The sidewalks in Lisbon are just one unexpected treasure you can find in the streets of most towns in Portugal. Throughout city squares and the sidewalks are stone decorations that look like mosaics. As two German journalists said after their visit to Portugal, the sidewalks are like "beautiful carpets," where geometric designs are made from stones of dark basalt and white limestone. Opposite some small shops and cafes one can find simple, individualized panels, but always following the same aesthetic pattern.
The Romans used to pave the roads connecting the empire using materials to be found in the surroundings. Some of the techniques introduced then are still applied on the Calçada, most noticeably the use of a foundation and a surfacing The Moorish presence in the Iberian Peninsula left traces in the art of paving as well. Today a mosaic of black and white stones form to make patterns of waves, ships, faces, and geometric patters that tell any Portuguese that they are home.