Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
Quinta de Regaleira is an adult version of a fairytale wonderland. Located in Sintra, Portugal, about half an hour’s drive away from Lisbon, the Regaleira estate was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason.
The Regaleira estate sprawls over four hectares. A palace fit for a king perches at one end of the property. Commissioned by wealthy merchant and then owner, Antonio Monteiro, the design of the Regaleira Palace is said to incorporate many patterns and symbols, including those related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians.
The journey through the patterns begins in the large, hunting-themed front foyer, where a wolf and an elephant keep watch. The rest of the five-floor palace is also lavishly decorated.
But it is the grounds that are the star of the show. Starting with well-manicured gardens near the house, which gradually becomes more and more unkempt as you progress upwards, the grounds are large enough to require a detailed map to navigate. Here, adults can reconnect with their inner child as they explore the secret underground passageways, gurgling grottoes and beautiful fountains.
Patterns abound, everywhere you look.
Sintra can be accessed by train or tram from Lisbon. If using the train, remember to validate your ticket at the various checkpoints provided.
Piriquita is famed for their pillow-like pastries filled with a sweet stuffing and their queijadas, a candy-like pastry.
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