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Portugal Insider Diana de Cadaval shares her tips on what to see and do in Lisbon and Évora

Diana de Cadaval, Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Orléans, Duchess of Anjou, a Portuguese noble by birth, is dedicated to preserving her family’s heritage and educating others about its history in Lisbon and Évora. Her family was influential in the fight for Portugal’s independence. She is the author of five books focused on the lives of royal Portuguese women and European queens. Here, she tells Indagare about her family’s history and shares her favorite things to see and do in Lisbon and Évora.

Contact Indagare to help arrange your visit to Portugal and for advice on where to stay, eat and what to see and do in Lisbon and beyond.

Can you share some background on your family and its relationship to Évora? 

The Cadaval Palace was built by my ancestors and has been in the family for over 600 years. I am the 11th Duchess de Cadaval. 

Can you explain the background of the music festival and what makes it so special?

My mother, the Duchess de Cadaval,​ is a passionate woman who always loved art and music. She started our music festival in the Cadaval Palace  2​5​ years ago and now my sister Alexandra organizes the World Sufi Music Festival in India for the Maharaja of Jodhpur.

What is your favorite aspect of living in Portugal?

The quality of life is a​mazing​. To see the ocean and have s​unshine all year around ​is a dream. The country has so much history, beauty and charm.​ I would say that Portugal is one of the best-kept secrets in Europe—heaven on earth.

What are some favorite sights, activities, museums or neighborhoods in Lisbon that you would recommend?

In Lisbon, I would say ​that you have to visit Palácio Fronteira for its beautiful titles collection. The Royal Palácio da Ajuda​, where the only Queen to have lived in the Palace was Queen Maria Pia and her family. She was an incredible woman and brought the first elevator and telephone to Portugal.​ She was the daughter of the King of Italy. At the ​Palacio de Queluz you have to see the show of our famous Portuguese Equestrian School.​ ​The best way to experience trendy Lisbon would be to w​alk around the Chiado area to shop and explore new restaurants.

What should no visitor to Lisbon miss seeing or doing?

Visit​ ​the Monastery of Jerónimos and eat a pastel de nata.

 Related  Indagare Insiders: The Women behind Casa do Passadico

Do you have a favorite restaurant, shop or hotel and if so, why? 

Vista Allegre, a beautiful Portuguese por​celain shop in the Chiado 

Teresa Alecrim: I love her bed linens.

JNCQuoi restaurant, for the atmosphere

Any restaurant by great chef José Avillez, the chef behind Belcanto

Hotel Palacio Belmonte, formerly a residence of a noble, in the Alfama district, one of the city’s oldest areas

Do you have a favorite day trip or weekend trip from Lisbon that you would recommend to a visitor?

Spend the weekend in Évora, where you can enjoy all its history and beautiful countryside. You can sleep at Convento do Espinheiro or Mar e Ar Hotel. 

Best restaurants: Fialho and Cartuxa. Come for lunch ​with me ​and visit the Cadaval Palace! 

Do you have any favorite books that you recommend that people read in advance of a visit? 

One day I hope to have my guidebook, Palácios e Casas Senhoriais de Portugal, translated into English, so that people will be able to discover all of our beautiful royal palaces and noble homes. 

Any other tips on Portugal? 

Come and let yourself be surprised and amazed by the charm of the country and its people. 

Related The Inside Buzz: Lisbon

Contact Indagare to help arrange your visit to Portugal and for advice on where to stay, eat and what to see and do in Lisbon and beyond.

– Melissa Biggs Bradley on September 26, 2019

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