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Portugal’s Oldest Town

By Linda Tancs

Situated on the Lima River in northern Portugal, Ponte de Lima is frequently referred to as the nation’s oldest town because it was given a charter by Queen Teresa in 1125. The small town may be most famous for its bridge over the river, particularly the Roman portion constructed in the first century. But it’s also the center of Vinho Verde (green, or young, wine) production, the history of which is recounted at the local interpretative center. Another gem is the toy museum (Museu do Brinquedo) on the right bank of the river, where you can travel in time through Portuguese toy manufacture from the 19th century to the 1980s. Almost 200 Portuguese manufacturers are represented. Driving there is recommended; public transport options are poor, even from Porto.

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