Portuguese President visits Madeira; The greatest Portuguese opera singer; Fernando Alonso holidays in Madeira region; The Temporary Vegetarian: A Portuguese Empada; Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho named ‘Man of the Year’ by ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’; Portugal holidays: cheaper in 2011

Portugal & Madeira news from Paul Abbiati:

Portuguese President visits Madeira

The Portuguese President Cavaco Silva visits Madeira for 2 days before Portugal’s Presidential elections. Among many meetings and engagements the President visited public works being undertaken in Ribeira Brava, particularly Serra d’Agua after the destruction caused by the February 20th 2010 flood. Also, he made walkabouts in central Funchal.

From Wikipedia:

“Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, born in Boliqueime, Loulé, Algarve on 15 July 1939), is the current President of Portugal. He won the Portuguese presidential election on 22 January 2006. Cavaco Silva was sworn in on 9 March 2006.

He was previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 6 November 1985 to 28 October 1995. His tenure of ten years was the longest of any Prime Minister since Salazar, and he was the first Portuguese Prime Minister to have won an absolute parliamentary majority under the current constitutional system (which was established after the country’s redemocratization following the Carnation Revolution).”

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An%C3%ADbal_Cavaco_Silva

link to Diario Newspaper ‘Fotoreportagens’:


Elisabete Matos: the greatest and most internationally known Portuguese opera singer


“Elisabete Matos was born in Caldas da Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal and she began her first musical studies in at the Conservatório de Música Calouste Gulbenkian de Braga. Firstly she started to study violin and then singing, alongside.

After she finished the Conservatory, Matos won a scholarship from the renowned Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which allowed her to finish her studies in Madrid, Spain.

A second place in a European Singing Contest made her be noticed and her international career was launched by the roles of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni and Alice Ford from Verdi’s Falstaff at the Hamburg Opera.

Shortly after that, in the year of 1997, she made a triumphal debut in Madrid at the reopening of the Teatro Real as an opera house, interpreting the leading role of Marigaila in the opening of Divinas Palabras, by Antón García Abril, with Plácido Domingo in the tenor part. Her performance impressed him very much and he invited her to sing with him Massenet’s Le Cid (Chimène) and Dolly from Sly, by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari with José Carreras.

After all these successes, Elisabete Matos has sung in many major opera houses around the world, like the Gran Teatre del Liceu, La Fenice, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Lisbon), Teatro Real, La Scala, Maestranza de Sevilla, Teatro Regio di Torino and the Teatro di San Carlo (Naples). She has made appearances too at the Macerata Festival and the Mérida Festival, Japan, Washington, Chicago and all around Spain.

In 2001, Matos participated in the commemorations of the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi’s death, singing again with Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and other names, under the musical direction of Zubin Mehta, in Rome. Currently she lives in Madrid and is considered the greatest and most internationally known Portuguese opera singer.”

Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabete_Matos

“Why I’d prefer to move to Portugal…”

Favstocks.com article:

“..I think that’s why I’d prefer to move to Portugal myself, We’ve beaten Spain at war as often as we’ve beaten France or Germany but we’ve had treaties with Portugal longer than we have with any other country in the world. Even if you weren’t to move there to live permanently there but just wish to buy a house with a mortgage in Portugal you could realise all the positives of owning property abroad, a holiday villa, a rental income when you’re not there and and a solid investment in a location that’s not synonymous with east-end criminals and untamed binge-drinking yobs taking out their social disphoria on the local population. Portuguese property finance can be as simple and straightforward as it is here in the UK if you go to the right providers…”


Fernando Alonso holidays in Madeira region

Fernando Alonso (Renault) kisses to the fans at the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix

Former double World Champion Fernando Alonso stayed on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, part of the Madeira Region for a holiday at the end of December 2010/January 2011.

Portugal: electric vehicle progress remarkable

Earthtechling.com article:

“..the country’s progress is remarkable, given its tenuous economic state and its small population (around 10.7 million). Portugal has 50 charging stations installed and intends to have more than 1,300 – including 50 quick charging stations – in place by mid-2011.

The MOBI.E press release notes, as well, that 45 percent of Portugal’s electricity comes from renewable sources, so a hefty portion of the power used to charge EVs in the country will indeed be produced with no emissions.”

Link: http://www.earthtechling.com/2011/01/portugal-leader-drives-an-electric-car/

The Temporary Vegetarian: A Portuguese Empada

New York Times – Diner’s Journal Blog:

“…similar to a ratatouille wrapped in puff pastry. She sautés eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and garlic, and once the vegetables are cooled, she tucks them into puff pastry in muffin tins, and bakes them until they are golden. “It’s a very old Portuguese recipe that’s served for lunch with a salad,” said Ms. Fernandes, who makes it for the Best Chocolate Cake in the World.

Link to recipe and article:


Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho named ‘Man of the Year’ by ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’

Goal.com article:

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho named ‘Man of the Year’ by Italian newspaper ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’.

“This is the first time in 32 years that a coach of a football team has been bestowed with the accolade and comes because of an extraordinary year in which Mourinho led Inter to triumphs in Serie A, Coppa Italia and the Champions League.

Inter also became the first Italian team in history to accomplish the treble.

The Portuguese coach…”Mourinho left the Beneamata in the summer to join Madrid and has lost just one of his 25 official games as coach of the Spanish giants, winning an incredible 20 of them.”

Link: http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/3277/la-liga/2011/01/01/2285954/real-madrid-coach-jose-mourinho-named-man-of-the-year-by-italian-

‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ English version link:


Portugal holidays: cheaper in 2011

Sun article:

“..the good news for cash-strapped Brits is that traditional Western Med favourites like Spain and Portugal will actually be CHEAPER.”

Portuguese destinations include Madeira and its famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display, one of the best in the world.

HOLIDAYMAKERS are being urged to book early to avoid major price hikes at popular destinations next summer.

Trips to Turkey, Egypt and the United States could cost up to £149 more per person, a travel firm study found.

Link: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/travel/3324755/2011-breaks-cost-more.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=Travel

17 thoughts on “Portuguese President visits Madeira; The greatest Portuguese opera singer; Fernando Alonso holidays in Madeira region; The Temporary Vegetarian: A Portuguese Empada; Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho named ‘Man of the Year’ by ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’; Portugal holidays: cheaper in 2011”

  1. Did send a few items to put online but as this happens tonight have added it here also.

    Twelfth Night Songs – 5th January – 9.30 PM

    On the night of the 5th of January, a local group of Madeiran traditional singers, “Encontros da Eira”, will hold a show entitled “Cantar os Reis, Cantar as Janeiras” (Twelfth Night Songs) at the Municipal Gardens of Funchal.

  2. I have just had an email to say Der has ‘retired’ so sorry to hear that Der but Iknow it was a heavy workload. On my behalf and I am sure many others thanks for your many months may be years you have put in to keep this blog runnng it has been appreciated and will I am sure be appreciated for many years to come. Sue & Jacques

    • Thanks Sue, but I don´t know who decided to start that rumour, but it is absolute BS. Typical that some tw*t sees a change of email address and invents a rumour!!!

      Madeira Island Direct have taken over the blog admin, nothing more, and when and if I pack in the blog probably goes with me, as no one has ever responded to my offer to take it over.

      The reason I don’t write anymore has been well documented in the past, and to restate that if more people contributed useful information on a regular basis, then I too would contribute. I know you and Paul, and in the past others, have made significant efforts, but the shortage of regular relevant news, and original material I find very disappointing. Life is full of takers and very few givers unfortunately.

  3. The Art Deco exhibition at Calheta is well worth a visit.
    It is a huge display over 3 floors.
    Excellent quality world class exhibits beautifully shown.
    2 50E each very cheap
    closed mondays–visited twice!
    Ends Feb

    Do not miss— might have to visit twice to take it all in

  4. The Art Deco exhibition in Calheta has more than 300 pieces of furniture, paintings, statues, ceramics, glass and silverware and other decorative objects from some of the most famous Art Deco decorators like Lalique, Brandt, Perzel, Leleu, Porteneuve and Ruhlmann. The last being creator of the dining room in the Casa de Serralves in Porto, one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Portugal.

    Paul Abbiati

    • up to you Tracie, but nearly all my material in the past, and that from other contributors, originates on the internet, so it doesn’t matter where one is in the world with a computer and internet connection.

  5. Apologies to Sue and Becky – we had a few problems picking up mail from the new e-mail address for contributions. This has been resolved now so please feel free to continue as usual. Please note that with regard to comments that contain extracts from private e-mails we cannot allow these to be published on our servers as they can be interpreted as in breach of confidentiality agreements.
    Regards – madeiraislanddirect.com

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