Some people led extraordinary lives
Our 'King-soldier', Pedro IV, the 'Liberator', was born in Portugal 223 years ago, in 1798. When he turned 24 he was proclaimed the first emperor of Brazil, 'Pedro I', to which he had recently given independence from Portugal. That day was also a 12th of October, of 1822.
Over the course of Pedro's short life (34years) he abdicated the throne twice, was father to 19 children and fought many battles for freedom, in two different continents. Pedro's heart, the actual organ, is still nowadays the most amazing treasure the city of Porto has in its care.
In this post I share a couple more of utterly unbelievable -real- stories about him...!
Est. reading time: 3 min
If you are looking for a stylish dinner or if you're in the need to impress your running partner, than you may want to skip Porto's traditional 'francesinha in a beer-house' or the 'bifanas @conga' and make a reservation at a more exclusive place like the ones in this list. We run right past the front entrance of most of them on our running tours and therefore it may help you decide which one fits you the best, based on its location and some of the information we provide!
Read on to learn more about the restaurants and chefs of the short list for a Michelin-starred memorable food experience in 2021 here in Porto (...)
Est. reading time: 6 minutes
Adriano Telles left his small village in the north of Portugal, Alvarenga, at the age of 12. Destination: Brazil. At the age of 44, he was back and opened his first coffeehouse and coffee import business in Porto. His success, back in 1903, was due mainly to his smart marketing techniques, even though his product was not as popular as it is nowadays!
Can these marketing lessons from the past possibly be of any use for the future success of a small running tour outfit, such as Porto Running Tours?
Est. reading time: 8 minutes
So, here we are: November 2020, cold days and rain in most of the northern hemisphere... And a pandemic... While some of us seek comfort in a cup of tea while watching the news on TV about these turbulent times, others turn to their wine stock and serve themselves a glass of Port (no judgement here, I honestly consider it to be a sign of good taste!!) ...
After all, are these two 'comfort drinks' all that different?
With Porto and the Douro valley as a backdrop, let's set out in search of points of intersection between Port and tea, they do have a few things in common!
...who banned Coca-Cola from being sold in Portugal in the 1920's?
Est.reading time: 10 min
If I was to name one person that perfectly epitomizes to spirit of the fight against pandemics in Portugal, I would not hesitate: Porto-born Ricardo Jorge.
Yet, regardless of his decisive contributions to public health in the country, some of the Portuguese know him for a quirkier story of a long lasting ban of the most recognizable of sparkling drinks...
âLet's put the gear in reverse and scroll down the timeline to learn a bit more about this remarkable man's failures and successes!
Listed in categories, these are the highlights, organized to provide easy access to a wealth of information on things to do or places to have a meal here in Porto, a list that can be of good use to any runner currently visiting the city or planning to do so, very soon. Just tap the icons to learn more:
Scroll down to see all blog posts
Est. reading time: 8min
"Long live the King! DEATH TO THE COMPANY!!"
February 23rd, 1757: Leading the crowd that morning were many tavern keepers followed by some coopers, wine merchants but mostly were... tavern regulars! This blog post contains a short overview on one of the most humiliating episodes of the city's History, where 26 of the involved people were hung, beheaded and quartered and their bodies displayed in several locations within the city...! (...)
Though this might have been a rather gloomy introduction, take it as an invitation to learn more about about the oldest Portuguese wine company and its recently opened restaurant, cigar club & wine tasting room and an interactive museum, '1756 - Museu da 1ª Demarcação'. We visited it: this post includes photos & two short videos!
Running itself is a gift.
Out front Jana and Hans-Christian's accommodation in Porto, just as I was about to wrap up our 2hr running tour (which was Jana's birthday present, btw), Hans-Christian reached deep into his small backpack for an item and handed it out to me: it was an oficial 2019's Nikolauslauf half-marathon official t-shirt!
In this blog post I'll unveil the reason for this kind offer and explore the fact that running experiences can be such a memorable gift , whether it is a race entry such as the amazing Nikolauslauf held in Southern Germany or a city running tour of Porto in northern Portugal.
Also taking this opportunity to tell you more about -yet- another Nicolau and his Porto-based wine company - the oldest still active!
Estimated reading time: 7 min
Unexpected gift, directly from Tuebingen, Germany: an official Nikolauslauf t-shirt!
...Portugal's first filmmaker was a florist in Porto?
est. reading time: 6 min
In this post we unveil the story of how Aurélio da Paz dos Reis, a successful merchant and flower producer, decided to start his 'adventure' in the world of 'animated photography' back in 1896 here in Porto... and also how he failed to do business with the Lumiére brothers...!
Porto was the setting for Portugal's first ever F1 Grand Prix!
The urban circuit of Boavista hosted only 2 editions of the most prominent of all car competitions, in 1958 and 1960. Stirling Moss, the 'best driver of the world' who never won a F1 world title for himself, flew home from Porto with the first Portuguese F1 trophy, in '58.
Porto is always a good idea
It's that time of the year : public Christmas lights were switched on last Saturday - the official kick-start to the holiday cheer here in Porto. For runners visiting the city during this season we prepared something special, too...!
30/11/2019 photo credits: AgoraPorto
Tried and tested tips :)
Porto may not be the most child-oriented city but there's naturally a few places to take your little ones and have a fun half-day. No matter which one you choose, a bit of creativity will take you a long way when running for the podium in the category of <most fun parent in the world>...!! :)
Here's some suggestions that may help you plan a fun day out with kids (prior to that 'boring' wine tasting you have your eyes on) >>
STCP Tramcar Museum - here's a sneak peek
The calls to fight climate change are now growing louder around the world and electric mobility has indisputably come into vogue but the silent and charming zero-emission tramcars are actually running on tracks here in Porto for more than a century now...!
Let's head down memory tracks and unveil some of the past, see how people used to move around the urban area of Porto - when run-commuting wasn't yet that popular - is it popular now??! Jump in and grab on for a glimpse of the STCP tramcar museum & depot, once the not-so-green coal power plant that powered the entire tramways' network... (!)
Starting with Pedro IV's heart: Porto's most precious treasure
Here's a compilation of stories, some of which were brought round by visitors, about one peculiar topic: hearts that were separated & taken away from the rest of their owner's body to a fairly distant burial place or even to be scientifically studied. Today PORTO RUNNING TOURS is celebrating 4 years of operation and so, because one of our best-sellers from day one has been the HEART OF PORTO TOUR, let's start with a shorter version of the amazing story about our dear Pedro IV's heart, our city's most precious treasure, a true story we always share with running visitors...!
A symbol of progress
'PROGREDIOR' was deliberately written over the front doors of the first grand Exhibition hall of Porto, the 'PALÁCIO DE CRISTAL' - the word 'progredior' means 'progress' in Latin and it was deeply symbolic. In the mid 1800s, Portugal, and in particular the city of Porto, were trying hard to catch up with Europe and US's industrial revolution and, at the same time, going through a period of intense... romanticism!
The merchants and industrials of Porto were bohemian, wealthy and seeking class and personal affirmation. A small group of Industrials - an association called AIP - decided it was time for Porto to have a grand exhibition hall, one that could host trade shows, large scale festivals, huge banquets, a space worthy of the the rising bourgeoisie of Porto... all of this surrounded by these 'staged' romantic gardens filled with exotic trees and wandering peacocks, fake ruins, fountains and small lakes, classical looking statues: a dignified space for poets and artists looking for inspiration or for those merely looking for romance, during those long lazy Sunday walks... wearing their best Sunday outfits...!
Sérgio é o fundador da Porto Running Tours, corre regularmente desde 1999 e desde 2015 que guia visitas em corrida na Invicta enquanto revela algumas das suas mais fascinantes histórias.
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