Vila Franca de Xira
Towns and Villages
The bullfights and running of the bulls in the streets are also an essential feature of the main festivals of the region, such as the October Fair and the Festival of the Colete Encarnado (Scarlet Waistcoat), which is held every year in June and owes its name to one of the components of the campino's (Ribatejo cowboy`s) costume.
Some of the most important dishes in the varied cuisine are typical riverside dishes, such as eels, dabs, açorda de savel (purée of bread, herbs and garlic with shad), galinha de cabidela (chicken with giblets, cooked in its own blood and with rice), mutton stew and tripe cooked in the Vila Franca style.
In Alverca, the Museu do Ar, the only one in the country, has a collection of objects that illustrate the history of aeronautics in Portugal.
In the environs, the Nature Reserve of the Tagus Estuary is the stopping-point for migratory birds - flamingoes, storks, sandpipers, avocets, duck, kites and kestrels. In the rural hinterland, life is peaceful, the environment unpolluted, and the main occupation is smallholder farming.