The city of Lisbon is stepping in to protect one of its most distinctive assets: its historical shops.
As part of a project initiated last year, the city has just named 63 retail establishments as deserving special recognition. To start, this means that these stores can apply for special restoration funds, up to a maximum of €25,000 each.
The stores themselves, which include a tobacconist, a glove shop, a café, a pharmacy and a florist, have much in common. They are all businesses with relatively low cash flows. They are all also distinguished by particularly beautiful interiors, and many of them sell unusual or specialty goods or services. The city plans to extend the list to 100 or more by the fall.
Walking in the streets of Lisbon is like walking back in time.
We rarely use busses, trams or taxis in Lisbon.
When we go shopping, visit friends, go to the train station or just stroll around to relax, we always walk. From Graca you can reach most parts of town in maximum 30 minutes.
Walking is not something we decided to do. It just happened. Lisbon invites you to walk – and since we have the time, we take advantage of the invitation.
Opposite most other European capitals, Lisbon keeps opening up for its treasures. The longer you stay, the more you discover. It’s like reading a big and very interesting book.
When you finish the “tourist chapter” with all the monuments, churches, palaces and historical sights a new chapter starts – the tile chapter, calcadas chapter, street art chapter, road sign chapter etc.
After organizing our mobile photos from the last 3 years and going through our folders, we have “chapters” with neon signs, with local people, with blooming flowers, with sunsets & sunrises, with vintage cars, and beautiful houses.
Lisbon’s attractions, you see, aren’t quite in the heavyweight league you find in some European capitals.
There’s no equivalent to the Coliseum, or Notre Dame.
Instead what the city has long had in abundance is a glut of un-studied charm, or beauty on a small, intimate scale.
I dont know how many “chapters” exist in our Book.
The city seems to open more and more the longer you stay. And unlike most of the other European cities we love so much, Lisbon seems to protect the “Chapters from its past”.
Like the program to protect old historical shops we read about the other day in The Atlantic CityLab – Old Shops is another of the chapters in our Lisbon Book.
So remember to shoot a lot of pictures with your mobile when you walk the streets of Lisbon – you will be surprised to see how diverse Lisbon is when you return home and start organizing all your photos.
We’re sure you will find a lot of pictures of our laundry – one of the most common motifs among tourists in Lisbon.
Annette & Thomas