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 São Paulo    

São Paulo is one of the largest cities in South America with over 20 million people in the greater metropolitan region. In fact, in terms of population, it is the 4th largest city in the world. Sao Paulo, which is the capital of the state of Sao Paulo, lies in southeastern Brazil, about 240 miles west of Rio de Janeiro.

Wide avenues and unusually designed skyscrapers give the city a modern appearance. The center of the business district of Sao Paulo is referred to as the Triangle. This name dates back to the 1500's, when three mission buildings that stood in the area were connected by paths that formed the shape of a triangle.

Next to the Triangle on the northwest are many hotels and restaurants. A public square called the Plaza of the Republic features an arts and crafts market each Sunday in this area. Mansions once lined the fashionable Paulista Avenue, southwest of the Triangle, but most have been replaced by skyscrapers.
São Paulo has a number of parks, the largest of which is the beautifully landscaped Ibirapuera Park.

People of São Paulo are called Paulistanos. Most of them have ancestors who emigrated from Germany, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, or Syria. Some Paulistanos have African or American Indian ancestry. Since the 1930's, immigration from other countries to São Paulo has decreased.

Paulistanos speak a variety of languages, but most of them also speak Portuguese, Brazil's official language. Most of the people are Roman Catholics.

Paulistanos have the reputation of being the most energetic, hard-working people in Brazil. But they also like to relax. After a morning at their job, many people eat a leisurely lunch and then rest until late afternoon before returning to work. Paulistanos enjoy sports, especially soccer. They celebrate the founding of Sao Paulo on January 25 and All Saints' Day on November 1, in addition to national holidays. 

Activities in São Paulo 
Please be advised that you may not be able to participate in certain activities after receiving your medical treatment. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the appropriate activities in which you can participate.
The Praca da Republica is a very popular fair that runs from 8am to 2pm on Sundays. Here you will find a wide array of precious stones, leather, woodcarving, lace, paintings and more. Another very popular fair is Embu, located 12 miles outside of the city. At Embu, artists display their wares, as well as craftsmen; fine furniture is also one reason so many go to the Embu fair.
At Banana Price, you'll find a huge collection of national and international designers at very low prices, such as heavily discounted collections of Nine West, Red's, Massimo, and Dilly. Other leather products available include bags, purses, and belts.
Patio Higienopolis is one of the favorite shopping malls of the Paulistas. Built in 1999, the entrance resembles a Victorian crystal palace, with large glass and wrought-iron doors and awnings. Inside, natural light shines in through the large glass cupola in the center atrium. No department stores or large chains in this mall, the shops are mostly high-end boutiques. The mall also has a children's playland with a variety of video and interactive games.
Museums & Parks
Ibirapuera Park is São Paulo's version of Central Park and it offers quite a bit to see and do. You can wander the paths beside pleasant lagoons or in the Japanese garden; you can jog the exercise track (called a pista de cooper in Portuguese) or rent a bicycle for $1.65 per hour and cycle the pathways. Every Sunday morning there's a free outdoor concert in the park's Praça da Paz. Sundays from 10am to 4pm you can take advantage of the Bosque de Leitura, a kind of free outdoor lending library that lets you borrow magazines or books (including many in English) to read in the park for the duration of day. In the corner near Gate 3 there's the Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art). Just nearby there's the OCA Auditorium, a flying saucer-shaped building that often hosts traveling art exhibits (see for upcoming events). There are fruit, juice, and ice-cream vendors everywhere in the park, but if you want more substantial fare, the Green Restaurant.
The Monument to Latin America is the best place to see Brazilian Modernism. Designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Monument consists of a field of concrete two runways long and four runways deep, dotted about the edges with perfectly geometrical glass and concrete pavilions originally painted blinding white, but long-since streaked with brown stains by the tropical rain. The two pavilions likely of most interest to visitors unimpressed by architecture are the Art Gallery and the Hall of Creativity. The Art Gallery hosts changing fine-art exhibits, while the Hall of Creativity is a permanent home to a fun and fascinating display of folk art from across the length and breadth of Latin America.
Pinacoteca do Estrado contains one of the best art collections in the city. It's the perfect place for anyone wanting to see and understand Brazilian art. Here you will find some of the best Brazilian paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries, from landscapes to still-life. The 20th-century work starts to break free of European influence and includes some interesting examples of expressive Brazilian pieces, colorful and bursting with energy.
The Museu de Arte Sacra contains vast array of sacred art, such as chalices, crosses, statues, paintings, and sculptures. Built in 1774, the Mosteiro da Luz provides the perfect serene setting to view these works; piped-in choral music echoes through the stone corridors as light pours in from the cloister, casting a warm glow on the beautiful collection. 


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