those of you who are planning a 2 weeks in Portugal.

Next weeks, some focuses on the inspiring design places we’ve discovered!

Ora ve lo posso confessare, prima di partire per il mio tour in Portogallo, avevo una fifa bestiale. Ho lavorato a lungo per mettere insieme un programma di viaggio coerente, contattato molte persone che avrei poi dovuto incontrare, tutte cose nuove per me, e quasi ho fatto fatica a dormire la notte prima della partenza. Che poi è quel mix di eccitazione e paura che ho sempre prima di un nuovo viaggio, stavolta amplificato.

E ora a una settimana dal nostro ritorno si lo posso dire, che questo è stato il viaggio più bello di sempre.

Abbiamo davvero girato il paese in lungo e in largo, con 2200km percorsi in auto, non so quanti a piedi, grandi città e villaggi deserti, spiagge e colline, tanti nuovi volti incontrati, e quando ora riguardo le mie oltre 2000 foto faccio perfino fatica a credere di aver vissuto un viaggio così intenso e interessante.

Per ora, ho creato una nuova pagina del blog dedicata a #portugalbark qui in cui ho ricondiviso i post live, dalla facebook page e da instagram : quando ero in viaggio ho preso l’abitudine ogni mattina a scrivere un post facebook sul giorno precedente, un piccolo diario live del viaggio, che ora mi aiuta non poco a tenere le fila, ma la cosa più bella è che molti amici mi hanno detto di aver viaggiato virtualmente con noi grazie a queste immagini   

2 settimane in Portogallo sono state sufficienti per noi per visitare il paese in lungo e in largo, anche se il mio suggerimento è di prendervi qualche giorno in più se ne avete la possibilità, perchè certo non è stata una vacanza rilassante!

Il viaggio era incentrato nello scoprire il Paese sotto vari punti di vista, soprattutto dell’architettura e del design, passando dalle città più grandi a quelle più sconosciute, girando per scoprire hotel, negozi, locali di design e posti meno battuti dalle tratte classiche dei tour (che vi mostrerò nei prossimi giorni): per oggi vi racconto il nostro itinerario in due post (questo e questo) con qualche suggerimento per chi voglia visitare questo splendido Paese in due settimane, è un viaggio che consiglio a tutti!





LISBOA (3 days – 3 nights)

We left Italy from Venice airport at 6 am and at 9 in the morning we already were in the center of Lisbon, our first stop.

I’ve loved Lisbon: its blue sky and its bright light give you a positive energy I really didn’t find in any other capital  ♥ and I can say this is the city I’ve preferred. It’s crowdy, colourful, messy, funny, young, somehow decadent. It reminded me of Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, but I believe it is unique.  Once back, I can say I would have stayed one day more here in Lisbon and that for sure I will be back one day.

Just a few points you can’t miss once you are in Lisbon:

  • a travel with the yellow tram 28. climbing on Alfama alleys (wondering how it can pass accross those tiny roads!!take it early in the morning, as it can be really crowded then)
  • a night out in Barrio Alto (how cheap are drinks here?!)…and come back here during day, it seems completely another place
  • a first stop in Praça do Comercio (knowing its history from the Lisbon Historic Centre: you will be surprised for Terreiro do Paço’s many different looks over last few centuries!)
  • a dinner in Chiado’s cozy restaurants, reached from beautiful Siza’s metro station Baixa-Chiado
  • the Pink Road at night, Rua Nova do Carvalho  (and a feet-selfie here!)
  • an happy hour in Miradouro de Santa Caterina, between local people and students
  • shopping in the Feira da Ladra (every Tuesday and Saturday morning) in lovely Alfama area
  • a visit to Museum Nacional dos Azulejos, with a guide (otherwise you would miss the biggest azulejos archive of the world!)
  • watching Parques dos Nacoes and Vasco da Gama long bridge, from the top of Teleferico
  • a visit to Museu Coleçao Berardo, for a free injecton of contemporary art
  • Belem gardens, Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  • the hypster and trendy LX factory, just under 25 de Abril red bridge (will focus more on this)

I would like to add listening to Fado in Alfama during a dinner, but we didn’t had another night in Lisbon for this (one reason to come back here one day!)

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Praça do Comercio

2weeks in portugal- lisbon-pink street

Rua Nova do Carvalho 

2weeks in portugal- lisbon- alfama- tram 28

Tram 28
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Murales & azulejos in Graça

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Barrio Alto

2weeks in portugal- lisbon- alfama- tram 2820150804_094625 2weeks in portugal - lisbon- alfama


2weeks in portugal - lisbon-miradouro santa catarina

Miradouro de Santa Caterina

2weeks in portugal - lisbon- feira da ladra

Feira da Ladra

2weeks in portugal- lisbon- baixa chiado metro

Baixo-Chiado metro

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Belem gardens

SINTRA (1 day)

We got our micro-car from Lisboa airport and headed to Sintra, before running down towards Algarve.

Everybody told me Sintra is fantastic…I’m quite sure it is, but in low season. This is the only place in Portugal we had troubles in finding a car park, I found it quite confusing and too crowdy to be loved. Palacio Nacional de Sintra, with its two white cones, its really original in its architecture, but the real pity was that we missed Palacio Nacional da Pena (’cause we spent our time in finding a parking…)

I’ve loved more our road trip to the South: we left Lisbon under 25 de Abril bridge and travelled across dry countries, finally arriving in Algarve.

2 weeks in portugal - sintra 2 weeks in portugal - sintra



Ponte 25 de Abril


ALGARVE (3 days – 4 nights)

We decided to stay in Algarve West, in a small beach village called Luz, 10 km from Lagos.

3 days are enough for Algarve if your travel is focused on discovering Portugal. If your focus is on beaches and relax instead, you should add two days more here. Indeed, this region has been devoted to tourism and you will not find a lot about portoguese tradition here…however beaches are just fantastic  ♥ we decided to visit Algarve West and East, and just getting away central area, the one that has been more transformed and brutally built for tourism.

Just a few points you can’t miss once you are in Algarve:

  • the beautiful beaches in Lagos and Portimao areas (we’ve been in Praia Dona Ana and Praia da Rocha )
  • a night out in Lagos (wondering if you are in England?!)
  • a day in Ihla de Tavira with its white sand (every half an hour there’s a ferry boat leaving from Tavira centre)
  • the panorama over the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa from the small Cacela Velha village, and its pure white houses
  • a windy stop in Cabo de Sao Vicente, the South Western end of Europe
  • Sagres with its unique  end of the world athmosphere
  • driving under the windmills on the hills of Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano
  • discovering the surfers beaches and the herdades’ farms down from Rota Vicentina ( reaching Alentejo, from the young Zambujeira do Mar, down to Praia do Carvalhal and Odeceixe)
  • the black cliffs surrounding Praia da Arrifana
  • Monte Clerigo surf village and its perennial water vapor
  • a sunset on the Atlantic Ocean, reaching the highest cliffs behind Carrapateira:  ♥ with a piece of my heart left there

2weeks in portugal -algarve- monte clerigo

Monte Clerigo

2weeks in portugal -algarve- praia dona ana

Praia da Dona Ana

2weeks in portugal -algarve- praia da rocha

Praia da Rocha

2weeks in portugal -algarve- ilha de tavira

Ilha de Tavira

2weeks in portugal -algarve- praia de arrifana

Praia de Arrifana

Zambujeira do Mar


Cabo Sao Vicente


Cacela Velha

2weeks in portugal -algarve- sunset

2weeks in portugal -algarve- sunset

Carrapateira sunset


Read here for part 2 

All images  ©Elisabetta Rizzato |italianbark

PS: mi perdonate se non ho tradotto tutto in italiano vero???


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