AT first glance it seems like any other plush Lisbon property, with its golden yellow walls and cast iron balconies.
But look a little closer and it is clear that this palatial home does not belong to your typical Portuguese-made-good.
Getty – Contributor Madonna has just moved to Portugal with four of her children and a massive entourage
Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia. Madonna with her three daughters Mercy, Stella and Esther in dramatic Vogue Italia snap
Security cameras loom in all directions and from the windows a throbbing techno beat wafts across the breeze.
The voice on the track is unmistakably Madonna’s, and it is here that the Queen of Pop — and her vast entourage, including SIX chefs — has apparently settled down.
As she prepares to turn 60 in a fortnight, she has ditched New York, and with it celebrity pals including Gwyneth Paltrow and Amy Schumer, for a laid-back family life.
She told this month’s Italian Vogue mag: “The energy of Portugal is so inspiring. I feel very creative and alive here.”
Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia. Material Girl Madonna, who is about to turn 60 this month, celebrates moving to Portugal with a candid picture
Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia. Mum-of-six Madonna, pictured in a sexy green dress, tells how she feels ‘very creative’ and alive in Portugal
Vogue Full Vogue Italia interview celebrates the Queen of Pop Madonna and her house move
But, for once, the Material Girl’s move to the Med is not all about her — the plan is to turn 12-year-old son David Banda, who won a place at top-flight football club Benfica’s youth academy, into the next Cristiano Ronaldo.
The mum of six initially stayed in a luxury hotel suite with her four adopted children — David, Mercy, 12, and five-year-old twins Stella and Esther — when they moved over last summer.
Madonna has ten luxurious bedrooms in her new mansion and an entourage including six chefs
Madonna’s house also has a swimming pool and plenty of space for her to keep fit
Daughter Lourdes, 21, is based in the US, while son Rocco, 17, lives with dad Guy Ritchie in London.
She has since embraced a relatively no-frills approach, such as when she flew to London last year on a £42 Air Portugal ticket, despite a fortune of around £450million.
She told Vogue she was so devoted to David’s career that she had “no life”. Locals report seeing the superstar singer ferrying him to matches and practice like a regular proud parent.
She said: “I’ve been desperate to get him into the best academies with the best coaches, but the level of football in America is much lower than the rest of the world.
“I saw his frustration, and I also felt it was a good time.”
Rex Features Madonna on a girls’ night out with Lourdes, who plans to become a dancer in New York
Getty – Contributor Madonna’s son Rocco lives in London with his movie star dad Guy Ritchie
She appears to have settled in with no fuss. Her neighbours describe her as “one of us”.
Tiago Moreira, 23, a waiter at a local restaurant, told us: “She came in, ordered a glass of local dessert wine and sat down with a girlfriend.
“She seemed happy and relaxed and was very friendly to everyone. She had a lot of security, though.”
The 42-year-old owner of another restaurant said: “Madonna passes by here a lot — she’s very normal and friendly and usually says hello. She’s low key.
“She wears big glasses and doesn’t want lots of attention.”
But not everyone is thrilled to have a pop star — and her staff — living among them.
Getty – Contributor Madonna ‘doesn’t want a lot of attention’ as she plans to focus on her children, locals say
Getty – Contributor Madonna hugs her son David Banda, who has recently joined the Benfica Youth Academy Madonna enjoys a holiday in Portugal with her adopted twins
One resident told The Sun: “I haven’t seen her but I’ve seen plenty of her entourage, including all the security, the personal trainer, the nannies. I’ve heard she has six chefs. She’s rented houses for many of the staff and it feels like they’re taking over the area.
“A lot of older people live here and it’s making them uneasy.
“The convoy of blacked-out vehicles clogs up traffic and the mayor has given her 15 parking spaces for all her cars, which some people were annoyed with.
“Parking in Lisbon can be a nightmare. It’s definitely preferential treatment.”
Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia. Madonna, pictured in stunning Vogue Italia shoot, is set to turn 60 later this month
Refer to Caption Madonna poses for a heatwarming snap with David Banda as she hopes he will become the next Ronaldo
AFP Madonna pictured supporting Portugal as she helps her young son with his footballing career
The singer is allowed to use land near her home for €720 (£640) a month. Metered street parking costs well over one euro an hour. Francisco Dias, who runs a wine shop, said Madonna’s team often drop in to buy a few bottles.
The 35-year-old added: “She’s chosen a good place to live. Portuguese people don’t get star-struck. It’s an older generation living here and I’m sure many of the locals don’t know who she is.
“Eric Cantona has a home nearby and never has problems.”
Madonna wows crowds with daring Givenchy dress on the red carpet at the Met Ball 2016
Her new house may not give much away from the outside but, inside, it is a sprawling palace fit for pop royalty, with stucco ceilings and hand-painted blue and yellow tiles. She has leased the stunning ten-bedroom property for the next year.
When she needs a break from the city, she heads for Troia, on Portugal’s hip west coast.
A source said: “Troia is a banker’s paradise. She has very rich friends there and stays there a lot.”
All the children with her, who Madonna adopted from Malawi between 2006 and last year, have adjusted to the change.
Getty – Contributor Madonna’s daughter joins her in Portugal as they embrace life in Lisbon
Getty – Contributor Madonna adopted her children from Malawi between 2006 and last year, and they have adjusted to the change Madonna gives adopted twins Esther and Stella a singing lesson
She said: “What’s amazing is how resilient they are and how they embraced all things, especially music, dance, soccer and sports — things that connect them to other people makes adaptation easier. They learned to speak Portuguese through doing all those things, not by sitting in a classroom.
“Instead, it’s fun, it’s interactive. Especially with Stella and Esther, who were in an orphanage for four years. They’re so happy to join in, to help out, to be part of something, whether it’s a small or a large group.”
Getty – Contributor Madonna wows in a glam dress as she talks about her new life in Portugal Madonna and James Corden strike a pose in the latest Carpool Karaoke
Rather than having big ambitions for her kids, she wants to mould them into good people first.
The singer said: “A lot of people say to me, ‘You must really want your son to be a successful soccer player, your oldest daughter to be a dancer, Rocco to be a painter’.
“And I always say, ‘No, what I want my children to be is loving, compassionate, responsible human beings’. That’s all I want.
“I don’t care what the vehicle is, I just want them to be good human beings that treat other human beings with dignity and respect, regardless of skin colour, religion, gender.
“This is the most important thing. If they happen to be the next Picasso or Ronaldo, then great, that’s just the cherry on the cake.”
Madonna’s son pictured in sweet Instagram snap as he prepares to launch footie career
Future star David, left, in action for Benfica running down the wing
All her children do appear to be thriving. Eldest daughter Lourdes is pursuing a career as a dancer in New York, while Rocco looks to have put his troubles behind him after seeming to veer off the rails two years ago, including an arrest for cannabis possession in London.
At the time he was at the centre of an ugly custody battle between Madonna and ex-husband Guy, 49. At a gig in Nashville in January of that year, the singer apparently referred to the Sherlock Holmes director as a “c***”.
Welling up on stage in Mexico City, she told the audience: “I, too, go through challenging times in my life and right now is one of them.”
Madonna speaks to Jonathan Ross about her BRITS fall
Madonna even appears to have outgrown her penchant for toyboys. After splitting from Guy in 2008, she sought comfort from 21-year-old model Jesus Luz.
The pair were together for two years until she moved on to 23-year-old French dancer Brahim Zaibat, who is three DECADES her junior.
A devout Muslim, he had initially been hired to dance at the launch of a Madonna fashion line at Macy’s department store in New York.
Barely a month after finishing with him in 2013, she hooked up with Timor Steffens, a 26-year-old Dutch dancer. But eight months later he too was packing his bags.