Today we have an interview with Veronica & Rita, Spotters for our Lisbon cityblog.
We met Veronica & Rita in a very cozy French bar in Lisbon in July 2008. Very French, but also: very Lisbon! This was already a very good sign they understand our concept.
The duo of good friends was extremely enthusiastic about our concept, and almost couldn’t wait starting to write for the Lisbon cityblog! If you read this interview, I’m sure you’ll see what we like about them so much: their enthusiasm and love for the lovely city they’ve lived in almost all of their lives…
Can you tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do?
V: I was born in Lisbon, raised in this amazing city. But i am a city-hopper. Been moving from place to place for the last 3 years. Finished college in Rio de Janeiro and fell completly in love with the city and its people. It’s the closest to Lisbon as i see it. Lived also in Barcelona and for the last 8 months i’m the brand representative in the United States for a Portuguese Winery. It’s an amazing job but my heart will always be in Lisbon. I have a great love for photography, and my camera goes with me everywhere.
R: Also born in Lisbon, I moved to a smaller countryside town when I was a child and lived there until I finished high school. I finally returned to Lisbon to attend college at 17 (thank God!), and lived here ever since. I work as an assistant for the Portuguese Veterinary College Board of Directors and I am finishing my master degree thesis (such a tiresome experience!!). I can’t avoid defining myself as a fashion and design lover. I don’t want to give you a shallow impression, but I do love a good shopping spree, and I am a compulsive reader of fashion magazines, street style blogs and all that jazz.
Must say to my defence that I am a cook-enthusiast as well: I love to dine out in a cool restaurant but I also fancy coming home and preparing a nice meal!
V: Rita and i make a great team, we are always showing new things to eachother, and having the opportunity to share with anyone is the most proud moment ever.
R: Definitely, we are a power spotter-duo! :) I think having a spotter-double is great as you get to read two different perspectives in one article! Plus, we motivate each other to write and experiment new spots.
Stupid question maybe. But: Why Lisbon?
V: Why not Lisbon? Great weather, phenomenal people, extraordinary food at good value. What more to ask for? We know how to have fun. We believe in good outdoors. You won’t find us laying in the grass reading a book (Portugal doesn’t have any park culture), but will for sure spot us in a terrace in one of Lisbon’s 7 hills. It’s the ideal place to read a good book, drink a coffee or a “imperial” (portuguese word for draught beer), listen to good music and enjoying the view. Feel tempted? Just come to Lisbon!
R: Please do avoid attending the turistic fado-nights in Bairro Alto, with the so called “typical” food and atmosphere! It’s the uttermost away from genuine as you can get! If you want the real thing you must go with a local, preferably to Alfama.
Which time of the year do you like most in your city and why?
B: From March till October is the best time to visit the city. The days are longer, and the weather is usually great. Less rain, less cold and more places to go out to.
R: Lisbon is a wonderful city to visit during springtime, nice weather but not too hot, which will allow you to walk around town. You don’t need guided tours to get to know this city – it’s quite small for a capital and it’s really easy to figure out. Plus, Lisboners are always keen to help foreigners!
What do you know about Lisbon what no tourist will know?
R: A tourist who doesn’t wear socks with sandals is always a plus! I am just kidding; I suppose they are comfortable if you walk a lot! Seriously now, I think one must avoid the tourist-cliché attitudes such as flashing cameras everywhere, walking around carrying 300 city guides, solely being preoccupied with visiting as many monuments and landmarks as possible! You will have much more fun and get a true feel of the city if you just go with the flow and venture into the city and its culture.
V: We don’t live our lives by a lonelyplanet guide. We do know how to avoid the touristic places and still be true to Lisbon. The places we hang around and which we blog about allow our readers to get the real experience of doing whatever “alfacinhas” (habitants of Lisbon) do.
What is the most popular neighbourhood to live in Lisbon at this moment?
V: I’m gonna be completly partial here and say Principe Real. Not only it has improved a lot in the past years, but you also have a diversity of things and places to go to.
You can relax under the enormous old tree in the Principe Real garden or enjoy the nice coffee shops. Start a good walk from the garden, pass in Doce Real to taste the best sweet snacks ever, or go to Fabrico Infinito and see good design products. Next stop go to Solar and just sink in the history behind all the tiles and antiques in the store. You will be surprised with all you can do in this neighbourhood: a 15 minute walk that can turn out to a whole day!
R: I also love my neighbourhood (Graça), which doesn’t have the diversity that Principe Real has to offer, but still has some lovely spots to visit.
Despite this, I have to confess that I think Chiado is the coolest area – it’s a beautiful neighbourhood which allies a traditional and antique atmosphere with a trendy and artsy Lisbon. Plus it’s so central – it’s really close to other interesting areas like Bairro Alto, Principe Real or Baixa. I consider it the perfect place to live and plan to move there sometime in the near future!
Read all of Rita & Veronica’s articles here.
Check out the other interviews with our Spotters.