Sisters Rita and Daniela Duarte showcase a city for those with reduced mobility.
A specialist in health law, Daniela has considerable experience in the field of accessibility. She lived and worked for some years in the USA and is a fan of travel literature. Rita has a master’s in sustainable tourism and has worked in international institutions and university research centres in various countries. Both founded Portugal 4All Senses, a tourism company for people with reduced mobility.
Science and art
Rita and Daniela recall that the Belém neighbourhood is bursting with “incredible historical heritage” and the “most iconic monuments of the Discoveries Era and our Manueline style”. The Planetarium boasts excellent accessibility. They say that “Belém is also modern and the Centro Cultural is as fantastic as its exhibitions”.
“Terreiro do Paço [Praça do Comércio] (pictured) is impressive and imposing.” Museu de Lisboa – Torreão Poente is one of the stops on this inclusive Lisbon itinerary, a visit that includes “having a drink in the late afternoon at Vini Portugal, where you can enjoy a glass of wine from any of the country’s different winegrowing regions”.
Up and down
Elevador de Santa Justa \\\ carris.pt
The Santa Justa Lift is suitable for everyone. The 360-degree view of the Baixa neighbourhood is great and “even better” at sunset. The Baixa “is the legacy of a man whose vision was extraordinary for the time”, the Marquis of Pombal, who was Prime Minister in the 18th century. The wide streets, the anti-seismic buildings and the popular Rua Augusta.
Palácio de Queluz \\\ parquesdesintra.pt
Located on the outskirts of Lisbon, this palace was renovated and is now accessible to people with reduced mobility. Rita and Daniela reckon that this “our Versailles, one of the great examples of Rococo style in Europe”. Adding that “the gardens are a perfect example of the integration of nature in architecture”.
Palácio de Monserrate, Sintra \\\ parquesdesintra.pt
Of all those found in this town, Rita and Daniela prefer the relatively unknown jewel that is Palácio de Monserrate, which was once owned by the English Cook family and frequented by intellectuals, such as the writer William Beckford and Anglo-Scottish poet George Byron. The palace is accessible to people with reduced mobility and visual impairment.
Cascais \\\ cascais.pt
This is one of the 200-odd sea and river beaches with an Accessible Beach – Beach for Everyone flag, with amphibious chairs. Rita and Daniela suggest a dip in the crystal-clear waters after a summer’s day or a leisurely trip in the winter. A place that reminds them “of childhood memories” when they visited their grandmother.
by Augusto Freitas de Sousa
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