There are many souvenir shops around the island, but you should not miss two.
The first one is Fábrica de Santo António in Travessa do Forno 27-29.
Francisco Roque Gomes da Silva founded this shop in 1893 and is still in the family’s ownership. The vintage decor of the store takes you back many years! Everything is on display as it was in the old times, and you can still taste it before you buy.
The most famous biscuits are “bolacha Maria” and “Petit Beurre”, but why not try almond, hazelnut, ginger, and honey flavours? Here, you can also find fruit preserves: blackberry, tree tomato (Cyphomanda betacea), “pitanga” cherry, mango, passion-fruit, banana and papaya.
Finally, you have two “musts” for the Madeirans, the honey cake “bolo de Mel”, and the fennel and eucalyptus sweets.
The second shop is Gaudeamus or the student’s shop (Rua dos Ferreiros, inside the University cloister), where you can find genuine handcrafts from Portugal and Madeira.
Several items, such as cushion covers, tea towels, tote bags, and purses, are easy to take in your luggage and are unique.
I want to suggest two products, in particular, made with the azulejos (tiles) and painted doors’ fabric.
The shop’s purpose is charitable, and they donate all the profits to students in need.
Leonor Araújo (Official Tourist Guide)
Photo courtesy: Marla Castro