Netflix is streaming its first Portuguese-produced original series, Glória. The spy thriller takes place during the Cold War and is set in the village of Glória do Ribatejo during the 1960s. It is based on a true story, and has many people asking just where is Glória do Ribatejo?
The drama is set at RARET, a US re-broadcasting station of Radio Free Europe. Set amid olive and oak groves, the beautiful countryside side is typical of the Alentejo tourism region. Today, the long-abandoned RARET facility sits in the middle of a park, just outside of the town.
Glória do Ribatejo is said to be the most typical Ribatejo village in Portugal, set just south of Santarém. Surrounded by rich farmland and good grazing, this small town is mostly agricultural so typical of the Ribatejo area of the Alentejo-Portugal’s heartland — the name of the rich agricultural lands set along the banks of the Tejo River. This is horse and bull country — with numerous horse farms — and big horse fairs. The new series highlights what many Portuguese have known for years — this is a great place to explore with monumental cities, big food and horse events, and some of the best cuisine in Portugal.
As the name implies, the Ribatejo follows the Tejo River in this agricultural heartland with a big variety of crops being grown: Grapes, corn, rice, wheat, tomato, sugar beets, melons and olives.
As a result, local food is pretty spectacular – The Ribatejo Branco Melon is a medium-sized melon that is quite sweet and fragrant. When they are in season, roadside stands abound — and folks come from all over seeking them. In its cuisine, the Ribatejo offers wonderful dishes such as sopa da pedra (stone soup).
And, then there are the local wines, the most famous of which is from the Cartaxo Region. Since 1954, the Cartaxo Wine Coop has won 176 national and international awards. The Cartaxo Festa do Vinho is an annual event held in Cartaxo, the self-proclaimed local Capital of wine. Almeirim, Santarém, Chamusca and Coruche are the other producers of good Ribatejo table wines.
On the lezírias (from the Arab al-jazira or “the island”) the fertile banks of the River Tejo, horses run, and crops grow. Black Iberian fighting bull graze. This is the home of the beautiful horses called the Lusitano. Native to Portugal, the Lusitano breed is famed for its character and courage in both the bullring and in war. Majestic and smart, the Lusitano has made a name of itself in dressage around the world.
Located in the heart of the fertile Ribatejo countryside, high above the Tejo River, Santarém is a city of both great food and monuments. Back in 1981 the first National Culinary Festival was held here. Each fall, Santarém hosts some of the best restaurants in Portugal, who serve up traditional specialties of their region. It is like traveling the whole country in one place. Set high above the plains of the Ribatejo, Santarém is a gem undiscovered by many visitors to Portugal. The Romanesque Church of São João do Alporão is now an Art and Archaeology Museum. The city, still in its walls in places, is called the Portuguese Gothic-Capital for its abundance of Gothic architecture. It is a city of squares, parks, and vistas.
The Ribatejo lezírias are also home to the campino, the local cowboys who ride with the horses. The Campinos are known for their distinctive dress, which is made up of a green and red stocking cap with tassel, white shirt, red vest, short dark trousers and white stockings. They ride the plains, and are part of the bullfights.
The Companhia das Lezírias (Lezírias Company) is a state-run agriculture and forestry company in the town of Benavente, started by the Portuguese Crown in the 19th century. Today, the company produces rice, wine, cork, and livestock, as well as being a respected horse breeder and organizer of big equestrian events.
Golegã is the heart of horse country. Top horse breeders are scattered around the town. Since the eighteenth century, the Feira da Golegã, also called the Feira de S. Martinho has been to the National Horse Fair. Here the finest purebreds are shown. And to complement the event, there is a lot of great food, wine and roasted chestnuts.
Source: Visit Portugal