The municipality of Vila Verde is a reference territory for the alliance between its historical identity and modernity. It combines tradition and a vast heritage with innovation and sustainable development, as a strategy for valuing the quality of life. Allied to the architectural and cultural legacy that extends throughout the parishes, the natural and landscape patrimony extends from the top of the mountains, such as Santo António Mixões da Serra, to the riverside areas, from the Neiva and Vade rivers, to the Homem and Cávado rivers.

Profile and activities

Founded on 24 October 1855, the municipality has currently 33 parishes and a population of approximately 47,000 inhabitants, distributed in a balanced way over its more than 228 square kilometers in length. It is situated between the city limits of Braga and Viana do Castelo district.

The “Lenços dos Namorados” (Valentines scarves) and the Programme “Dating Portugal”, as well as the Route of Harvests and the multiple profane-religious festivities that take place in the parishes throughout the year, are a reflection of the identity of the municipality and its population, strongly marked over the centuries by emigration to the four corners of the world.

As a result of this interculturality, the population of the municipality is now fully and naturally integrated, including residents from different countries of different continents. The municipality of Vila Verde also maintains twinning initiatives with foreign municipal communities, such as Lohmar (Germany), Petit-Couronne (France) and Bom Despacho (Brazil).

Over time, the different generations of Vila Verde have been able to cultivate openness and interrelationship with other regions and countries. From the embroidered “Lenços dos Namorados” made by local women for the lovers who left for Brazil and, later, for the war, to the atmosphere of popular festivals and local traditions also animated by the return of emigrants, the sociocultural and economic dynamics of the municipality results to a large extent from the strategic bet of the Municipality in the innovative appreciation of the heritage and identity of this municipality.

Vila Verde also counts with an important community of Portuguese Roma, estimated at around 300 people, with whom the municipality works on a daily basis to ensure full inclusion and active engagement into the broader city life. An example of this is our project CigaGiro E8G, that intervenes with the communities of Lugar de Regalde and Lugar do Monte (Cabanelas), Moure, Soutelo and Parada de Gatim with the goal of promoting social inclusion, equality, active citizenship and non-discrimination of youth and children and their families, including Roma families.

The municipality stands out by its quality of life, leisure opportunity, availability of natural spaces and rural life, not lacking employment and development of economic opportunities. In addition, their gastronomic added value lies in delicatessens such as the famous "Abade de Priscos" pudding, that was born in Vila Verde, and “pica-no-chão” rice as the 'flag' of its cuisine of the Minho region typical cuisine.

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