Dressed in traditional garb, shepherds and farmers with faces wizened by a lifetime in the baking sun stand around the fountain at Praça do Giraldo; a group of college girls dressed in jeans and T-shirts chats animatedly at a sidewalk café; a local businessman in coat and tie purposefully hurries by; and clusters of tourists, cameras in hand, capture the historic monuments on film—all this is part of a typical summer's day in Évora. The flourishing capital of the central Alentejo is also a university town with an astonishing variety of inspiring architecture, including pristine Roman ruins. Atop a small hill in the heart of a vast cork-, olive-, and grain-producing region, Évora stands out from provincial farm towns the world over: the entire inner city is a monument and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.


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