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Journey To Portugal Revisited - New digital platform to discover Saramago's itineraries in Portugal

Literary tourism


​​On the occasion of the commemorations of the centenary of José Saramago, in a partnership between the Saramago Foundation and VisitPortugal, the digital platform dedicated to the project “Viagem a Portugal Revisited” was officially launched.

Based on the book “Journey to Portugal” (1981), written between October 1979 and July 1980, at the invitation of Círculo dos Leitores (Portuguese publisher and book maker), the places described by Saramago, the landscapes, the communities, the natural and cultural heritage are revisited, promoting Portugal as a Literary Tourism destination. The project intends to motivate the reading or re-reading of the places based on the original work and proceed with an update and expansion of the “saramagian” journey and its scenarios, by comparing the original representations with the current state of the places in question, valued by the revisited by contemporary writers.

José Luis Peixoto, awarded the José Saramago Literary Prize in 2001, was invited to revisit six of these places and took on the role of host for five international authors who reinterpret the original scripts: Adriana Lisboa (Brazil), Ondjaki (Angola), Maaza Mengiste (USA), Laura Restrepo (Spain) and Leila Slimani (France). In each revisited location, the authors wrote about the destination, creating original texts that are complemented with videos, photographs and current scripts in different “literary landscapes” of the territory.

The “Journey To Portugal Revisited” platform serves as a guiding and inspiring thread for those who wish to travel the itineraries described by José Saramago: the different itineraries can be discovered in an interactive and dynamic way, using 3D maps with Google Earth technology. The twelve revisitation sites are Guimarães/Citânia de Briteiros, Bragança, Vila Real, Guarda/Pinhel/Cidadelhe, Coimbra, Tomar/Constância, Mafra, Setúbal, Évora/Montemor-o-Novo, Beja, Alcoutim and Lagos.

Available in three languages ​​(Portuguese, Spanish and English), the digital platform will be promoted by VisitPortugal in strategic markets such as the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States of America.

This is a project framed within the strategy that VisitPortugal has been developing in the context of Literary Tourism, promoting innovative experiences that can communicate the literary heritage of the Portuguese language, promoting visits throughout the year and throughout the territory, through routes and literary landscapes associated with writers and literary works of reference. A work that has been carried out in different areas of action, whether in the qualification of the offer through support for the structuring of new projects, or in the development of promotional campaigns that inspire the discovery of the territory through the writers of their works.

In the original work, Saramago ends by saying “It is necessary to see what has not been seen, to see again what has already been seen, to see in spring what is seen in summer, to see by day what has been seen at night... It is necessary to go back to the steps that were taken, to repeat them, and to chart new paths”. A motto that invites you to discover Portugal, through the writer's eyes and that aims to encourage interaction with other literary scripts based on other works by Saramago and in places mentioned in them.

  • Literary tourism
  • Turismo de Portugal
  • Destination promotion
  • 2022
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  • Digital platform
  • Visitportugal
  • Portugal
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