The churches of Porto wear white and blue dresses, like young peasant girls on their wedding day. From afar, it looks as if fragments of the sky have been encrusted between their arches and columns. So surprising is the sight that it wasn’t long before myths and legends sprung up to explain the origins of this eye-catching attire, the stuff of giants and games of chance, because, after all, the beauty of things is doubled when it’s told in a story.
On the Rúa de Santa Catarina a jeweller and a bookshop stand on opposite sides of the street. Above the former is the bust of a man, while above the latter, someone has thought it fitting to install the bust of a woman. The two are positioned in such a way that they gaze at each other across the street, oblivious to the rumble of the traffic passing beneath them. The couple evoke the harmony of neatly finished stories, of mysteries solved.
Strolling through the city, hearing the clatter of an approaching tram, it’s only natural to wonder who’s on board and who has just alighted at the last curve.
Walking along the streets, the sound of fado music catches your ears. It would be a sin to pass by. So you decide to seek out the source of the curious sound to see if you will be lucky enough to discover the story behind that fleeting melody.
Any search for the origin of port, the wine for which the city is famous, inevitably leads to the banks of the Douro, an undeniable inspiration for songs and novels.
The cobbles that cover the city’s streets form a maze of paths, like Alice in Wonderland, the squares on the board of a personalised game that has no bounds.
This is the only way to visit Porto: chasing the shadows of stories, soothed by the charms of the city’s happy endings.