Casa Fortunato hangs her hat on the corner of the side of a gentle hill in Lisbon’s central neighbourhood district of Amoreiras and looks out on to a peaceful, tree-lined boulevard.
Amoreiras is one of Lisbon’s newest neighbourhoods but ‘new’ is relative term when you are dealing with the oldest city in the Western Hemisphere!
Houses in this area began to spring up at the turn of the century and the neighbourhood became a vibrant mix of eclectic architecture (palatial homes lining broad avenues and quirky art-deco residences) that housed a lively community. To this day; the families of the original residents; a dynamic student cohort and a small international group of expats form the heart of this vibrant area of Lisbon. In amongst the residential houses you can find a jumble of fantastic shops, incredible restaurants, cosy cafes, serene gardens, unexpected museums and from its shaded streets you can watch the ebb and flow of laid-back Lisboan life.
There is plenty to see and do in Amoreiras but our absolute favourites are:
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum: The simple, modern building which houses astonishing treasures collected by the Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian – sits in lovely, langid gardens with treelined walkways and waddling ducks that wander around its outside auditoriums. The Gulbenkian is a cultural oasis and is our number one recommendation of things to do in Lisbon.
Príncipe Real: Is considered to be one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Lisbon – stuffed full of restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, antique shops and historic buildings it really is an open-minded, bohemian corner of the city. Spend the day moseying along the cobbled streets or sit under the shade of the mighty cedar tree in the Jardim do Príncipe Real and watch the world go by.
Parque Eduardo VII: This huge park (running to over 26 hectares) is just a short walk from Casa Fortunato and is the perfect place to lie in the dappled shade and marvel at the view the park offers over the red roofs of Lisbon and down to the sparkling ocean below. It is laid out formally, with neatly clipped box-bush hedges and mosaiced pathways that, if you decide to follow, will lead you over stretches of springy grass and limpid water to its surreal hot and cold houses with their families of towering ferns and banana trees. It is a magical place, filled with obscure plants and cacti housed within a deserted quarry, a wonderful, alien world of botany, where you almost expect to see dinosaurs!
The homes of Amoreiras were built by rich families who wanted to create an idyllic life for themselves – their houses were built to be in central Lisbon, yet close enough to the beach to afford respite from city life. From Casa Fortunato it is just 15 minutes’ drive to the some of the most beautiful beaches and coves on the Portuguese coast, where the waves stroke the golden sand and one can be lulled by the gentle lapping of the glistening sea for hours.
At Casa Fortunato we cook with love, creating outstanding dishes that showcase the quality of the local ingredients that we use. Harmonious, full of flavour and always irresistible, we can’t wait to show you what we’re made of.
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.