Monday, 15 October 2012

Feira de Praia Vila Real de Santo Antonio


Every year around this time in October the town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio sees a fair dating back to 1774, the founding date of the town. It always coincides with Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) or Spanish National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) which is an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12,commemorating Christopher Columbus first setting foot in the Americas in 1492.Taking into account this date, the fair not only relies on  but sees many Spanish visitors from neighbouring Ayamonte and beyond.
The festival gives Portuguese and Spanish traders an opportunity to "do business"  and many more visitors the chance to pick up some household, may I call it tat or should I call it tut, alongside the opportunity to perhaps purchase some more useful bargains.Stalls stretch the length of the Avenida Republica and in the Marques de Pombal Square.
The Feira da Praia is the name by which this event has been known since its incarnation and relates to its location, on what were once the sands of the beach of the River Guadiana.The festival was originally created as a means of broadening the social and economic status of what was once a village, and with the aim of promoting its fisheries.

If you have found no joy in unnecesary purchasing along the Avenida Republica,turn your direction towards the town square (Marques de Pombal)where as a foodie you will soon  find all one needs for recipes incorporating the most of Portugal´s autumn flavour cornucopia.


The square is "reserved" exclusively for food products.From a dried butterbean to a salted cod piece or a smoky sausage, to dried fruits for the christmas cake and stalls proffering artesan cheese and pickles from across the country, you are hard pressed not to go home carrying a basket laden with Algarvian and Alentejan goodies.And this is not taking into account the temporary "taverns" where you can coiff a glass of red wine and take a bite on a previously unknown cheese and a chunk of artesan bread.
Hurry now and catch the last two days of this annual showcase of the best of traditional Portuguese foods.

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