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    Feast of St. Anthony in Lisbon: flavors, music and colors

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    Aina Prat Blasi

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    Land of great conquerors and saudade, we are talking about Portugal and in particular of Lisbon, an enchanting city rich in great culture and food and wine delicacies.

    Let's start with the sardine, a poor fish but with great nutritional characteristics that is a bit the emblem of Lisbon if we want, especially during the patronal feast dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua that every 12 and 13 June transforms the city into an explosion of colors, music and flavors. Everything takes place in the narrow and tangled streets of Alfama where it is easy to grasp the true essence of Lisbon made of tradition and culture.

    This is one of the oldest neighborhoods perched on one of the seven hills, rising from the bottom leads right in front of the imposing castle of Sao Jorge overlooking the whole city, where a breathtaking view is assured. For those who were at that time near Lisbon, this is an opportunity not to be missed. I suggest everyone to start with a vera-based aperitif Brazilian caipirinha in the fantastic terrace of the Clube ferroviário overlooking the Tagus river, near the Santa Apolonia train station, perhaps at sunset, and then walk to the Alfama district, music and perfume will show you the fastest way.

    Here you must not miss the amazing ones freshly caught sardines, cooked on makeshift barbecues along the way; Don't worry, if you don't like fish you will also find excellent grilled pork as well as excellent wine or beer. You can sit down to eat on a staircase of a church or on large tables where popular songs and flasks of good wine never fail. The small streets will gradually become more and more crowded and after midnight it will be normal to dance alongside improvised dancers until the first light of dawn.

    Once rested, the following morning, if you still have strength, you can participate in a very special event, namely the collective marriage which is celebrated every 13 June in the cathedral of the city. Don't expect to be invited to lunch… the streets around the cathedral will be packed with people like you, waiting for the parade of the newlyweds who will pass by with beautiful vintage cars. I forgot, if you want to have fun speaking Portuguese greet your arrival by saying "Olà" and on your departure with "Adeus" and thank you with "Thank you"!

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