In this sleepy agricultural town, men pass the time by gathering together in the compact Praça da República under the shadow of an ancient stone clock tower. One of the most authentic towns on the Alentejan Plain, Serpa’s whitewashed medieval center is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, well off the tourist path but definitely worth a visit. In cubbyholes along narrow, cobbled streets, carpenters, shoemakers, basket weavers, and other craftsmen work in much the same manner as their forefathers.

Serpa’s sleepy streets explode with life several times a year with festivals that draw visitors from across the Spanish border and around Europe, celebrating Serpa’s local delicacies, including one of Portugal’s most renowned sheep’s milk cheeses.

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