We took a day trip by train to Aveiro, about 40 miles south of Porto. It’s an old town by the sea with lots of street art, cool buildings, and great food.

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Aveiro is known for a few specific things. Four that I know of.

  1. Azulejo. The town has beautiful examples of these colorful Portuguese tiles. Some are plain, some are in geometric designs, some are pictorial. They are everywhere on old, new, and renovated buildings.

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2.  Art Nouveau architecture. They are mostly just facades, but impressive enough to land the town on The Guardian‘s list of 10 best European art nouveau cities and a listing with The Réseau Art Nouveau Network.

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3.  Canals. Aveiro is called (by some, especially its own Chamber of Commerce) the Venice of Portugal. It’s nothing to rival Italy but the canals are a fun addition to the landscape and you can take a ride on a “gondola” if you want. The canals and flat-bottomed boats were originally used to collect and transport seaweed and to ship azulejo; now they are for tourists.

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4.  Ovos moles. “Soft eggs” are a small sweet pastry that is unique to Aveiro. They have a wafer-thin shell shaped in a mold to resemble either a barrel or a shellfish that is filled with a mixture of egg yolk and sugar. They were invented by local nuns who used egg whites to make starch for ironing vestments and to clarify the wine, and needed something to do with all those leftover egg yolks.

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About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
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