Photo credit: Jair Magri
Imposing buildings, squares and monuments dot the streets of Centro (Downtown), forming the historical background against which millions of people go about every day. Whatever your rhythm, almost all the sights on the surroundings of the Marco Zero (a monument marking the center of the city) can be visited on foot, by bus or by subway. Right in front of the Catedral da Sé, this monument is vivid in the memories of those who helped build the metropolis. Bela Vista, a former Italian settlement, maintains traditions like the tarantella in its cantinas, as well as the Festa de Nossa Senhora da Achiropita, held in August. Liberdade, the cradle of the Japanese colonization in the last century, is home to flea markets, restaurants and new Far Eastern immigrants, which help to bring to light different aspects of the Asian culture.
ATTRACTIONSi CAIXA CULTURAL This 1939 art deco building, the former headquarters of a major bank in São Paulo, hosts state-of-the-art temporary exhibitions and a museum that keeps a record of the institution’s history since 1861, the year of its foundation. Pça da Sé, 111, Centro; 33214400; caixacultural.com.br. CATEDRAL METROPOLITANA DE SÃO PAULO The cathedral, one of the largest churches in neo-gothic style in the world, shelters in its crypt (visits allowed) the remains of some of São Paulo’s historical characters. Pça da Sé, s/n, Centro; 3107-6832. cityofsaopaulo.com
BANCO DO BRASIL CULTURAL CENTER Neo-classic meets art nouveau style in this 1901 building, which houses a theater and has three floors for exhibitions. R. Álvares Penteado, 112, Centro; 3113-3651. ALTINO ARANTES BUILDING The top of this 161-meter-high building, inaugurated in 1947, offers a privileged view of the city. R. João Brícola, 24, Centro; 2196-3730. Monday through Friday, 10am to 3pm. CRAFTS MARKET AT PRAÇA DA REPÚBLICA Paintings and sculptures, many of which done during the day by artists, draw visitors’ attention amidst clothes, costume jewellery and handicrafts. Saturdays and Sundays. FLEA MARKETS On Sundays, antiques, from pottery to toys, are sold at the stalls of Praça
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