São Vicente, The Tejo's Veranda
People who were born and grew up here are complemented with younger residents moving in to reap the benefits of city-center living in historic homes. São Vicente's proximity to Alfama ensures that some of that 'soulfulness' carries over. As this neighborhood is almost entirely a hill, high spots with breathtaking views are everywhere. It's easy to find a home that offers a balcony with clear views all the way to the Tejo. For many, any thoughts of São Vicente immediately call to mind the Feira da Ladra or 'flea market'. Year after year, Tuesdays and Saturdays have drawn residents and tourists to the Campo de Santa Clara, a market for antiques, clothing and used objects. Everything one could buy or sell is here: formless shoes, old CDs, beautifully handwritten letters, keys without locks and locks without keys, dolls without legs, eyes without dolls... Seasoned vendors stand next to young people looking to make a few bucks. In the middle of the excitement and noise, a quiet cup of coffee or lunch is available on the terrace at the Clara Clara kiosk in the walled Jardim Santa Clara. On days when there is no fair, one might not realize that it was is here at all, but this neighborhood offers more. At its heights we find the Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora, a church and convent from the end of the 16th century and one of Lisbon's most impressive buildings. Lower on the hill is the Panteão Nacional, majestic in its Baroque architecture and housing the tombs of some of the greatest names from Portugal's past. Prime views from its steps cover the old town down to the Tejo River. Along the river is one of the nicest areas of Lisbon, called Cais da Pedra, offering some of the trendiest restaurants in Lisbon, such as Casanova and Delidelux, and Lux, one of Lisbon's best clubs. Drawing a cultured and sophisticated audience, by day or night, everything here exudes tranquility and well-being.
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