Lisbon (Portugal). Alfama is the oldest and probably the most characteristic district of Lisbon: it goes from the Tejo river up to the Sao Jorge Castle, and it is today a very popular touristic attraction. Every day, thousands of people come here – most of them with the popular tram number 28 – and walk up and down this picturesque labyrinth made of narrow streets, small squares and cozy restaurants playing fado.
The thing that impressed me most, and that I tried to capture when I was contemplating the landscape of Alfama at the beginning of sunset, is the perfect coexistence of sumptuous and elegant churches emerging from a dense jumble of roofs and terraces (the typical “miradouro”). This strong contrast in my opinion represents the true essence of Alfama, a sort of DNA of this district, which went – in the years – through opposite periods. In fact, if during the Moorish domination the Alfama was corresponding with the whole city, with the later expansion to west the district started its decadency and became inhabited mostly by poor people and fishermen. With the devastating earthquake of 1755, the Alfama was not affected and it was therefore preserved by any activity of reconstruction, keeping its original urban texture. With the recent renovation of old houses and with an activity of deep restoration, the Alfama is today one of the most vibrant part of Lisbon, populated both by locals and by foreigners.
I captured this image from the poolside on the roof of the Memmo Alfama Hotel, the first boutique hotel in Lisbon: a perfect terrace where to enjoy a drink watching one of the most popular and spectacular view of the Portugal’s capital.