Fado is the soul of Lisbon, its traditional music par excellence. And Portugal’s national music. The origin remains unclear. It is said that Fado, inherited from the African blues, disembarked from ships from Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century. The fruit of multiple influences (Angolan, Gypsy, Alentejano, etc.), Fado is a languorous music, born in the underworld. Sung by prostitutes to attract fishermen on payday, this siren song later became the music of the Lisbon people.
In the lyrics, the fadists speak of their daily lives, their sorrows and their happy days. Fado thus appeals to the Portuguese philosophy of saudade, which can be translated as lack, a feeling of being lost. This state of mind can also be found in the Portuguese-speaking world. For example, the morna is Cape Verdean fado ! Cesária Évora is their Amalia Rodrigues ! Nowadays in Portugal, a new generation of artists have revived the music. The new queen is now called Mariza, see video opposite.
The Fado experience is an evening dedicated to all those who wish to discover a very high quality fado, in a magical setting.
Every year, thousands of visitors push open the door of a fado house to discover this musical genre, and often come away amazed. But where does the magic of fado come from? What is its history? What are the lyrics, sung with such emotion, all about?
Curated by our guide Antoine, this private tour of fado aims to answer these questions and satisfy the curiosity of those who really want to understand this music. Having come to Lisbon to learn how to sing fado, Antoine has acquired an intimate knowledge of it, which he offers to share with you. By exploring the traditional fado districts (Alfama and Mouraria), you will discover the history and myths that have shaped this music. Some of its mystery will be revealed to you…
The schedule :
1- The private, intimate fado tour begins at 5pm. From Praça da Figueira.
2- At 8pm, one-on-one dinner with renowned Fado singers ! A unique moment that will remain forever engraved in your memories.
Would you like to know the customs and traditions of a Fado evening? Would you like to understand the songs? As an option, Antoine can stay with you during the meal.
Fado is a music that divides, you either like it or you don’t. It’s like with Port, that fortified wine that is poorly considered, which is adored when you go for a tasting in Lisbon. So, in order to appreciate the traditional music of fado to its true value, it’s best to find out about the greatest fado venues in Lisbon.
As big fans, we have been to a lot of fado restaurants in Alfama, spending our Sunday nights in bars getting drunk on fado singers and string players. We always wanted to share this passion for Fado. That’s why we created the Fado experience, an exclusive evening around this music that is part of Lisbon’s DNA.
Want to follow in the footsteps of the fado during the day ? Our private tour will take you on a journey in the tracks of the first fadists between legend and romance.
The private tour begins at 5pm. You will discover the emblematic districts of Fado through the fascinating story told by Antoine, your guide. Allow 3 hours for the walking tour. Antoine will drop you off at a prestigious fado restaurant (subject to availability) at around 8pm. If you want to understand the songs and traditions during this evening of fado, you can extend the guide's service during the dinner show. The price does not include transport or the cost of the dinner.