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Funchal is the largest city and the municipal seat of Madeira. After A and F’s wedding, we stayed on for 2 days and had an evening to explore the city.

Zona Velha is a small urban area in Funchal around Rua de Santa Maria – the oldest street of the city.

Rua de Santa Maria was first laid out in 1430. It is a part of the old town that is being revitalized by a project called Art of the Open Doors (Arte de Portas Abertas).

The project started in August 2010 and after two years, there are at least 30 or more doors that have been treated by an artist.

Check out the project’s website which shows the facades of the houses and a map of the street.

The scope of the treatment includes a range of audiovisual arts.

Prior to the project, the area was full of old and forgotten houses, shops and spaces that had deteriorated and were abandoned. This project aims to be the seed of continued future artistic performances on different elements of this part of the old city.

There were many restaurants and bars along the street. The area was not crowded – probably because the island is not at its peak season.


I can imagine the place becoming really crowded and lively. While the quality of the art is uneven, there is always something for everyone.

We went to a multi-floor art exhibition space housed in a big house.

There are still many homes that remain unoccupied.

We hope this project can continue and bring more visitors to revive this end of Funchal.

We and Fr had a drink at one of the bars while waiting for L and T to join us for dinner. See the list of caipirinha variations – Caipinegra, Caipirão, Capirosca!

Poncha is the predecessor of cachaça that is used to make caipirinha, both are liquor based on sugar cane – in the early days when Portugal was expanding its empire, sugar cane production expanded from Madeira to Brazil.

We headed back to mainland Europe the next morning.


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