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As a result of a partnership between the Local Parish Council and the Insular Association of Geography (AIG), Curral das Freiras will begin to have its own itinerary starting this summer. The project that is already underway will be presented on the 17th March, the day this parish council of Câmara de Lobos marks its 228th anniversary.

According to Manuel Salustino, who has been leading the executive of the Junta since 2013, “this is a way of publicising the particularities of the Curral das Freiras, but at the same time, we are promoting local commerce, grocery stores, bars and restaurants.” And because the parish is not just the celebration of chestnut, cherry and patron saint, it is necessary to make use of the potential that this interior locality of Madeira has to offer mainly to visitors.

The idea is mainly to highlight some of the main paths that allow the connection between the various sites of Curral das Freiras, tracing three internal routes and a half dozen routes to and from Curral. Ilídio Sousa, from AIG, and responsible for the technical-scientific part of this ‘Curral das Freiras’ Tourism Route, stresses that care was taken to outline three routes that would allow a contact with the true essence of this locality, highlighting points of interest, gastronomic aspects, elements of his very particular ethnography, revealing unique aspects related to his main cultures, such as chestnut, walnut, cherry or brigalhó. There is a walk around the centre, another in the area of ​​the Fajã Escura and Colmeal, and a third in the Fajã dos Cardos.

After the presentation on the day of the parish, it will be up to the Board to implement the signage according to AIG recommendations, as well as the maintenance of the selected routes, and it is expected that next summer the circuits to be presented are already operational. In an effort to boost local commerce, the Junta de Freguesia intends to give local merchants the possibility of personalizing the script, so that it can be a kind of souvenir that they offer their customers.

228 years with a diverse program

The launching of this itinerary is part of the celebrations of 228 of the parish, marking the declaration of the Curral das Freiras as an independent parish, by detachment of the parish of Santo António, in the year 1790, by a royal letter of D. Maria I.

Among the many activities prepared by the parish council in partnership with other localities, the afternoon lecture, around 3 pm, is the responsibility of the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation, alluding to the Nunnery, a bird endemic marine in danger that finds in the hills of the Curral the ideal place to nest. For tomorrow, Saturday, at 9 am, a lecture is scheduled on pruning of fruit trees, in charge of the Association of Farmers of Madeira, an entity that has a delegation in this parish. At night, at 6:00 pm, the Gastronomic Confraternity of Aromas and Flavours of Curral das Freiras promotes a commemorative gathering of this anniversary of the parish. Throughout the week there will be exhibitions, reading times (short stories), card tournaments, folklore, and more, on the day of the parish,