LISBON REBORN

Prestige Singapore|March 2020

LISBON REBORN
As one of Western Europe’s oldest cities, Lisbon is thriving with innovation and creation, says Juliana Loh
Juliana Loh

From charming rickety retro trams, a robust cuisine of fresh Atlantic Ocean seafood, to centuries-old Neoclassical buildings housing trendy lifestyle concept stores, Portugal’s charming dynamic capital offers a wealth of opportunities for exploration. It is also a city of contrast. While Lisbon plays host to the annual Web Summit where the greatest minds of tech and innovation gather, it’s also where traditional artisans like toymakers, herbalists and silversmiths still ply their centuries-old trade. In 2015, the city council introduced an initiative to preserve historic shops of artisanal crafts along with the heritage buildings located in the Chiado and Baixa area as Lisbon continues its unprecedented growth in tourism. The efforts propelled the city onto Unesco’s tentative list of Heritage Cities in 2017 and continue to fuel sustainable economic growth across local businesses.

Lisbon is best seen on foot or by tram, and the heart of the bustling activities take place in the old districts of Baixa (central), Chiado, Bairro Alto, as well as Alfama on the coast.

HOMAGE TO ARTISANAL CRAFTS

Portugal’s crafts celebrate its vintage typography, packaging, and design, creatively giving nostalgia a modern touch. Located right in the heart of old town Lisbon in the Chiado district, a stone’s throw from Praça Luis de Camões, A Vida Portuguesa (avidaportuguesa.com) captures the best of Portuguese heritage and design in their one-stop-shop. It was founded in 2004 by journalist Catarina Portas whose objective was to curate an inventory of Portuguese brands that survived the passage of time and tell stories about Portugal and its people. “From the beginning, we have established partnerships with several old Portuguese brands, in order to develop exclusive products: soaps with Ach Brito and Confiança, swallows with Bordallo Pinheiro, pencils with Viarco and ceramics with Secla. We celebrate products that have been handed down through generations and still touch our hearts today. They evoke the everyday life of another time and reveal the soul of our country.”

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March 2020