Interview Lisbonlovers

Created in 2010 by Luís Beato and João Coelho, Lisbonlovers born out of the love for Lisbon and its enormous potential. Being an alternative to the traditional souvenirs, Lisbonlovers offers modern and playful objects, promoting Lisbon in a more appealing and positive way. O Editorial talked with João Coelho, co-founder of Lisbonlovers:

How did Lisbonlovers started?
Lisbonlovers was born out of the love for our city. It appears as the result of some nonconformism, motivated by the many travels each of us has done along the years. Seeing other cities, less more interesting than Lisbon, having a careful image and more emotional communication concepts, made us thinking that was a great opportunity to do something more for the city. After many years creating brands and communication projects for others, we thought that was the time to leave our mark in the city where we born and grew up.
Make it in a moment of crisis was even a bigger challenge, despite knowing that tourism will have to work as the country's 'life buoy'. If we do not start to do things in which we're strong, it will be difficult to overtake the difficulties. In a moment which the economic conjuncture 'advise' us to leave Portugal, to look for opportunities abroad, we prefer to stay and try to contribute for what is ours.

What you most enjoy in Lisbon?
We love the ambience, light and vibe, characteristic of a city that stands out more and more as a very special place. Lisbon is like a pretty woman that spent half of her life thinking that she hadn't any charm. As it grows, she listens the opinions of others and they say that she's special, finally, she believes in it and realises the she's as beautiful (or more) than others. Lisbon has this kind of charm!
Then, Lisbon also has the magic quality that allow us to be in a nice and trendy place, full of well dressed people, and just around the corner be in a typical area, with clothes lines, TV aerial on the roofs and a guy at the window in his undershirt. Say what you want, but this is Lisbon at its best!

Favourite places in Lisbon?
For the people who love Lisbon it's difficlut to point out just three or four places as their favourite. Lisbon is a mixture of styles, tastes and genres. We feel its special character when, for instance, we cross Príncipe Real garden and go to Rua do Jasmim, with its amazing view over Tagus river; or turning the corner of Travessa do Pinheiro, Lapa, and seeing the Estrela's basilica dome that rises between the buildings. Not to mention Rua do Paraíso (paradise in portuguese), where, going to Travessa do Paraíso, we fell overwhelmed by the magestic presence of National Pantheon just in front of us, between such old buildings, with the memory of Lisbon.

A perfect day in Lisbon?
A perfect day in Lisbon is spent walking, covering the narrow streets of typical neighbourhoods: Alfama, Madragoa, Graça, Estrela, Chiado, without forgetting Baixa and the riverside. To rest, nothing is better than enjoying the unique esplanades and viewpoints that the city offers: São Pedro de Alcântara, the renewed Adamastor, Graça, among others. The tram is also a great choice, allowing us to see everything calmly (if you've the luck to find a seated spot). Another noteworthy option are Eco Tuk Tuks: electrical and silent, they take us where sometimes our legs don't allow it. To the braver ones, bicycle is also an option to consider, every day we see more and more bikes in Lisbon!

van photo by Rexmachine