Proudly perched in the Porto District in the Norte Region of Portugal, Vila Nova de Gaia is the hub for the port wine industry. Cloaked in cellars (known as "caves") where you can take a tour or slurp away at one of the many tastings on offer, it's also known for its sandy beaches (Praia da Madalena) and its beautiful riverside road, "Cais de Gaia" that is cloaked in cafe terraces with panoramic views over the Douro. Vila Nova de Gaia is a part of the Porto Metropolitan Area and the city has 178,255 folk wallowing on its golden shores, tucking into fresh seafood in the little village of Afurada or hanging out in coworking venues getting some work done. Under the Roman Empire the city was named "Cale" having probably developed from a pre-existing Neolithic settlement.
Portugal is rising unshackled from almost half a century of authoritarian rule and is trying to reinvent itself as Europe's leading tech hub. Known for its cheap rents, incredible cultural scene and awesome quality of life, Portugal is promoting the fact that it also has an economy based on knowledge and an entrepreneurial community that is growing by the day.
With its change in government, wealth of tech talent and the fact that nearly everyone speaks English, Portugal is seeing the return of many of its youth that had fled to what they perceived to be better startup shores. Vila Nova de Gaia, like many other small towns in Portugal, is where you can have the perfect life/work balance without breaking your bank account. With the advent of coworking spaces, it's not only the innovative locals hanging out in the establishments, but the wandering globe-trotters who tend to linger for far longer than what they planned to. And when work starts to create brain implosions, there is always a port cellar to invade.
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