The local butcher, with his daughter standing by his side, was selling roasted whole chickens and slabs of fresh-cut beef to customers who only had to look into the store and nod to put in their orders, much as it has been done in this tiny hillside village in rural Portugal for decades now. Routines here are as well-worn as the cobblestone streets.

Just a block away, French-speaking visitors waltzed into the row of recently opened boutiques selling designer dresses and bikinis, next to the site where French shoe designer Christian Louboutin is preparing to build this town's first hotel.

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