Cidade de Ammaia

Alto Alentejo

Archaeologic ruins of roman city of Ammaia. Columns and pavement at South gate. Marvao, Portalegre, Portugal. ; Shutterstock ID 217053121; Your name (First / Last): Tom Stainer; GL account no.: 65050 ; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial ; Full Product or Project name including edition: Best in Europe 2017

Shutterstock / Armando Frazao

This excellent little Roman museum lies between Castelo de Vide and Marvão in São Salvador de Aramenha. From São Salvador head 700m south along the Portalegre road, then turn left, following the signs to Ammaia. This fascinating museum is packed with treasures. Start with the seven-minute film (with English subtitles) that give a vivid depiction of this ancient city of 2000 inhabitants.

In the 1st century AD this area was a huge Roman city called Ammaia, flourishing from the area’s rich agricultural produce (especially oil, wine and cereals). Although evidence was found (and some destroyed) in the 19th century, it wasn’t until 1994 that thorough digs began.

At Cidade de Ammaia you can see some of the finds, including engraved lintels and tablets, jewellery, coins and some incredibly well-preserved glassware. You can also follow paths across the fields to where the forum and spa once stood and see several impressive columns.