An artistic elegance drifts in the hallways of Palacio Belmonte. Built in 1449 on Roman and Moorish fortifications – some towers date back to 123 BC – the structure has survived the centuries and some of the most devastating natural phenomena. In 1503, one of Portugal’s most famous adventurers known for its discovery of Brazil, Pedro Alvares Cabral, added its touch to the existing house. The palace was lately completely restored using ancient techniques from the 15th and 17th centuries and raw materials that helped to preserve the soul of the site. So we find magnificent blue azulejos from the 1700, in rooms with caisson ceilings designed to create natural ventilation year round. Nowadays the palace serves as sanctuary for artists looking for tranquility and inspiration, and for sophisticated travellers after simple and unpolished luxury. With only ten suites for 3700 square meters, everything here is done in order to make everyone’s privacy a priority.
In the library, some 3,500 books and letters signed by previous kings and queens of Portugal ornament the walls. A little higher, up on the roof terraces, the view runs to Alfama, the newly trendy neighborhood of the capital, and even further to the ocean. Back on dry land, the Belmonte Café and Patio is a place of exchange where music guides authors and artists while they swop ideas. In the garden, under the orange trees, the black marble swimming pool invites us to a moment of freshness, before our yoga class. All seems to keep us from leaving this magical land that Marcello Mastroianni immortalized in its “A Firma Pereira”. Yet, it is impossible to resist a boat trip on the Tejo River or a guided visit of the old Lisbon’s architecture. End your evening at a tasca, listening to some fado.