Mankind is endlessly visionary and, conversely, endlessly superstitious: we look for meaning in everything: from portents in the weather, to the subtle messages underlying a particular conversation. We search for significance in the heavens and in the rich earth, we look inwards at our souls and outwards at those we love and, in doing so, we find answers that we feel bring a sense of order to the chaos of our worlds.
It seems counterintuitive that one of the ways in which we organise the cosmos is by using numbers – how strange that we should use mathematical, abstract concepts to imbue our emotional lives with such mystery and meaning but, so it is that numbers, from the earliest times, have been laced with a sense of the spectacular.
Our stargazing forbears marked out the number seven as being of the utmost importance. They looked at the wide, star-strewn sky with their naked eyes and saw that there were seven planets in the heavens, seven celestial beings: the five wanderers plus the sun and the moon and though we now know this to be wrong – the importance of the number seven has remained ingrained in our psyches. Seven is everywhere, in the mundane: the optimum number of hours sleep for a human is seven, the spiritual: the seven deadly sins are balanced by the seven blessed virtues, the seven senses, the seven heavens – the everyday: seven colours in the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven days of the week, to the geographical: seven wonders of the world, the seven continents, the seven hills of Rome and the seven hills that cradle the ancient city of Lisbon in their dips and dells.
In England, when you are very little, you are taught a rhyme about magpies (the birds with beady eyes who are mischievous and who steal shiny things with which to line their nests) really it is a rhyme about good and bad luck and it runs from 1 to 10 – the line that corresponds with the number seven says:
‘Seven for a secret that shall never be told’
well, within this little book of sevens there are secrets waiting to be told. There are seven sections – each with seven treasures that we have chosen to share with you – places we love, things that make us feel: sights that start our hearts pounding and that leave us breathless, personal recommendations that hold great meaning for us. We have chosen the number seven, because there are seven of us in our family (including the dog!) and because seven is a lucky, magnificent number that pays homage to the brilliance of this city that we love and her seven beautiful hills.
Our belief is that the path to ‘wellness’ lies in making one simple, tiny positive lifestyle choice each day; from laughing more, to getting enough sleep, reading that book you’ve always wanted to.
We only have nine bedrooms which we consider to be very fortuitous, this is because ‘nine’ is a sacred number, not only does it represent wisdom but it is also the symbol of completion and fulfilment. Nine is thought to be a number of great magic and power, and we believe that Casa Fortunato echoes this through the unique and individual atmosphere that she radiates.
We are Filipa and Antonio Fortunato and, together with our four children (and our dog!), we have taken a shared dream and transformed it in to an exceptional reality. Casa Fortunato is the result of many years of planning and many more of love and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve achieved.