Saudade

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Lisbon is an unexpectedly quiet place. It is unexpected because, stereotypically at least, large Latin cities are supposed to be brash, chaotic and teeming with life. Rome certainly has perfected the art of chaos and Madrid is nothing if not lively, but Lisbon is comparatively reserved, almost secretive. As you wander up and down its many hills, you keep thinking that maybe it’s an off day—maybe everyone has gone away for the weekend—but I have a feeling that Lisbon is always like that: always slow, always melancholy, a city of fado and saudades. This is something that Lisbonites seem to cherish: when my friend Rossana visited the city last year, she came across a piece of graffiti stencilled on a wall. “Tourists: Cherish the Portuguese silence or go to Spain,” it read.

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This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Monday June 16 2008at 11:06 pm , filed under Art and Design, Europe, Public Space, Society and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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