FOUR LOCATIONS in the Algarve could soon become part of the ‘slow cities’ route, a concept born more than a decade ago in Italy, with a core aim of preserving traditions and promoting quality of life within city centres.
The inspiration for the idea came from the Slow Food Movement, which was set up in opposition to the fast food concept and which, over several years, has brought people who are concerned about preserving national culinary traditions together.
Three cities and a town have been chosen as candidates for inclusion – Tavira, Silves, Lagos and São Brás – and have all been recently visited by an Italian delegation. This delegation will also consider Portugal for inclusion in the International Slow Cities Movement, which is already established in Italy, Germany, England and even Brazil.
However, ‘slow’ does not signify time passing slowly. Stefano Mocio from the International Slow Cities Movement explains that the group’s philosophy mainly concerns facilitating quality of life within cities, freedom for activities and ease of travel.
After the preliminary visit to the four locations in the Algarve, the Italian entourage spoke of their satisfaction of what they saw. However, no guarantee was made that any of the four locations, which must now be evaluated by an international jury, would be included in the route. “It is fundamental that each of the candidate cities comply with at least 50 per cent of the 60 criteria established in the guidelines,” declared Mocio.