City of Sao Filipe
Sao Filipe is the capital of Fogo Island where lives around 8 thousand of permanent residents. It is the most beautiful of Cape Verde Islands full of picturesque winding streets, and charming with the scent of the markets. The dominant feature of the city is the so-called sobrados, the former residences of the original Portuguese colonists. All houses have the same design. They are one-storey with a terrace. On the ground floor lived slaves who worked hard for the aristocrats. Their masters lived on the first floor. The slaves had never been allowed to go there, and they had to do all the work on the ground floor. The only exception was the day of the Holy Cross, where they could celebrate with their masters.
Historic center Sao Filipe
Walking through the historical center of Sao Filipe, you can create an idea of the life of the island’s inhabitants hundreds of years ago. Everything proves that the slaves had a really cruel life. Even the wealthy Europeans could be buried in the cemeteries of Cemitério Velho.
The town is surrounded by beautiful beaches of black sand. Surely you should also get off at the Miradouro da Aguadinha tower, which will offer you a clear view of the neighboring island of Brava. You should visit the Virgin Mary’s hermitage to Socorro too. It is a very small chapel above the sea, the destination of many pilgrims and a place for picnics. There are many spirits and other mysteries revealed here. Sao Filipe also offers an unbeatable silhouette of the Fogo Volcano. It is the active volcano that last spilled its lava in November 2014.
Bandeira de Sao Filipe Festival
If you go to Sao Filipe last week in April, you can attend the Bandeira de Sao Filipe Festival, where you can see horse races, taste local specialties that are served only on this cultural event. Part of this program is also parade, dance, music and singing. Cape Verdees will show you that they really have fun and that their dancing and entertainment is their own. May 13th, you will celebrate the feast of Concelho dos Mosteiros, which includes residents and other islands.