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must-see neighborhoods

Photo credit: Andréa D’Amato

The site of a former bus terminal and of important train stations, the area encompassing the neighborhoods of Luz, Bom Retiro and Brás worked as the gateway to Jewish, Italian, Korean, and other immigrants, from Asia to Europe. Their fine business acumen has spread their reputation around town. Still today, the streets of this region hold typical restaurants and are studded with popular shops, selling from clothing to tools. But Luz, Bom Retiro and Brás are not only famous for its consumer goods. To make sure the city history was preserved, many buildings were transformed into major cultural spaces.

ATTRACTIONSi ESTAÇÃO PINACOTECA It works as an extension of Pinacoteca (in fact, the ticket is valid for both institutions). It houses the Nemirovsky Collection, which includes the painting Antropofagia, by Tarsila do Amaral, among its treasures. The former headquarters of a repressive organism during the Brazilian dictatorship, it preserves the cells where political prisoners were locked. Lgo. General Osório, 66, Luz; 3335-4990. EXPRESSO TURÍSTICO The Luz station is the background for departures and arrivals of 1950s trains that take passengers to Vila de Paranapiacaba and other cities nearby. Reservations are recommended, as this tour is usually much sought-after. 0800-055-0121, cptm.sp.gov.br/expressoturistico. JARDIM DA LUZ Created during the colonial period, this garden was opened to the public cityofsaopaulo.com

Museu de Arte Sacra: more than one thousand of religious and sacred pieces in 1825 as the first leisure area for the city’s inhabitants. Native trees, works of art and a lake occupy a 113,000 sq meter area. Pça. da Luz, s/n, Luz; 3227-3545. MUSEU DA LÍNGUA PORTUGUESA Learning becomes pure entertainment in the first museum in the world dedicated exclusively to one language. The building, inaugurated in 1901, also houses the Luz train and subway station. Pça. da Luz, s/n, 3322-0080, Luz; museulinguaportuguesa.org.br. MUSEU DE ARTE SACRA Along its corridors, more than a thousand pieces tell the history of Brazilian sacred art; on top of that, its church shelters the remains of Frei Galvão, the first Brazilian saint. Av. Tiradentes, 676, Luz; 33265393; museuartesacra.org.br.

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