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Castro Verde
Ferreira do Alentejo
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Seen from the Chapel of Saint Peter, standing on a hillock, the view over the landscape gives an idea of this county, with the slopes of the mountainous ridge of Serra do Mendro densely covered with trees on one side, and the vast plains on the other, with fertile fields of corn, olive-trees, orchards and specially vineyards, as Vidigueira is a leading centre of wine production in Alentejo.

The small town of Vidigueira, although unpretentious, offers the visitor some monuments: the Miserichord Church, which dates from 1620, the clocktower from Vasco da Gama's time (the famous explorer was Count of Vidigueira) and the Convent of Our Lady of Relics, founded in 1493.

Nearby, Quinta do Carmo, an estate which once belonged to the Counts of Vidigueira, exhibits a fine manorhouse and carefully kept gardens.

Four kilometres west of the town, São Cucufate (although named later after a monastery dedicated to this saint) is really one of Portugal's most importante Roman sites: the excavations have revealed a sumptuous 4th-century villa with well preserved walls and vaulting.

Vila de Frades has a quaint and characteristic main square in which the whitewashed houses contrast with the lively green of the orange-trees, and is proud of the rich woodwork of its Mother Church and of the fine frescoes of the Chapel of Saint Brás.

It is also worth driving to the limits of the county to admire the wild banks of the river Guadiana, where typical windmills can still be seen.

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