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Portugals Best Kept Secret

Oct 7, 2007
Portugals second largest city is known all over the world for its port wine, which is exported world wide.

Nestling in a deep gorge at the point where the River Duoro enters the Atlantic, Oporto is unbelievable picturesque particularly when viewed from the river, its UNESCO protected Old Town is equally impressive.

An unpretentious and hard working city Oporto is at the heart of Portugals core industries and remains largely uninterested in tourism despite or perhaps because of this, this bustling and unselfconscious city will make you feel like you have travelled back in time.

More over it is within easy reach of numerous coastal resorts and charming fishing villages famed for their numerous seafood restaurants.

The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 1000 year history.

Its continuous growth, linked to the sea, the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port, can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline style Church of Santa Clara.

The first Portuguese moving pictures were taken in Porto by Aurelio da Paz dos Reis and shown there on 12 November 1896 in Teatro do Principe Real do Porto, less than a year after the first public presentation by Auguste and Louis Lumiere.

The countrys first movie studios Invicta Filmes was also erected in Porto in 1917 and was open from 1918 to 1927 in the area of Carvalhido.

Oportos most popular event is undoubtedly St John on the night of 23 to 24 of June.
In this season its a tradition to have a vase with bush basil decorated with a small poem.

During the dinner of the great day people usually eat sardines and boiled potatoes together with red wine.

In the evening everybody gathers in downtown and hit each other with plastic hammers and leeks.

There are also fires lit on the streets that are jumped over. At midnight there's a big fireworks show next to the river.

Porto is home to a number of dishes from traditional Portuguese cuisine.

A typical dish from this city is Tripas a Moda do Porto or Tripes a la Porto in English, which still can be found everywhere in the city today.

Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa or in English Codfish a la Gomes de Sa is other typical dish born in Porto and popular in Portugal.

The Francesinha or Frenchie is the most famous popular native snack food in Porto.

It is a kind of sandwich with several meats covered with cheese and a special sauce made with beer and other ingredients.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Rental SiteOporto
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