Terceira, a captivating island in the Azores archipelago, is a hidden gem in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean. Known for its lush green landscapes, volcanic formations, and charming villages, Terceira is a fascinating blend of natural beauty and rich history. The island’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Angra do Heroísmo, boasts a stunning array of well-preserved Renaissance architecture. Over the years, many Terceiran immigrants have made their way to the United States, particularly to areas like Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These vibrant communities have contributed significantly to the cultural diversity of the US, sharing their unique Azorean customs, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality with their new homeland. (image: Cristiano Tomás, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Maria visits the Angra Museum to learn about Terceira’s complex past, including its role in the Portuguese Empire and its resistance against Spanish invaders during the Battle of Salga. The museum, which was once a monastery and church dating back to the 17th century, now showcases artifacts from various periods of Terceira’s history, including modern artworks. The museum segment is not only informative but also visually stunning, with its fortifications and grand chimney.
Another highlight of the episode is the pottery segment, where Maria visits a workshop in the Parish of São Bento to learn about traditional pottery-making methods. The artisan, Ricardo, uses clay from the Azorean island of Santa Maria, known as the “mother island of clay,” to create handmade pottery items such as plates, bowls, and cups. Maria even gets a chance to try her hand at pottery-making, and while it may not be her new career, it’s clear that she has fun trying.
The volcano segment is a real highlight of the episode, as Maria takes us on a tour of the Algar do Carvão volcano. This dormant volcano was only fully explored in 1963, and visitors can now enter and explore its unique features, such as moss and silica stalactites. The visuals of the volcano and its surroundings are stunning,