Scattered notes with a Lusitano flavour

by Lorenzo Piccoli


Lisbon. 
With Arianna, Flavia, Jonas, Dani, Anna, Joao.
July 25 – July 28

Fact: this is the only European capital on the Ocean.

Bright, bright light.

Alafama reminds me of Bari Vecchia.

Do not wear Birkenstock if you want to go out dancing.
Going on the seaside on a trotinette with Arianna and Flavia is fun.

I do not think I would like to live here: too big of a tourist industry, too narrow and steeps the roads in the city centre, too far the mountains. There are a few really beautiful things about this city, though: many of the inhabitants have roots in Brazil or in Africa; the buildings are colourful, the graffiti are intelligent; the food is good; the prices are low.

The heroes of the tourist industry are poets: Pessoa, Camões, Garret…

Never before in my life have I been offered such an extraordinary variety of drugs at all corners of the Bairro Alto.


Rabo de Peixe, Island of San Miguel, Azores

With Arianna, Jonas, Dani, Anna, Mariana, Matte, Ludi
July 28 – August 5

This is my second visit to a volcanic island this year, third in three years.

A lot of green: reminds me of the West coast of Ireland.
Cyan, azure, white: hortensias.
Some black volcanic stone.
Brown cows and their smell early in the morning.


Notice the big, fast, well-paved roads. Alas, there are virtually no public buses traveling on them.

The Tosanists are photographers working on the island. Their style is unique: through their masterly use of black and white they turn everyday moments into Kafkaesque representations of life.

Simple, square, and colourful houses.
Elderly men idling in the shadow with their cigarettes.
Village bars – crowded already early in the morning – are inhabited by men only.

Books I have read:

  • Antonio Tabucchi, Donna di Porto Pim. Did not quite like it first, then I read it again and I started to understand. I bought a fancy edition in Portuguese in the Livraria da Travessa. I will never read it but it looks cool on my shelfs.
  • José Saramago, Journey to Portugal. Bright idea: feel the journey, forget the names of the places. Alas, way too many churches.
  • Internazionale, Lisbona. I should have read it before, and not after having visited Lisbon
  • The Passenger, PortogalloTakes some time but it is worth the read: go look for the articles on surfing in Nazaré, on African-Portuguese music, on the exodus from Angola and Mozambique to Portugal, on the illegal search for clams in the Tago
  • Autori vari, Poeti di Lisbona. Short selection of poems with the text in Italian and Portuguese.