Predictive modelling for Listeria monocytogenes Control
ISOPOL XVII satellite event,
May 5th, 2010 • Porto, Portugal

Networking for Listeria monocytogenes Surveillance
May 6th, 2010 • Porto, Portugal

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ISOPOL XVII Book of Abstracts

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Porto - the City and People

Overlooking the River Douro (Rio Douro), Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe. The old name, used in the 5th Century, was ‘Cale’, then ‘Portucale’, from whence came the name of the country – Portugal.

Spanning and reflected in the Rio Douro, are several bridges, some old, as is that designed by Gustavo Eiffel in his inimitable style and depicted on many postcards and leaflets describing the delights of the city, but others are of more modern construction though none the less elegant in their simplistic designs. Porto is a city of considerable contrasts, ancient churches decorated in the Arabic style of blue tiles and modern buildings, such as the particularly striking design of the recently completed concert hall (Casa de Música) at the top of Avenida da Boavista. The people also reflect these contrasts, being both conservative but innovative and cosmopolitan, both bourgeois and individualistic, both strongly family-oriented but highly social. These contrasts perhaps reflect the old and new, like the reflections in the Rio Douro itself, of a small riverside town and an Atlantic city, now known worldwide.

Porto was established on the northern banks of the Rio Douro, following the curves of the river and climbing up the steep hills to form the streets and lanes, with their stairs and alleys leading onwards to squares and gardens. Porto has preserved much of its cultural heritage and artistic achievements of the past, and there are often artists to be found sketching and painting the buildings of unique design, richly embellished with details in gilt, ceramic and blue tiles, many of these depicting the religious or artisanal heritage of the city – some of the best and largest are to be found inside the railway station of São Bento. For anyone with an artistic eye or with just a camera, Porto offers a wide variety of urban, landscape architectural and artistic opportunities.

The old quarters along the river, are colourful and elegant when viewed from the south bank of the river (Vila Nova de Gaia), while the view across the river from the north bank in Porto is of the warehouses of the port wine companies, and a mixture of old family and modern restaurants along the Cais de Gaia. Along the north bank of the river, in the old town of Porto, there are many small, intimate bars and restaurants where one may spend a delightful afternoon or evening sampling the many fine wines and excellent local foods cooked in the old styles – enjoy!

As Port wine (Vinho do Porto), a fortified wine of quite remarkable variety, became known throughout Europe and beyond, mainly from the efforts of English gentlemen who appreciated its fine qualities and keeping capacity, the name of the city of Porto has reached many parts of the world. No visitor should leave Porto without visiting at least one of the Vinho do Porto companies to learn about the making and tasting of Port wine. Alternatively, to taste the many varieties of Port wine, a visit to the Solar do Vinho Porto (near the Palácio de Cristal) should be on any visitor’s itinerary.

It is no wonder that Porto was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. It is truly a city of contrasts in so many ways that one just has to visit and experience all that the city has to offer. Take the opportunity to stay awhile, to meet the people, to enjoy the charms of this city of contrasts – you may find you need to return again to enjoy it all!

You will be made most welcome in Porto!

Discover the City of Porto at the official Porto tourism website

Alfândega Conference Centre
Rua Nova da Alfândega - Edifício da Alfândega
4050-430 Porto 
T. +351 223 403 024/00 (portuguese only)

For detailed information in english about the Congress Centre click here ».