Virtuoso Life - March/April 2018 - 76
Port of Call
Here's how to squeeze the most out of your
day in port.
8 AM: Join the locals for a morning
stroll through Mercado dos Lavradores (Rua Latino Coelho 38), the public
market in the heart of Old Town with vibrant azulejos (painted tiles) throughout.
Women dressed in traditional brightly patterned Madeiran attire sell flowers at the
entrance, a colorful and appropriate introduction to an island renowned for its gardens. Make your way to the fishmongers'
section to see the daily catch - there's no
mistaking the black scabbard, a somewhat
frightening, toothy fish with massive eyes
that features in regional dishes such as
sandes de espada, a popular breakfast sandwich of fried fish in a bread roll. Walk
around the block to Cristalina Chique
(Rua Hospital Velho 1) to try one.
9 AM: Old Town is best explored on
foot. While the market opens by 8,
most shops open around 10, which makes
this the perfect time to check out the Painted
Doors Project. Artists such as island residents Marcos Milewski and Fátima Spínola
have created a public gallery featuring everything from street art murals to more
tactile installations on the doors of shops,
residences, and restaurants. Some of the
best line Rua de Santa Maria.
10 AM: For the city's premier photo op,
take the ten-minute cable car ride
(Caminho das Babosas 8) up to the Madeira
Botanical Garden, an ascent that reveals a
panorama of terra-cotta roofs and bays
against the vastness of the Atlantic. The
nearly 20-acre property, previously the
private garden of William Reid, who built
Reid's Palace hotel, harbors thousands of
species from around the world: South
American succulents, coffee trees, and towering palms, plus the bright-purple local
flowering plant, pride of Madeira.
Clockwise from top left: Flower vendors
greet visitors at Mercado dos Lavradores,
Funchal street life, O Lagar's passionfruit pudding, painted doors in Old Town,
Cabo Girão's suspended glass skywalk,
and afternoon tea at Reid's Palace.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
12 PM: Time for lunch. Take a 20-minute taxi ride to the picturesque fishing village of Câmara de Lobos, about six
miles west of Funchal. The winding coastal
road cuts through the banana plantations
and blooming bougainvillea of the island's