24 Hours in Lisbon – Paula Cosme Pinto

on Sep 1, 2013 in Now Boarding | No Comments

Journalist Paula Cosme Pinto takes us on a tour of Lisbon’s song, celebrating both past and present on a stroll through history. Pray silence for the story of fado!


Paula Cosme Pinto

Born in Lisbon in 1984 and raised in the capital’s São Bento neighbourhood, Paula Cosme Pinto comes from a family of musicians, growing up amidst artistic gatherings, rehearsals and long nights in fado houses. Her grandfather, Martinho d’Assunção, was a famous fado guitarist in Portugal, while she focussed on other areas, graduating in audio-visual production and post-production, before doing a general journalism course at Cenjor. Currently part of the editorial staff at the Expresso weekly newspaper, she also writes for the blog A Vida de Saltos Altos, which led to the publication of a book. Other literary endeavours include the book Os Segredos da Maleta Vermelha, which is dedicated to female sexuality. Alongside this, she created the Lisbon Fado Tours project, which often finds her in Alfama, amongst the locals, poems, old taverns and the voice of fado singers and their stories. A documentary tribute to her grandfather’s career is currently in its initial stages.



The voice

Amália Rodrigues

“This house is part of my childhood. It was where Amália Rodrigues lived and I spent many an afternoon here. Today, it’s a museum and well worth visiting in order to understand the world of our diva; it hosted countless gatherings with great poets and is also bursting with works of art!”

Fundação Amália Rodrigues
Rua de São Bento, 193
+351 21 397 1896
Tuesday to Sunday, 10h – 13h / 14h – 18h


Well-kept secret

“A secret spot for fado folk, here, in this tavern-style restaurant, you can enjoy wonderfully fresh and cheap grilled fish. The owners are genuinely down to earth and insist on having photographs of fado singers on the walls, among them a portrait of my family.”

Devagar Devagarinho
Travessa Larga, 15
+351 21 013 7982


Lest we forget

guitarra portuguesa / portuguese guitar

“Open since April, this tiny fado souvenir shop has an interesting mix of past and present, selling everything from postcards, pictures and bags with Amália to contemporary design items. The records are almost all recordings by fadistas (fado singers) and there are some very special vinyl editions available.”

Tudo Isto é Fado
Rua da Madalena, 69
+351 21 887 1197


Fado matinées

“A fado vadio classic! This small tavern in Graça offers visitors fado on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Between 16.00 and 20.00 the masses gather to hear aspiring fado singers and enjoy the wonderful Laura’s words of encouragement and her fine cod fritters.”

Tasca do Jaime
Rua da Graça, 91
+351 21 888 1560


Two-tone tributes

Fado portraits

“Starting off from Rua do Capelão, in Mouraria, this outdoor exhibition is a journey to the birthplace of fado, as well as that of Argentina Santos and Fernando Maurício. Fabulous photos printed on wood and hung on the walls in a tribute to fadistas with a strong connection to the neighbourhood. This is the work of British photographer Camilla Watson, whose studio is located in Mouraria and who works with the local communities.”

Retratos do Fado – Um tributo à Mouraria


Evening song

“The meeting point for all generations of fado singers, this used to be the chapel of a building in Alfama that belonged to wealthy families. Inside, the walls are lined with tiles and the acoustics are brilliant. I recommend a trip to Mesa de Frades after dinner for a snack or a drink and to hear the great Lisbon fado voices like Ricardo Ribeiro and Camané.”

Mesa de Frades
Rua dos Remédios, 139 A, Alfama
+351 91 702 9436



“For those who like to burn the midnight oil, Nelo is a Lisbon icon for bohemian night owls. It doesn’t open before one in the morning and here you can find aging wannabe fado singers, the local fauna and taxi drivers. It has tasty petiscos, and if you fancy pica-pau (fried beef strips) at 4 am, this is the place.”

O Fado
Rua do Telhal


A Severa

Casa da Severa

“For years, Mouraria didn’t have any fado houses. This is the house where the mythical Maria Severa Onofriana (immortalised by Júlio Dantas) lived and enchanted the Conde de Vimioso with her beauty and legendary singing. Recently opened, this place serves different petiscos with fado vadio from Thursday to Saturday.”

Casa da Severa
Largo da Severa, 2/2B, Mouraria
+351 21 886 0165
Tuesday to Sunday, 16h – 2h

by Manuel Simões


Five Lisbon neighbourhoods with fado poems

1 – Alfama
"Alfama smells not of fado but of people and solitude. It smells of wounded silence, it tastes of sadness with bread.” (Ary dos Santos)

2 – Madragoa
“A longing for the sea has its monument in Lisbon. The traditional old quarter, sombre and common, that is Madragoa” (João Bastos)

3 – Alcântara
“You are a neighbourhood loved, with no disguised luxury, you work, you make a living. And only because you work, your people have medals in the palm of each hand” (Frutuoso França)

4 – Mouraria
“Ai Mouraria, of the nightingales on eaves, of pink-hued dresses, of traditional street cries” (Amadeu do Vale)

5 – Bairro Alto
“Bairro Alto of Lisbon, scene of early hours, shelter for those who forgive nights abandoned” (Helder Moutinho)

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