A graduate of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Rita Ibérico Nogueira started her journalism career 15 years ago as an international correspondent for Euronotícias, specialising in the Middle East.
For the past ten years, she has been working for Fora de Série Magazine, a supplement to Diário Económico, and is currently the editor and mastermind behind the magazine.
Born and bred in Lisbon, she is incredibly enthusiastic about the city and talking to her is always a pleasure as you learn so many new things about Lisbon! Our interview with her is below:
- Secret location?
I live right in the heart of the city, so I don't usually stray away much from there. I'm not much of a routine person, but there are habits that make us happy. The terrace of the Basílica da Estrela, which few people know about because of its hidden side entrance, is the perfect place to read a book on a spring afternoon. The garden of the Tapada das Necessidades is also a favourite, very close to home, especially on Sundays in the summer, where MEO OutJazz takes place. I also like to go for an early morning jog there. The gardens of the Palacete Henrique Mendonça, next to the Eduardo VII park, are also great to go for a walk and relax among the artworks of Miguel Palma, Cutileiro and José Pedro Croft.
For more urban trails, the Campo de Ourique neighbourhood is full of attractive novelty shops, like the Market (where you'll find the locals having dinner or a drink), as well as the gourmet shops - you can't miss Karl's Cookies and Arcádia. Príncipe Real and Chiado are also fantastic, but that is already a given. For a more alternative environment, LX Factory on the weekends and its vintage product fair, inviting restaurants and Livraria Ler Devagar.
- Best view?
Unlike what one might think, the best view of Lisbon is not... in Lisbon. There are many spots that are recognised as having a panoramic view over the city - hotel rooftops, restaurant terraces, monuments - like the Aqueduto das Águas Livres, which on its own is a good suggestion - but, to me, the best way to really dazzle ourselves with the beauty of Lisbon is to cross the bridge and climb the Cristo Rei. Or, better yet, aboard a yacht in the Tagus river at sunset.
- A guilty pleasure?
All the fantastic food Portugal has to offer. The guiltiest of them all? Being in the middle of a three-day liquid detox and starting to hallucinate with a Leitão à Bairrada (suckling pig) and its toasted and crunchy skin just straight out of the oven. Give up on the detox, get into my car and drive 200km north to Meta dos Leitões, in Mealhada. One of the best dishes in the country.
- Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Almost always in Jardim da Estrela, trying to make my son run until he drops or walking the family dog, Zarco the beagle, who loves it outside. If its raining, I'll go for something more cultural, visiting Lisbon's museums. I've been fascinated with the National Ancient Art Museum, which has an amazing programme.
In the summer, I plan on going back to surfing, something I haven't done since my son was born. It's the best way to clear your head from daily stress and to tire out the kid as well. My favourite beach for surfing is São João da Caparica beach, if the waves allow it. If not, I'll just hang around my towel or at the bar. My favourite is Spianata di Mare and its delicious Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato.
- Where do you go "for inspiration"?
I usually find the inspiration for my work in what surrounds me. I like to see people and movement in the streets. Walking around the buzzing Chiado district is a good distraction, it allows me to clear my head while the colours, sounds, laughter and noise of this most trendy area invade my senses. I've worked there for 10 years and not a day goes by when I don't miss it.
- Which magazine issue has given you the most pleasure to produce?
During the thirty years I've been doing Fora de Série, I've accrued a long list of issues that have given me a special pleasure to produce, be it because they were extremely challenging - and they usually are, because every edition involves close work with highly influential people in our economy, politics and culture, that open the door of their homes and tell us (almost) everything we want to know about their lives - or because they involved a fantastic group of people that emanated a special energy that was contagious to the quality of the magazine. Most recently, and because it also marked our 10th anniversary, it was very gratifying to be involved in the celebration issue we launched this past October. Months and months of brainstorming and meetings to prepare a surprising cover, fashion editorials of the last decade. Everything climaxed in a 150-page issue - the biggest we've ever done, keeping in mind this is a supplement magazine for a newspaper -, with a 3D cover and surprising content, that took a team of over 100 people between journalists, producers,, photographers, assistants, make-up artists, models, etc.
Who would you most like to interview alive or dead?
I've been lucky enough to, slowly, interview most of the living. But I would love to have had the chance to interview Coco Chanel. I'm an admirer of her work as a trendsetter that forever changed the female universe. She was a woman of strong convictions, ambitious, controversial, creative and intelligent with an eye for business and never-ending energy. Besides that, she lived in Paris in a buzzing time, culturally and artistically speaking. I would like to have been able to feed off of that, because I believe that in the interviews, when there's empathy, there's a transfer of energy between interviewer and interviewee that stays with you forever.
- Where do you most like to shop?
I don't have a specific shopping place. I'm impulsive, so I buy when I see it and like it. I love to discover small brands, designers at the start of their careers, that still only exist on facebook, small ateliers. they're my best purchases. What I love to do most is to shop when I travel. It's a way to bring with me a bit of every city I visit and also to find different items from what you'll find in Zara or H&M (who I'm also a customer of, mind you!). And I'm also a super fan of online shopping - it's the future!
- What do you have too much of in your closet? Shoes, bags, scarves…
I have too much of everything and yet not nearly enough of anything. That's why I keep on buying. I'm in love with dresses and skirts and have a lot of each. But, realistically, what I have most of in my closet is... bikinis. I collect them, actually. I have so many, over 50, and so different, that I can go a whole summer to the beach without ever wearing the same one. I can even afford the luxury of using one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. It's perhaps one of the dumbest addictions to have, but I love them, what can I do? Maybe include this answer in 'guilty pleasures'?
- A trend for Lisbon's future?
Lisbon is unstoppable. The world is in love with the city. It's in every award and ranking of best capitals. Our Lisbon has definitely put itself on the map of cities to visit and that's reflected in the city's movement. There's more and more boutique hotels, restaurants with cool concepts, must-go shops. The future, I hope, is to see this city I love so much and where I was born be increasingly more vibrant, cosmopolitan, lively and well-treated by Lisbonites, proud of their past, of their cobblestone, of their history, traditions, but with their eyes set on the future. Lisbon will always have something new just around the corner. It will always be a passionate city.
- Favourite drink in the city? Coolest place to have a drink.
For the best gin, the 100 Maneiras Bistrô, the cocktails, the service and the trendy and cosmopolitan environment. For a lounge night, PARK - that sits atop a seven-story parking structure, in the heart of Bairro Alto, but surrounded by green that makes us wonder if we're actually in a concrete silo. To go dancing, start at Radio Hotel, in Alcântara (book the table behind the DJ) and end the night, or better yet, morning in the undeniable Lux, by the river.
- What can you do here in Lisbon & nowhere else?
Have sun year-round, enjoy the city’s phenomenal light, get to the beach in less than 10 minutes. I don’t know of any other big city - except, perhaps, Rio de Janeiro - where you can do all this.
- Favourite exhibition/book/band/movie?
I’ll just pick the Portuguese ones, despite not being my favourites on all levels, they have a special place in my preferences.
Exhibition: “Rubens, Brueghel, Lorrain. The nordic landscape of Museu do Prado”, which was just recently in the National Museum of Modern Art and was a huge success.
For Lisbon’s romantic side? Eça de Queiroz’s classic “Os Maias”.
A band that is now separated, but you can always buy the CDs and has a discography that defines Lisbon like no other, are Madredeus. I recommend the album “Faluas do Tejo”, which is really close to me as it helped me a lot when my son was born - it was the only music that calmed him. The album is already 10 years old but is still very much current. Movies, a recent one by the name of “A Gaiola Dourada”, and the classic “O Crime do Padre Amaro”, a very Portuguese story that catapulted Soraia Chaves and Jorge Corrula to stardom and was also the most viewed Portuguese movie ever.
- Something you cannot resist?
Desserts. I can’t think of a meal without something sweet in the end. Sometimes I actually choose what I’m going to eat based on the dessert I want, and will even make a reservation for the dessert, should someone try to steal it from me!
- Someone NOT to be stuck on an elevator with?
Barbas, that awful Benfica fan. He’s probably harmless, but you can never be too sure. I’d be afraid to be swallowed whole into his beard. The good thing is I’ll probably never have to go in the same elevator as him. If not Barbas, I would also not like being stuck in a closed space with someone on Interpol’s “Most Wanted”. They tend to like Portugal for… vacations.