One of the most surprising routes in the Sintra hills reopened
03 Apr 2023
This morning, the Villa Sassetti walking trail, which crosses the property connecting the Historic Centre of Sintra with the Moorish Castle and Pena Park, has reopened. This free trail is once again available to visitors every day between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm to enjoy one of the most amazing stretches of the Sintra hills.
Located on the north side of the hill, Villa Sassetti is one of the most beautiful and least known residences in Sintra. With its great circular tower in the Romanesque Lombardy style, in terracotta tones, the property conveys a uniquely Mediterranean aesthetic. The turreted structure lies in perfect symbiosis with the majestic garden that envelops its surroundings, which transforms this site into a wonderful scenario of fusion between these two universes.
The reopening takes place after improvement works on the section located on the property attached to the Amizade Estate at the accesses to the Moorish Castle and the Bichos hunting grounds. The intervention by Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua, which covered an extension of approximately 400 metres, focused on the paving and cobblestones, the recovery of the stairs and walls in yellow granite stone, and the construction of two metal pedestrian bridges.
At the reopening ceremony, Sofia Cruz, Chair of the Board of Directors of Parques de Sintra, said that: "This permanent dynamic of getting things done is what truly makes Parques de Sintra special. This is only possible thanks to the commitment and dedication of our employees, the recognition of the research and recovery of the heritage under our management, and the economic and financial sustainability we have achieved."
Sofia Cruz emphasised the investment made by the company, revealing: "In the last 10 years, 40 million euros have been invested in the cultural and natural heritage that surrounds us, which has allowed more than 25 million people to buy a ticket to visit this unique place." As for the future and its challenges, she highlighted "the approximately 30 million euros" that the company will further invest "to ensure that the Parques de Sintra management model will endure and continue to be a national and international reference."
Representing the Sintra City Council, Bruno Parreira, Deputy Mayor, stressed the importance of "restoring to the population and tourists this privileged access between the centre of Sintra and Pena Park." Emphasising the strategic role of Parques de Sintra for the municipality, he pointed out its "absolutely unique ability to preserve the built heritage, but also the vegetation heritage." He made a point of thanking the company and its employees "for the work done in defence of the municipality, its identity and its history."
Bruno Parreira also took the opportunity to draw attention to the preponderance of Sintra in the national context, stating: "It is not possible to talk about tourism development nor architectural heritage nor historical heritage without talking about the municipality of Sintra."
Vila Sassetti and the adjacent property were acquired by Parques de Sintra in 2011 with the aim of preserving their heritage value and providing a new pedestrian access from the Historic Centre to the National Palace of Pena / Moorish Castle as an alternative to the Pena ramp.