Now that Spring is here in full force – at least the calendar says so, even if the weather doesn’t show it -, we make a suggestion of a walk in literary version. Buy a book at Livraria Lello, or in one of the many existing bookstores open downtown. If you prefer poetry, you can find the only bookstore in the country exclusively dedicated to the genre close to Lello: Poetria; if you are looking for a rare edition, you can count on Académica, among many other bookstores that still have their doors open to culture in the city. Then, you can walk through the city and sit on garden benches, dedicating a chapter to each one. If the day seems bright, if the sun comes up, and if you take a blanket with you, you can also lay down and experience the literary Porto at the sound of birds and leaves that are starting to show. At Virtudes, you might get distracted with the unique view over Alfândega, River Douro, and Vila Nova de Gaia. This garden, which used to be the seat of the Companhia Hortícola Portuense, has the curiosity of being a vertical garden, built in steps, and that makes it the best view over Douro. The second chapter can be reserved to the gardens of Palácio de Cristal, which take you to the 19th century, with its Émile David Garden at the main entrance, the Avenue of Tilias, or the woods and its terraces over Douro. After a 10 minutes’ walk, you will reach the third chapter of the book and Cordoaria Garden, officially named João Chagas Garden. Where, for 200 years, the rope makers used to work, there is now a large avenue with plantain and a set of imposing auracaria. A quiet place in the heart of the city, where the statues of Ramalho Ortigão and António Nobre can be found.
If you still have more chapters to read, you can venture a little more to the east, to Marques de Oliveira Garden – which everyone knows as St. Lázaro Garden -, the oldest garden in the city of Porto, with large magnolias and a lake in the centre. You will surely be joined by a group of elderly who play cards at the garden every day.
If you have any other suggestions on outdoor libraries, share them with us. And enjoy your spring reading!