Fado, the Portuguese urban popular song was voted by UNESCO as an"Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity."
A shawl, a guitar, a voice and heartfelt emotion. These are the ingredients of Fado, the celebrated form of world music that captures what it is to be Portuguese.
Fado is the song that harnesses the Portuguese soul. Deep-seated feelings, disappointments in love, the sense of sadness and longing for someone who has gone away, everyday events, the ups and downs of life - inspiration for Fado can come from almost any source.
Nowadays, Fado is almost a symbol of Portugal, a celebrated form of world music that has retained its traditional qualities but moved with the times. Amália, the world-renowned singer who brought Fado to the great concert halls of Europe and the attention of international audiences, has found a worthy successor in Mariza, who continues to tour overseas, taking the Fado to an even wider audience.
The more popular forms of Fado are to be heard in the cities near the sea, such as Lisbon or Porto, but Coimbra has given the music its own unique feel, making it popular among students.
The Fado houses are the best places for enjoying an evening of Fado.