I sette colli di Lisbona
“I sette colli di Lisbona” (“The seven hills of Lisbon”) constitutes my first volume dedicated to a foreign city, although as soon as I set foot on Lisbon soil, I truly felt at home.
Indeed, Lisbon captured my heart from day one and gradually, the more I became acquainted with the city, the more it filled my senses with a joyful, delightful rise and fall of colours and the low and high notes of an enchanting melody.
Why did I choose this particular title? Perhaps because it reminded me in some way of the seven hills of Rome, but above all because the hilly topography of Lisbon, which is a much smaller city than Rome, appears sharper and more evident.
Memorable images include the city’s famous trams; the Avenida de Liberdade with its paving adorned with abstract wavy patterns; the Elevador which, together with the castle, provides enchanting views over the city; the cathedral, which I found truly magical at sunset with its alternating pink and yellow hues; the monastery of saint Jerome and, last but not least, the Belém tower which comes all the way down to the ocean’s edge.
And what can I say of the beautiful azulejos, the typical blue and white hand-decorated tiles found in countless bars and shops throughout the city?
Equally enchanting is Lisbon’s traditionally multi-ethnic, incredibly colourful population, which offers the visitor yet another element of attraction that trumps many other countries.
In this city, which I have adopted as “my own”, I had no difficulty taking lots of photographs, as objects and people instantly caught my gaze like multicoloured flowers just waiting to be picked.
I was pleasantly surprised and enraptured by everything.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the inhabitants of Lisbon and its history for having endowed the city, down through the centuries, with such unrivalled variety and beauty.
Last of all, a special thanks to all Lisbon’s women (including, naturally, the beautifully colourful, elegant black women, to whom I was greatly drawn, and who are the subject of countless photos) who I observed strolling around the streets of this wonderful city, proud of their beauty and allure, to which I was and am only too happy to succumb.
MARIA PIA SEVERI