Xistopedia

“Martim Branco is at its most charming when it’s time to say goodbye”

“Martim Branco is at its most charming when it’s time to say goodbye”
art and culture
Fado ao Centro invoked the Song of Coimbra’s magic and enchanted the audience.

We find Jane and Roland, a German couple, on the terrace of Bem Me Quer, the restaurant that is part of the Xisto Sentido lodgings. It is the fourth time they have been to the Aldeia do Xisto, Martim Branco and have completely surrendered to the region’s charms. So much so, that they are looking for a house, a big one, with some land, so that they can settle down and invite their four children and friends to visit.

They discovered Xisto Sentido after a visit to Évora. They had been promised a comfortable bungalow overlooking a water feature. In reality, they got a small room with a view of little more than a puddle. Looking for an alternative, they expanded their search area and came across this accommodation, which has reinvigorated the Aldeia do Xisto village in recent years, and to which they keep returning. “It’s so nice”, says Jane. Roland nods in agreement, explaining then that he has been travelling to Portugal on business for about 20 years, but this is where they want to stay.

After a bit of a chat, they accept our invitation to the Fado show that is about to begin in the nearby Casa de Artes e Ofícios. In a show forming part of the Aldeias do Xisto Ciclo de Fado, the Fado ao Centro is performed in front of an almost full house. João Farinha, vocals, Diogo Passos, guitar, and Hugo Gambóia, Coimbra guitar, offer up their magic during a distinctive evening.

Each song is put into context, with moments that have marked the history of Portugal being recalled, such as the student movement in Coimbra at the end of the 1960s, or the emigration of thousands of people in search of a better life.


“Coimbra is a lesson” and the “Farewell Ballad” were not left out of the repertoire and got the audience humming along “Martin Branco is at its most charming when it’s time to say goodbye”, improvises João Farinha at the end. “Nice guys”, was heard from some members of the audience.

The show ended, but the audience remained. Norberto, raised in the village, took the stage to express gratitude for the initiative and the cooperation of all those who made it possible in Martim Branco.

But nothing in these parts is ever finished without the end being duly marked. So the musicians were summoned again to sing “one for the road (abaladiça)”. A challenge readily accepted. And it was only after the Song of Coimbra resounded once more that Fado ao Centro could really say its farewells.


“Happy?” asks João, who has lived in the village his whole life. “We are, are you?”, we asked back “ “I also I really liked it”, he said, before improvising a few rhymes, “I'm very chatty”, he tells us, before setting off in search of new listeners.

 

The satisfaction was, indeed, universal. “It’s a pleasure to sing in this area, one of the most beautiful in the country”, asserted João Farinha, who also highlighted the delicacies served during dinner at the Bem Me Quer. “Everything was delicious. I would recommend the oven-baked goat and the black pork cheeks”, he said.

The residents of Martim Branco were joined by those who come from there but live at a distance, and people from neighbouring villages, such as Padrão or Almaceda. Whenever we asked, the answer came back immediately: “It was great”.


Jane and Roland also left the venue happy. Besides the opportunity to listen to Fado, they found at least one contact to help them in their search for the perfect house.

explore

restaurants
Restaurante O Pascoal
Restaurante O Pascoal
Fajão
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Quinta da Palmeira Romantic Boutique Restaurant
Quinta da Palmeira Romantic Boutique Restaurant
Cerdeira, Arganil
restaurants
Ponte Velha
Ponte Velha
Sertã
restaurants
João Brandão
João Brandão
Oliveira do Hospital
restaurants
D. Sesnando Restaurante
D. Sesnando Restaurante
Penela
restaurants
Casa da Ti Augusta
Casa da Ti Augusta
Figueira
restaurants
Fiado
Fiado
Janeiro de Cima
restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
lodging
Aldeia Oliveiras
Aldeia Oliveiras
Proença-a-Nova
lodging
Mountain Whisper
Mountain Whisper
Gondramaz
lodging
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casal Novo, Arganil
lodging
Casa Cova do Barro
Casa Cova do Barro
Janeiro de Cima
lodging
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
Quinta da Fonte Agro-Tourism, Bed&Breakfast
Fontaínha 3260-328 Figueiró dos vinhos
lodging
Quintal de Além do Ribeiro
Quintal de Além do Ribeiro
Ceira dos Vales, Lousã
lodging
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Caldas de São Paulo
lodging
Casa Lausus
Casa Lausus
Talasnal
lodging
Casas de Água Formosa
Casas de Água Formosa
Vila de Rei
offer
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
village
Ferraria de São João
Ferraria de São João
offer
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
Escapadinha de E-Bike nas Aldeias do Xisto
tour
The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
village
Figueira
Figueira
village
Sobral de São Miguel
Sobral de São Miguel
tour
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
heritage
Church of São Bartolomeu
Church of São Bartolomeu
heritage
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
Ponte Medieval de Alvoco das Várzeas
heritage
Roman Villa of Rabaçal
Roman Villa of Rabaçal

next events

event
Project@X – Viagem à Luz das Estrelas
Project@X – Viagem à Luz das Estrelas
25 jun 2022 - 24 sep 2022, 22:00
Fajão
event
Escalada no Zebro
Escalada no Zebro
16 jul 2022 - 17 dec 2022, 14:00
Estreito
event
Mostra de Xinema da Benfeita
Mostra de Xinema da Benfeita
08 aug 2022 - 12 aug 2022, 21:00
Benfeita
event
Benfeita Trail 2022
Benfeita Trail 2022
14 aug 2022, 09:00
Benfeita
event
Oficina de Destilação Artesanal de Óleos Essenciais
Oficina de Destilação Artesanal de Óleos Essenciais
01 oct 2022, 10:00
Lousã
event
Campeonato Nacional de Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Circuito Aldeias do Xisto
Campeonato Nacional de Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Circuito Aldeias do Xisto
13 nov 2022 - 11 dec 2022, 13:00
Miranda do Corvo
event
2.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Sobral de São Miguel
2.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Sobral de São Miguel
13 nov 2022, 13:00
Sobral de São Miguel
event
3.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Figueira
3.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Figueira
27 nov 2022, 13:00
Figueira
event
4.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Pedrógão Pequeno
4.ª Prova do Circuito Aldeias do Xisto Carrinhos de Rolamentos 2022 - Pedrógão Pequeno
11 dec 2022, 09:00
Pedrógão Pequeno