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Santa Marta de Penaguião

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At the heart of the Douro wine-growing country, the county of Santa Marta de Penaguião displays the wonderful scenery of terraced vineyards characteristic of the region and boasts of lodging the main co-operative cellar of the zone, known for its production of table wines and Port.

The landscape offers plenty of opportunities for unforgettable walks, varying between extensive vineyards bordered by olive-trees, bucolic slopes rising above the river Corgo and mountainous zones reminding visitors that the harsh heights of the Serra do Marão are close.

The architectural heritage, although less impressive, includes the interesting stone pillory of Santa Marta de Penaguião, the modest seat of the county, the churches of Cumieira (18th-century, built by Niccolò Nasoni) and of São João de Lobrigos and the Mother Church of Sanhoane.

Across the county there are beautiful manor-houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the Solar dos Pinheiros, at Sanhoane, and the noble houses of Quinta da Cumieira and Quinta do Bertelo, at the village of Cumieira.

At table, the local gastronomy is rich and succulent and offers typical specialities such as roast kid with potatoes and oven-baked rice in a clay bowl and pork meat and sausages with chestnuts; for dessert, visitors will find traditional Portuguese recipes of leite-creme (a kind of custard) and aletria (a sort of vermicelli).

The local handicrafts reflect the county's vital link to the wine-growing tradition through the work of basket-makers and coopers, and even the exquisite embroideries of the region were once used on special occasions, when sweet delicacies and Port wine were served.

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