Some travel with their mind, some with their sense of taste, or smell, but most of us travel with their eyes. It took me a while to collect enough material and hone the technique but now I’m ready to share with you the 10 spots that made my eyes shine with their colours, shades and contrasts. Whoever is passionate about colours and loves to play with them should consider visiting these places. The list is incomplete and I will surely keep it updated with my future trips because there’s no place without colours.
I’ve heard about Burano for its coloured houses and its world-famous lace but I have never ventured further Murano. As far as I’m concerned this is the most beautiful island in the Venetian Lagoon, with its street patch-worked with small houses in bright colours and curtains on the doors all perfectly reflecting on the mirror-like calm water of the canals.
Few miles from Lisbon, about 40 minutes by train, there’s Sintra, a town at the edge of a Natural Park and at the feet of a hill that leads all the way up to the romanticist National Palace of Pena, UNESCO heritage site. If you like Lisbon, its clear blue sky and the azulejos then we recommend you to visit one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.
The memories of this place is where I find shelter whenever I need to relax. Nested in the Rif Mountains, with walls and pebbles covered in delicate shades of blue, the Blue Town can slow down time. I woke up at 5 by the echoing sound of adhan, happy to get up at such an unholy hour like never before (not even on Christmas!), to fully enjoy the sounds and colour of the wakening town. A truly unforgettable experience.
A never ending bus journey took me to this seaside town on the English east coast, unaware of what to expect, simply pushed by the need to see the sea. However Scarborough pleasantly surprised me with its brightly coloured beach chalets, tidily lined up along the beach, and its small fishermen huts.
Portobello Road, London
If you’ve visited London you’ve quite likely been to Portobello Road, following your travel guide or the tourists flow. It’s perhaps because of the many tourists, or the view of the goods on sale on the stalls, that many miss out on how colourful this part of London is. The façades in this area are painted in tasteful bright and pastel colours, a touch that can be found in the typically British custom of vividly painted doors.
It was Pablo Neruda‘s favourite town and if you like colours it will be yours too! What gives Valpo such a lively vibe is not only the houses covered in motley corrugated metal sheets but also the fact that it is an open air museum: local artists decorated walls, lamp posts and any other urban surface with paintings and mosaics.
Another Chilean city features in this list, courtesy of one of its most fascinating neighbourhoods: Barrio Brasil. I loved the decadent style, the typically south-american colours, the windows with weathered flaky paint, the quiet of its alleys. Surely my favourite part of the Chilean capital.
Back to the cold grey North Europe now. But the Old Town in Warsaw will surround you with delicately painted buildings with countless windows, all being rebuilt after WWII faithfully following the paintings by Bellotto, a less famous relative of Canaletto. A beautiful corner where to get lost!
I should have just titled this picture “Valletta”, but also the fishermen village of Marsaxlokk needs to be included in the colourful treasures of this island. Don’t expect a rich palette of palaces, houses or streets, what made me include Malta here are its windows, balconies and brightly painted fishing boats.
The harbour area is surrounded by houses coated in thick and colourful plaster. But colours are ever present in this Danish city animating the lively areas of Nørrebro and around Christiania.