Suggestions

Animaux de Porto
12 September, 2018 / , ,

Laura (26) and Romain (29) came to Porto almost by chance. To their passion for the city they added their love for animals and created Animaux de Porto, a company that provides pet-sitting services.

The French couple, from Brest, Brittany, passed through Porto whilst on vacation in 2016, but it took some time before they decided to leave their jobs and live in France a year ago. Accompanied by their cats, Pipoune and Snookie, they got in the car and began a new life in Porto 17 hours later.

When one of the cats fell ill and realized that the treatment involved taking three pills a day, they questioned what anyone who had animals with similar problems would do. And so the idea came up to create a service for those who have animals and do not want to take them out of their environment whilst on vacation or working.

Pet-sitting is more than a job; it’s a passion that began even in France, when they took care of their relatives’ pets. “We bring a special presence to the animal, which has a moment reserved just for him,” they say, explaining the advantages of this service for both the animal and its owner who receive messages and photographs to keep them informed their animal’s state of mind. And language is no obstacle since, in addition to French, Laura and Romain also speak English and a little Portuguese.

Information:

www.animauxdeporto.com

animauxdeporto@gmail.com

Instagram: @animauxdeporto

Facebook: Animaux de Porto

Tel: + 351 926 857 199

Tél: +33 631 890 173

Manuel de Novaes Cabral
13 August, 2018 / , ,

Born in 1960 in this city, where he carries his professional life, excluding the period in which he was head of the office of Minister Valente de Oliveira, in Lisbon. It is from here that since November 2011, he leads the IVDP, Institute of Douro and Port Wines, which supervises, monitors and certifies the quality and quantity of the and Douro wines as well as promotes them and defend the respective designations of origin. Graduated in Law and postgraduate in European Economics by the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, served as deputy director of the newspaper O Primeiro de Janeiro and was an adviser to the of the Fundação de Serralves.

But before arriving at the IVDP he was the Municipal Director of the Presidency of the Porto City Hall for 8 years and many years in the Coordination Commission of the Northern Region.

Getting back to wine, his connection is deeply familiar and institutional as for 4 years he was also Secretary-General of the Assembly of European Wine Regions, and represented the Porto City Hall at the Great Wine Capitals.  This connection is still made through books, rooted and properly cultivated taste; among others, he published “Aspects de la politique Vitivinicole des Régions d’Europe” (3 vols., 2000 and 2001), “Territories of the Wine” (1st edition, 2009, 2nd edition and Mode de Ler, 2010) and “Other Territories of Wine” (ed. Modo de Ler, 2012) and, of course, his frequent and regular participation in newspapers and magazines.

With wine as the center of attention, but with special focus on what the Douro region provides us.

As he considers wine a cultural element, he does not cease to make this connection constantly: he presented this month in July the book Poems of My Life, the 23rd volume of an annotated collection of poems inserted in a collection begun by Mário Soares, which includes authors such as Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Vasco Graça Moura or Eduardo Lourenço.

His suggestions are about the city where he lives and knows well. And what good tips he has to give

Restaurant: I really like going to Ernesto, in Rua da Picaria. It blends really well its old feel with the cosmopolitanism of its clientele. And the walls full of memories, with the cosy good taste of my friend Reinaldo, along with an honest and impeccable kitchen.

 

Bar: A Capela Incomum, in Carregal. The place, the friends and the very old memory of the visits (without any success) of the old Conservatory.

Tour: Is Porto not a romantic city by nature? Let’s do the Caminhos do Romântico!

Ideal place to drink some port wine: Port wine, by itself, at the right temperature and in the glass, transforms any place. I suggest, of course, the atmosphere of the Port Wine Cellars, in Vila Nova de Gaia.

A secret of the city that you can reveal: The heart of D Pedro, in the Church of Lapa, whose keys are shared by the Ombudsman of the respective Brotherhood and the Mayor of Porto – only accessible to some and in very rare moments.

And if being a bit eerie: Why not circle through the cemeteries of Porto, like the catacombs of S. Francisco, or “hanging out” with Camilo Castelo Branco or Arnaldo Gama in the cemetery of Lapa? And if you go there, ask to see the pistol with which Camilo committed suicide in 1890 in S. Miguel de Seide.

One last tip: Do not forget to visit one of the lesser-known and most notable Houses of Porto, the former Banco Comercial do Porto, currently the Douro and Porto Wine Institute, in Rua Ferreira Borges where you can with a glass of Port in hand.

Procession of the paper costume in Foz do Douro
9 August, 2018 / , , , ,

 

From mid-June to mid-September, the União de Freguesias (Union of Parishes) of Aldoar, Foz do Douro and Nevogilde, host the São Bartolomeu parties – a group of activities that liven up the streets and unite populations and visitors.

The procession of the Paper Costume is admittedly the most awaited moment of the festivities, with a history that has already surpassed 100 years and that in the last decade has gained special notoriety in the city.

 

These are months of work and preparation, with a permanent focus on roots, history and stories of the region. The 2nd French Invasion of 1809 and the Liberation of the City of Porto is the theme for the Paper Costume Contest in 2018, which will take place on August 26. There are meters and meters of paper, surgically worked by dedicated hands that keep this festive moment in the city alive.

This year’s edition has 350 extras, from gatherings and associations of the União de Freguesias, who will join the remaining hundreds who visit Foz do Douro to live this unique experience.

The current format is now 75 years old and integrates a route that seeks to reach the main centers of the history of Foz do Douro. The costumes parade begins at 10:30 am and goes through the Cantareira, rich in its fishing tradition.

After the inevitable passage through the charismatic Jardim do Passeio Alegre, a favourite amongst many intellectuals who fill the culture of Foz do Douro and Oporto, the procession continues to Ourigo Beach where the sea baths take place, one of the most noticeable traditions at the São Bartolomeu parties.

These baths are filled with tradition and folktales. Also known as “holy baths”, these dives in the waters of the Atlantic – seven, as tradition says – are a way of thanking São Bartolomeu’s favors in the last year and for banishing malaria over the next twelve months.

The participants of this year’s edition come from Bloco da União de Freguesias de Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social da Pasteleira – Previdência, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social de Aldoar and Orfeão da Foz do Douro.

People from all different backgrounds and spaces join in this tradition, showing that the city is made of all and with all even in the most popular of its traditions.

Loja das Tábuas – An expression of nature
9 August, 2018 / ,

Have you visited Loja das Tábuas? It produces boards for most kitchen Chefs and markets traditional Portuguese products with national, raw materials and revitalizes them with a contemporary and elegant touch.

Visit it at the Palácio das Artes in Porto and find dozens of different models of cutting boards or tableware that you can customize with a laser engraving. In addition to the Portuguese pine, you will find, for example, oak wood boards, olive wood and various cork products. There you can find other utensils such as benches, wine boxes or national cutlery products.

At the end, take your boards in a reused litter pack to complete an experience that values tradition and past knowledge whilst creating emotions in the present.

Largo de São Domingos, 20
Palácio das Artes
Porto
+351222080067
https://www.lojadastabuas.pt

 

The suggestions of Maria Miguel
20 July, 2018 / , ,

At 17 years of age, Maria Miguel already walked the runway for brands like Saint Laurent, Chanel and Isabel Marant. Her career – which she tries to reconcile with her studies – makes her travel a lot, but Porto is her home.

Her passion for the city is implicit and she recently said in an interview with a Portuguese newspaper: “To me, of all cities, it is the best to live in. It has the sea, the river, has great food”.

Maria Miguel was born in Braga but lived in the Gerês area. When her father went to work in Angola, she accompanied the family and lived for seven years in the African country. She still spent a year in England but now, despite spending a lot of time in Paris, it’s in Porto that her family and friends live and here she comes back whenever she can.

The love of fashion came by chance in the life of this “tomboy”, who liked to play football and to walk in shorts. She was approached several times by representatives of models agencies but it wasn’t until the age of 14 that she decided to give it a go. After winning the L’Agence go to model contest, proposals for work began to emerge. She travelled to London and later to Paris, where she did a casting for Saint Laurent that changed her life. She has already opened two runways for the brand and worked exclusively for the prestigious Parisian brand for a full year. Despite all her success, she continues to not be dazzled by fame, keeping her tastes simple and normal for a young girl of her age.

RESTAURANT

Puro 4050: It has the best tru e pizza in the world! Largo São Domingos, 84 Porto

STROLL

Baixa do Porto:

Not only is it beautiful but you can also get a good workout in as it is full of ups and downs.

GARDEN

Parque da Cidade:

It has really cool football fields!

 

The Guindais elevator
16 July, 2018 / , ,

Today, we have a funicular but at the end of the 19th century an elevator made the route between the Batalha and the Guindais Pier. Inaugurated on June 4, 1891, it suffered, two years later, an accident that forced it to shut down for more than 100 years.

The lift emerged to link the Guindais Pier, where the boats came with food, and the Batalha which, by its central location, was a point of distribution of these products to other parts of the city. The difference between the highest and the lowest point was 75 meters but there were two different slope levels (7% and 47%). The Porto engineer Raul Mesnier made the project and the works began in 1889. The Guindais quarry was dismantled, the lift built and, after several tests, inaugurated in June 1891.

Transportation was made by three cars – one of balance and two main ones, with 5.6 meters of length and capacity for 40 people. In the central part of these cars there were luxury compartments, with rugs, upholstered seats and blinds. The trips were running every five minutes and cost 40 kings, but the huge investment needed to build and maintain the lift has never been offset by revenue. In 1893, an accident – with only material damages – dictated its closure. The current funicular was inaugurated in 2004.

Source: O Tripeiro 7ª série Ano XXII nº 3 March 2003

Douro Marina – Where excellence lies in the quality of service
16 July, 2018 / , ,

Douro Marina, located on a beach street in Afurada on the edge of Vila Nova de Gaia, is a port of great excitement with incredible views, places for walks, restaurants, shops and cafes.

This infrastructure is one of the emblematic works of the MCA Group that was responsible for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance. With a capacity for 300 boats up to 20 meters, Douro Marina is the largest port north of Lisbon. It has support infrastructures and services with about 2000m2, spread over 3 buildings, whose architecture reflects and interacts with the surrounding riverside landscape, inspired from the Portuguese tradition of shipbuilding.

In addition to the port, the Marina has welcomed in its complex space, leisure events, sports, corporate events, conferences, training and presentations, benefiting from the extraordinary views and logistic conditions, which includes catering and meals.

Douro Marina is a new concept where sports, leisure, tourism, gastronomy and nature combine in a sustainable, innovative and full service concept.

For those who simply want to relax and watch one of the best sunsets in the world the esplanade is the ideal place. Nonetheless, you can also enjoy the 3 restaurants, nautical charters, nautical products shop, sailing academy, SUP gym and kayaks and bike rental, as well as spaces for group or private events.

Since its creation, the MCA Group / Douro Marina aims to achieve recognition in terms of sustainability and preservation of space as an indicative example where the intervention of man adds value and preserves its surrounding nature.

 BLUE FLAG HOLDER 2018 IN THE DOURO MARINA

The national ceremony to raise the first Marina Blue Flag in 2018 took place on June 19. This event took place in the Douro Marina in Vila Nova de Gaia, being the first Marina awarded the Blue Flag in the north of Portugal in the last 9 years.

Eduardo Vitor Rodrigues, Mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia, José Archer, president of the Blue Flag of Europe association and Manuel Couto Alves, president of MCA Group / Douro Marina, presided over the ceremony which also included representatives of public entities and tourism in Northern Portugal.

According to the National Blue Flag jury, the choice of Douro Marina to host the ceremony was recognition of the commitment shown and the work carried out in favour of sustainability. More so, seeing that there weren’t any Blue Flag awards since 2009 in a Marina or Recreational Port in the northern region of the country.

The suggestions of Nuno Botelho, president of the Commercial Association of Porto
7 June, 2018 / ,

Nuno Botelho is an entrepreneur who stands out in the new generation of Portuguese entrepreneurs. He is the President of the Porto Commercial Association, which has its headquarters and manages the emblematic Palácio da Bolsa and is the oldest business association in the country.

Shareholder and founder of the company responsible for the largest national wine event – the “Essência do Vinho”, which annually brings together hundreds of producers and thousands of visitors. He holds the “Revista de Vinhos”, leading publication of the wine and gastronomy sectors in Portugal, and leads the expansion of this business group in Portugal and Brazil.

Nuno Botelho holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Porto and a post-graduate degree in Banking, Stock and Insurance from the University of Coimbra. He is currently vice-president of the Porto Tourism Association, a commentator on radio programs and a chronicler in the city’s main newspaper, Jornal de Notícias.

Bar

My choice is the Vip Lounge of the Porto Palácio Hotel. I do not have as many opportunities to go there as I would like, but I am always amazed by the wide views over Porto, Gaia and Matosinhos. It is a very pleasant place where the horizon seems to have no end.

Restaurant

Definitely the Adega de São Nicolau. For the delicious octopus fillets and other specialties, but also for a very home like atmosphere and a somewhat homemade treatment which helps keep alive a strong tradition in Porto: knowing how to host.

Tour

The downtown of Porto from Rua Passos Manuel to Clérigos, Carlos Alberto and the Leões square. Then descend to Lóios, following Rua das Flores and finish at the Palácio da Bolsa.

A secret of the city

In Porto we do not mind much on keeping this secret … The Tasca da Badalhoca in Ramalde and its mythical ham sandwich continues to be a unique and original destination.

Ideal place to think about new projects

The light, the environment and the sea landscape in Foz are always an inspiring place for new ideas. Ideally in the bar of Praia da Luz, with a Porto tonic or a glass of vinho verde and a beautiful sunset.

Infante Dom Henrique Garden: A tribute to the Portuguese Discoveries
6 June, 2018 / , ,

This square, located in the heart of the historic center, is the ideal place to relax between walks in the city’s alleys and visits to points of interest that surround this garden.

Standing on top of a pedestal, stands the statue which gave this garden its name, and was inaugurated in 1900. The Infante Dom Henrique (1394-1460) was a noble navigator and important figure of the Age of the Portuguese Discoveries. He will have been born nearby, at Casa do Infante.

The Streets of Ferreira Borges, Infante D. Henrique, Mouzinho da Silveira and the Bolsa set the limits of this square which was previously an integral part of the fence of the Convent of St. Domingos.

The privileged location of this square allows amazing views of the surrounding emblematic buildings, such as the Stock Exchange Palace, the Ferreira Borges Market, St. Francis Church and the Parish Church of St. Nicholas.

Rua do Infante Dom Henrique, Porto

How to get there:

Bus: 1M, 500, 900, 901, 906, ZH, ZM, ZR and 10M

Tram: STCP – Infante – Passeio Alegre

The bridges of Porto
6 June, 2018 / ,

The Douro River is one of the symbols of the City of Porto and many defend that the best view of the city is the view from the river. There are 6 bridges that now connect the banks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia: 2 in iron and 4 in concrete. One of the bridges is inactive, one is a railway, the other is split between the metro and other vehicles, and the rest are used for road transit between the two cities.

The crossing between the banks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia was initially done on boats and barges. Later, the need to build a permanent crossing arose so in the year 1806, the Ponte Das Barcas was born. This bridge consisted of 20 boats connected by steel cables, allowing passage from one shore to the other whilst, at the same time, allowing the passage of river traffic as it was easily “opened”. The Ponte Das Barcas was destroyed during the flight of the Porto population during the invasion of the French army. After this disaster, which caused many hundreds of deaths, the Ponte Pênsil was built and later deactivated with the inauguration of the Ponte D. Luís in 1866. This bridge, with 2 layers, has the largest wrought iron arch in the world.

Even before the Ponte D. Luís was built, the Ponte Maria Pia was inaugurated serving as a rail link between Porto and Gaia and, consequently, Porto and Lisbon. Today, it is inactive having been replaced by the Ponte São João in 1991.

In 1963 the Ponte da Arrábidawas inaugurated, beating another world record with the largest arch in reinforced concrete. This is the main connection between the two banks of the Douro River.

The most upstream bridge is the Pont do Freixo inaugurated in 1995. In fact, this bridge is actually two bridges separated by only 10 cm. It was built to minimize congestion on the Arrábida and D. Luis bridges.

The 6th bridge built is Ponte do Infante and was born to replace the upper board of the Ponte D. Luís, which has since become exclusively used by the Metro. It connects the Historic Center to the Serra do Pilar.

The six bridges can be enjoyed in one of the many boat trips that cross the Douro from the Ponte do Freixo to the Ponte da Arrábida. This tour takes about 1 hour.