Roma & Areeiro, Distinct and Reserved
Roma and Areeiro form a lively neighborhood where it is a pleasure to walk, surrounded by so much to do. The housing style varies from small clusters of single homes to high-rise buildings among a strong commercial zone. The most popular shopping destinations are found on Avenidas Roma, Guerra Junqueiro and João XXI. Its proximity to the Instituto Superior Técnico has made this neighborhood a destination for countless students from around the country seeking an apartment near campus. This is still an area attractive to families, with mini-neighborhoods offering characteristic housing and amenities, such as the neighborhoods of São Miguel or Arco do Cego. A concentration of actors near the Areeiro roundabout formed a neighborhood about 30 years ago, today almost unchanged, preserving an authentic expression of the Art Deco period. Sports and nature lovers flock to Alameda, one of the most emblematic squares in Lisbon featuring vast gardens, outdoor exercise equipment, running paths and the magnificent Fonte Luminosa. Stone tables attract card players of all ages. Centrally located, this area has excellent access to public transit.
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Who better to describe the Roma and Areeiro neighborhood than her residents? They readily identified a number of appealing qualities:
Centrality... because everything is ‘only two steps away’... public transport, a wide range of services, cultural activities, shops and businesses from catering to supermarkets, pharmacies and more. Here you find a bit of everything without leaving the neighborhood. Yet, when one does leave the neighborhood, all of Lisbon is easily reached without using a car.
Children benefit significantly from some of Roma & Areeiro’s key assets, including quality schools, playgrounds, lots of green spaces and wide boulevards. It is not surprising that the locals have a habit of being outside, walking the avenues, ‘living’ on the terraces and meeting in the public spaces. Some even say that the best thing to do within the neighborhood is to go out, take a walk.
Roma & Areeiro is, furthermore, a dynamic neighborhood. There are always people along the streets yet a slower pace is intentional, ensuring a sense of tranquility and security for residents. Delving deeper into this dynamic we see at the micro-level that peace reigns in the São Miguel area, and the Avenida de Madrid and the Arco de Cego resemble a village within the city. Even in the actors’ neighborhood, life is lived slowly.
I can do everything without using a car – public transport is great! I can go to the supermarket, cinema, for coffee, everywhere.
Lucia Requetim, 35, Geological Engineer
The strong sense of community is another feature. The spirit of helping each other is visible in the actions of residents and merchants. In 2013 the community spirit became a purposeful business event... The Commercial Movement of the Avenida Guerra Junqueiro, Praça de Londres, Avenida de Roma, Avenida João XXI and the Avenida Paris Businesses with the goal of stimulating and revitalizing commerce. Embracing this focus on safe public spaces, shopping and neighborhood identity, the residents claim this event as their own. Proud residents and the many people attracted to the neighborhood ensure lively street commerce.
Most residents are tempted to say that all the cafes and restaurants are good. This is very typical of Lisboetas and the Portuguese. And many locals we spoke to described their neighborhood as ‘cute’. Such a simple word, yet with so much meaning. It’s a neighborhood where we feel at home, where we like our neighbors and, in turn, they like us.
This area is all about families. It is difficult to define an age segment, as we encounter people from 8 to 80, with a medium to medium-high socio-economic level and sharing a common trait: all like to contribute to the community.
Families have always been attracted to Roma & Areeiro. Grown children move on, leaving their parents with an ‘empty nest’, only to return to their neighborhood because of its values and benefits. Grandchildren, nephews and cousins grow up together. Students move here to be near the universities and often stay on, creating their own families.
A shop employee working on Avenida Guerra Junqueiro confirms this family vibe, saying “Rarely do we have a person walk in here alone... Usually, a mother and daughter, a husband and wife or parents with their children are out shopping together”.
It's a friendly neighborhood. Very quiet and spacious. That makes a difference.
Luisa, 35, Teacher
The neighborhood spreads out from the core axis formed by Avenida Guerra Junqueiro, Avenida de Roma and Avenida João XXI. More than 150 quality shops form the commercial area characterized by an undeniable architectural style.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Avenida de Roma was the privileged center of commerce, culture and social life. It loomed large in the city of Lisbon from 1950-1980, known for the iconic theatres King and Londres, among others. While the avenue has continued to evolve, this theatre nostalgia remains.
After our event promoting the shops and businesses here, in which I participated, I walked to Avenida Guerra Junqueiro to meet friends. Passing by other stores, I was greeted by merchants with “Hello, Rita, how are you?” That’s when I realized for the first time how lucky we are to be able to live in a true neighborhood.
Rita Duarte Ferreira, 34, Merchant
The major avenues in the Roma & Areeiro neighborhood outline what is essentially an outdoor mall - from Avenida Guerra Junqueiro to Avenida João XXI, through the Praça de Londres to the Avenida de Roma, a variety of shops and services complement the neighborhood.
Residents recommend sightseeing around the Avenida Guerra Junqueiro and Praça de Londres, where we find the central church of the neighborhood (João de Deus) and the traditional Mexicana pastry shop as well as a number of cafes, ice cream parlors, clothing and décor shops, among many others.
It's nice to go out.
Luisa, 35, Teacher
Some say that the neighborhood has no secrets, what you see is what you get; however, we found a few...
There are a variety of gardens to stroll here, from Alameda to the Praça de Londres and the Jardim Fernando Pessoa among other smaller gardens. It is also surrounded by green spaces in the neighboring areas, from Parque da Bela Vista to the Jardim do Arco do Cego, Campo Grande, Parque de Jogos 1º de Maio and the Parque de Alvalade.
Many buildings host wonderful playgrounds within their walls, hidden from the streets, where the neighborhood can be enjoyed from inside.
Artists, actors and intellectuals still call Roma & Areeiro ‘home’, dating back to its history as the center for the movie theatre arts. They mingled with families from the upper class who formed the nucleus of residents at the time of the Portuguese Estado Novo.
The area called São Miguel was built in the 1950s under the guidance of architect Jacobetti, supported by donations from the United States of America after the Second World War.
All pastry shops are good, and some are better! The Pastelaria Mexicana at 30 Avenida Guerra Junqueiro was named a national heritage site for modern architecture, noting the polychromatic works by the famed ceramicist Querubim Lapa.
It's the best neighborhood of Lisbon and surrounding areas!
António Valente, 53, Teacher
Roma & Areeiro, Distinct and Reserved