Friday, 12 February 2016

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, in Portugal, is celebrated with music and Lisbon is one of the “stages”. All is set for that much expected day, the day that nothing can fail.

The history of Valentine's Day dates back to a dark fasting day, held in honor of St. Valentine.

The Emperor Claudius II, had prohibited marriage during the wars believing that single soldiers were better fighters. Bishop Valentine fought against such instructions and, clandestinely, continued celebrating weddings despite the prohibition of the Emperor.

He was later arrested for this "crime" and during that period, young couples send him flowers and letters saying that they continued to believe in love.

During his time in prison, Bishop Valentine, fell in love with the blind daughter of a jailer, to whom he miraculously restored the sight. Before his execution, Valentine wrote a farewell message to his love, in which he signed "From your Valentine".

But it was only in the late Middle Ages, during which the concept of romantic love was expressed, that this date started to be associated to romantic love.

In this special date, a series of concerts will take place across the country, all starting at the same time, featuring Amor Electro, D.A.M.A., David Fonseca among others. In Lisbon, Paulo Gonzo will take the stage, in the Campo Pequeno.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

2016 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for Hotels

The Hotel Avenida Palace was recognized, for the third time, with the Travelers’ Choice Award. 

For the 14th year, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travelers around the globe.

The promises of all Travelers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value.

Winners were identified in several categories and the Avenida Palace was elected in the categories of Luxury, Service and Romantic Hotel.

We would like to thank all our Dear Guests, namely those who take their time to write a review about the experience lived at our Hotel.

To check out all of the 2016 Travelers’ Choice winners go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Hotels.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Lisbon favorite destination for the European in 2015

2015 was the year of confirmation for Lisbon as one of the most important destinations in Europe.

Recent figures released by the search engine jetcost.pt, present Lisbon as the most popular city in 2015 by the Spanish, French, British, Germans, Italians, Dutch and Russian travelers.

On the other hand, Porto, has been chosen second by the Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian, third by the Dutch and it ranks fourth by the British.

Faro, the gateway to the Algarve, is also on this list and very well ranked, for instance, it is the second most visited city by the British and the Dutch, the third by the Spanish, French and German and the fourth by the Italian and Russian.

As for the Islands, despite the growth of Açores, Madeira is still the preferred by the European tourists, mostly due to its climate and, of course, a spectacular landscape where one can enjoy nature in all its splendor.

As mentioned Açores is growing, been São Miguel the most demanded island of the group ranking fifth as preferred destination for the European tourists, followed by Santa Maria and Faial. The liberalization of the direct flights to the islands played an important role on this increase, but one cannot exclude its natural beauty, clear waters, lush vegetation and landscapes of volcanic origin, making this a thru paradise in the middle of the Atlantic.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

“In search of Portugal. Ideas, objects, news, fashions”

From January 23rd to April 25th, the Padrão dos Descobrimentos presents an exhibition about the journey of journeys.

This exhibition is about the temporal and geographic realities of Portugal discoveries and expansion in modern times, leading to a multi-civilizational reading.

According to Prof. António Camões Gouveia, the responsible for the exhibition, the aim is to show visitors ”The whole journey of discovery and the different knowledge and expansions resulting of a long sea voyage to reach land and then people, animals, plants, wealth and differences! That journey of journeys is what we want to tell”.

With pieces kindly provided by 17 museums/archives and libraries across the country. “In Search of Portugal. Ideas, objects, news, fashions” emphasizes the human and civilizational landscape in a chronological and territorial narrative.

And so, bearing in mind the variability of the theme to be explored, emblematic pieces were selected on their holders, geographical origins, time frames and symbols originally registered or subsequently acquired.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Lisboa à Prova - The best restaurants in Lisbon in 2015

When talking about Lisbon one cannot exclude its food and its restaurants, typical, international, “nouvelle cuisine” and Michelin Stars, all of these can be found in our beautiful city.

Lisboa à Prova is an annual gastronomical competition, which aims to promote and select the best restaurants in Lisbon divided in three categories - Contemporary Kitchen, Portuguese Cuisine and World Cuisine.

Last week, the winners for the 2015 competition were known. After 6 months of visits and evaluations, the participant restaurants received their trophies, 1 Fork, 2 Forks and 3 Forks, in an event hosted by the Town Hall.

126 were the number of restaurants awarded, judged for its cuisine, service, environment and quality / price ratio, in a total of 700 anonymous tests, carried out between June and November 2015.

Comparing to the 2014 edition, there were 11 more restaurants awarded and the number of subscriptions rose by about 25%, showing an evident qualitative increase in Lisbon restaurants.
90 restaurants were awarded with “1 Fork”, 29 have achieved the award for "2 Forks" and only 7 restaurants have earned the maximum reward of "3 Forks".

Here’s the complete list of winners. Choose wisely!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Top 5 - Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

Based on the private collections of oil millionaire Calouste Gulbenkian, this is one of the most important Lisbon’s museums.

The project for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Museum, inaugurated in 1969, was the result of a limited competition that took place from, 1959 to 1960 between three teams of architects.

The permanent exhibition galleries are distributed in chronological and geographical order to create two independent circuits within the overall tour, in a collection that now totals over 6,000 pieces from all over the world and dating from antiquity until the early twentieth century (including examples
from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, Babylonia, Armenia, Persia, Islamic Art, Europe, and Japan).
Calouste Gulbenkian revealed his passion for art early, reflecting in part his origins in Cappadocia--a major crossroads of religions and art--and Constantinople--another crossroads of civilizations and the capital of the Romans, Greeks, and Ottoman Turks.

Throughout his life, he assembled an eclectic and unique collection that was influenced by his travels and his personal taste, and sometimes involved lengthy and complex negotiations with the leading experts and specialist dealers.

It was hard to find the Top 5 features not to miss when visiting this wonderful museum but, here they are.

1 – Eastern Islamic Art
A large gallery shows a wide-ranging collection of manuscripts, carpets, textiles and ceramics, from Persia, Turkey, Syria, the Caucasus and India, dating from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries.

2 – Diana Statue
This masterpiece of French eighteenth-century sculpture, by Houdon gives Diana an original treatment, presenting her naked and running, in contrast with the static and idealized Diana of his predecessors, dressed in a tunic as a symbol of virginity.

3 - St. Catherine and St. Joseph
Two paintings by the 15th-century Flemish master Rogier van der Weyden are believed to be parts of an altarpiece that was dismantled for unknown reasons been the third element is in London’s National Gallery.

4 – Boy Blowing Bubbles
This Édouard Manet painting from 1867 which the theme is, Vanitas, or the fleeting nature of life symbolized by the soap bubbles, was given a unique interpretation by the author.

5 – Lalique Collection
Gulbenkian was a close friend of the French Art Nouveau jeweler René Lalique (1860-1945) and its collection of works is quite exceptional for the quality of the jewelry and other objects, particularly the glass, which, because of its quality and consistency is considered to be quite unique.