We followed the Rick Steves walk #1 around Porto.
- A short distance from our apartment, we stopped for pastries at Padario Ribeiro. There was a man holding a falcon. Quite a surprise for breakfast.
- Lello & Irmão Bookstore
- I call it the Harry Potter bookstore. J. K. Rowling lived in Porto for awhile. The stairs at the bookstore supposedly inspired the world of Harry Potter. There was a J. K. Rowling and 1st editions room in the back of the bookstore.
- Carmo & Camelitas Church – The two churches are separated by a 3′ wide attached building because churches can’t touch each other.
- Clérigos Church – We skipped climbing the tall tower. I may be past my ‘climb every tall place I see’.
After our daily afternoon rest at apartment, we had dinner at Travesso Restaurante & Bar.
Livraria Lello (Lonely Planet)
Ostensibly a bookshop, but even if you’re not after books, don’t miss this exquisite 1906 neo-Gothic confection, with its lavishly carved plaster resembling wood and stained-glass skylight. Feels magical? Its intricately wrought, curiously twisting staircase was supposedly the inspiration for the one in the Harry Potter books, which JK Rowling partly wrote in Porto while working here as an English teacher from 1991 to 1993. The €5 entry is redeemable if you buy a book or the pamphlet on the bookstore.
Igreja do Carmo (Lonely Planet)
Dating to the late 18th century, this captivating azulejo-covered church is one of Porto’s best examples of rococo architecture. The tiled panel on the facade pays tribute to Nossa Senhora (Our Lady).
▲Clérigos Church and Tower (Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos) (Rick Steves)
- This oval-shaped church with a disproportionately tall tower is the masterwork of Nicolau Nasoni, a prolific Baroque architect who left his mark all over the city.
- The church facade displays Nasoni’s characteristic frills, garlands, and exuberant cornices. Notice how Nasoni built the tower in six sections, each one more elaborate than the last, topped with a round dome and spiked with pinnacles. The interior is an oval-shaped Baroque nave built out of granite and marble, but covered with ornate carvings. Look for the high altar—a wedding-cake structure with Mary on top—and the tomb of Nasoni, who asked to be buried here.
- The main attraction is climbing 225 steps to the top of the 250-foot tower
—one of Porto’s icons.
Travesso Restaurante & Bar