Viaggi

Madeira e Porto Santo: qui è l’eterna primavera. Parte 1

panorama costa

I colori vividi di frutta e fiori, il verde di una vegetazione rigogliosa, una costa che riserba mille sorprese, un centro cittadino che è una chicca, una storia che val la pena di conoscere, un clima mite tutto l’anno. Questa in pochissime parole l’isola di Madeira. L’ho visitata durante un viaggio organizzato interamente da me, un po’ al di fuori delle solite rotte: una prima tappa in Portogallo tra Lisbona e Sintra e poi volo verso il mare, verso Madeira, appunto, e la vicinissima Porto Santo. Quest’ultima sconosciuta ai più.

Madeira è quella meta alla quale possono essere destinati quei giorni dell’anno in cui sentiamo il bisogno di staccare, senza dover tener troppo presente la stagione in cui ci troviamo. Il clima è mite tutto l’anno, è l’isola dell’eterna primavera (intorno ai 20° la temperatura diurna da dicembre ad aprile, da maggio sale fino ai 26° estivi). È un piccolo gioiellino in mezzo all’oceano che offre tantissimo:

  • Si può passeggiare per Funchal, il centro cittadino a sud, riparato dai venti. Gironzolare tra i banchi del bellissimo Mercado dos Lavradores, mercato dei fiori e della frutta o in quello famoso del pesce;
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foto: Pinterest
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Foto: Pinterest
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  • Visitarne i numerosi parchi e giardini botanici. Se prendete la funivia che parte da Funchal e porta fino a Monte potete visitare, come ho fatto anche io, Monte Palace Tropical Gardens: troverete una ricca varietà di piante e fiori tropicali, oltre che una discreta fauna selvatica. È un luogo storico, poi trasformato in hotel di lusso e adesso in un museo. Passeggiare e sostare a mangiare e bere dell’ottimo vino nel bar all’interno del parco è un vero piacere;
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  • Visitare la Chiesa di Nostra Signora di Monte, in cima a una gradinata di ripidi scalini che i penitenti si dice facessero sulle ginocchia; risale alla metà del XVIII secolo e vi è conservata la tomba di Carlo I (ultimo imperatore d’Austria, re di Ungheria e Boemia, morto qui in esilio nel 1922). La statua della Madonna ha le sembianze che si dice abbia fornito una pastorella che aveva avuto un’apparizione.
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 Se siete saliti a Monte, non perdetevi l’adrenalinica discesa sui “carros de cesto”, gli storici cesti di vimini, lungo le strette e ripide strade che portano giù a Funchal! Un’esperienza esilarante. La loro invenzione risale al 1800 ed era il mezzo più economico, veloce ed efficace per trasportare la legna da Monte a Funchal. Adesso sono un’attrazione turistica formidabile. Le ceste sono di diversa misura e capienza e sono “guidate” nella discesa dai “carreiros”, uomini dalla veste bianca, il cappello di paglia, e robusti stivali dalla suola rinforzata per la corsa e le frenate. La discesa dura circa 10 minuti, il tratto è lungo 2 km e la velocità raggiunge i 50 km orari. Lasciatevi andare… e non ve ne pentirete!

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  • Madeira ha una bellissima foresta al suo interno, patrimonio dell’umanità dal 1999, monti che raggiungono i 1800 m di altezza ed è famosa per i suggestivi percorsi trekking lungo le “levada”, piccoli corsi d’acqua che dalle montagne scendono verso valle;
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Foto: Pinterest
E ancora… piscine naturali, casette che sembrano uscite da una fiaba, lunghe spiagge… la lista delle cose da fare e vedere in questo minuscolo arcipelago portoghese dell’Atlantico non si chiude qui, ma continueremo a raccontarvelo nel prossimo post. Insieme a qualche indirizzo utile per il vostro futuro viaggetto. Chissà. 😉

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