Workshop on Categorical Topology
In honour of Eraldo Giuli, on the occasion of his 70th birthday

Useful Information


Azores is an archipelago comprised of nine islands located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America. It evolved from volcanic eruptions over many millennia and all round the islands there are examples of curious volcanic phenomena. There are rounded craters, often filled with lakes, plus caves and deep tunnels formed by eruptions. Ancient black lava covers many surfaces on the islands, ranging from shiny obsidian to soft and porous lava, sometimes bubbling with steam from hot springs. The islands are full of natural reserves, protected landscape areas, parks and protected forests. The magic of the Azores is not only found in its stunning landscapes, but also in its history and culture. Its palaces, churches and fortresses are all reminders of when the island provided a stopover port for ships loaded with treasures from the Americas and the Orient.


Ponta Delgada is the biggest city of the Azores which is located on the southern coast of the São Miguel island. São Miguel is the largest and the most populous island of the archipelago of the Azores. It represents 53% of the total population and has a surface of 760km2 with a maximum length of 65km and a width of 14km.
Historically, Ponta Delgada was originally a small settlement of fishermen attracted by the sheltered bays. However, it quickly grew to become the main port of the island. In 1546, when it was already effectively the capital of the island, Ponta Delgada received the title of city from King Dom João III. It has many magnificent buildings of tremendous architectural value portraying the urban architecture of the 16th to the 19th centuries. The majority of these are presently used to accommodate the various political, administrative, religious and cultural offices of the Azores, including the University of Azores, where the Workshop will be hosted.
There are several churches which are authentic pieces of art with Gothic structures and Manuelin exteriors, or in baroque style with interiors embroderies in gold thread, in addition to some rare wood from Brazil. Famous paintings are also easily found in Ponta Delgada. We point out the Santo Cristo Church, home to the magnificent statue of the Christ of Miracles, the patron of the largest religious festival held in the Azores.


The Azorean climate is temperate all year, without major variations in temperature. The mean day temperature ranges between 14 ºC and 25 ºC. The mean temperature of the sea, which is tempered by the Gulf Stream, ranges between 16 ºC and 22 ºC all year.


Map showing where the University of Azores (Ponta Delgada Campus) is located.

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Map of the main campus of the University of Azores.

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São Miguel is famous for its beautiful landscape and exceptional volcanic lakes. Depending on the surrounding countryside, some appear peaceful and relaxing, whilst other are more dramatic. One of the most awe-inspiring geological features on the island is Vale das Furnas, a lush valley at the bottom of a huge volcanic crater, with "caldeiras" where warm water bubbles in brooks. It is here you’ll find the idyllic garden Parque Terra Nostra, where exotic tropical plants live side by side with those from colder climates. The constant rising steam within such "caldeiras" is a reminder of the Azores volcanic origins.
São Miguel also has Europe’s only pineapple and tea plantations, set among cow pastures, dense copses and stunning Azorean flora.
The island provides activities such as: golf on courses bordered by flowers; walking routes perfect for bird watching or viewing local plants and volcanic geology; watching whales and dolphins; deep-sea diving among fish and underwater lava formations; swimming with dolphins in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream; ride the waves on surfboards; sailing and deep-sea fishing.
The local gastronomy of superb seafood dishes includes a splendid array of freshly-caught fish specialities. The delicious flavour of the "cozido das Furnas" – a stew of meats and vegetables slowly backed in a volcanic crater or "caldeiras" – is unforgettable. Tender grilled meat dishes are also delicious. Local wines, sweet aromatic pineapples and passion-fruit liqueurs are very popular.

Workshop on Categorical Topology | | Last update: June 18, 2009