Shrouded in romantic fog, standing atop granite hills, Porto’s sensuality comes from the gut. The city’s raw, sentimental demeanour is embodied by tripe, the traditional dish made of offal and white bean sauce, which inspired the nickname of its inhabitants, the Tripeiro. Upon first impression, Porto’s Baroque and Manueline Gothic style might remind you of fantastical fairy tales, but let it be known that daily life here is utterly naughtier. The climate is one of enigmatic desire, with vertiginous landscapes bordered by the infinite Atlantic Ocean, castles in ruins, and rain showers that soak you by surprise. Porto, both precious and unapologetically tacky, is a place to make spontaneous decisions while being surrounded by warm-hearted people and nourishing cuisine. Take, for instance, the delicious francesinha sandwich, an XXL croque monsieur, which comprises multiple layers of bread, stacked slices of ham and a drizzle of melted cheese. Drops of garlic butter scorching my throat, I will never forget the best scallops I’ve ever eaten, at the Marisqueira Antiga fish restaurant. This vivid memory cannot be distinguished from the final emulsion: three seven-litre port wine bottles of different ages, up to forty years old, on a silver trolley, with small deserts displayed like beijinhos – small kisses in Portuguese – on the neck.