The Umbrellas of Águeda

Pictures from a Portuguese color festival

By / July 2013

For the past two summers, Águeda, a city of 50,000 people in Portugal’s wine-rich Bairrada region, has played host to a festival dedicated to color. Benches, lampposts, and steps get a polychromatic makeover. Potted flowers of sundry hues deck the promenades. But by far the coolest trimmings, both for their idiosyncrasy and the bright cover they supply, are the umbrellas suspended over the city’s narrow lanes. The hovering parasols (guarda-chuva in Portuguese) give the ancient, stony streets of Águeda an astonishing buoyancy. One thinks of Mary Poppins. One thinks of Catherine Deneuve in Jacque Demy’s masterpiece of a French musical, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” Águeda’s color festival runs through August. — CG

 

Photograph by Cristi Gerecke

Photograph by Cristi Gerecke

Photograph by Cristi Gerecke

Photograph by Cristi Gerecke

Photograph by Cristi Gerecke

 

Cristi Gerecke is an EthnoTraveler contributor.

 

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