Fado is the most Portuguese of songs, and often the most misunderstood. Visitors think it is a sad song, but that is a half truth. In fact, Fado can be sad and nostalgic, and that is cathartic to the listener. Fado is a purge of strong emotions. And, so in that spirit, we look into the soul of this ancient musical form, and find the 5 most mournful of Fados. Read more →


Portugal sits on the Western edge of Europe, and has had humans living in its valleys and shores for 400,000 years. From the prehistoric to Art Deco, Portugal has all kinds of monuments to explore. The Roman and Moors both ruled ancient Portugal for centuries – their touch is unmistaken. But what about other ancient people who came, and saw, and conquered? Their presence is a bit harder to find, but excavations and discoveries in recent decades have cast more light on the ancient invaders of Portugal. Read more →


Eça de Queiroz was the master of social cirticism, painting the weakness and failure of society with a vivid brush.  In his 1880 dark comedy, O Mandarim, he offers an allegory of a greedy society, exploring the balance between wealth and the value of a human life. It is a story that remains relevant. Read more →


Portugal is a nostalgic nation. And many fados from the 19th century looked back to a simpler time, when street sellers, know as Pregões, sold everything from fish to bread. Here are two of our favorites - one fondly recalling how black braids became all the rage in Lisbon - and the other a love letter to a lemon seller. Read more →