Everything You Want To Know About Sao Paulo, Brazil – Atlantic Ocean 3

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Port of Sao Sebastiao, Brazil

This is a small port located in the state (or province) of Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo City is the capital of this state) and situated along the Sao Sebastiao Channel. Port of Sao Sebastiao is used for dry cargo, general (cargo), Ro-Ro vessels and containers.

Sao Sebastiao is a municipality on the southeast coast of Brazil where the port is located. It is about 2 hours, 35 minutes or 118 km. north from Sao Paulo City. The port in Sao Sebastiao has also a maritime petroleum terminal owned by Petrobras, the state oil company of Brazil and where tankers dock.

An Overview On Sao Paulo City:

In the style of Paris’ Palais Garnier, the Teatro Municipal is Sao Paulo‘s best cultural icon.

The first European to set foot at the area was Joao Ramalho, a shipwrecked Portuguese sailor. But like other cities in Brazil, Sao Paulo was founded by Jesuit missionaries on January 25, 1554 who named the place after the Apostle St. Paul of Tarsus. Sao Paulo dos Campos de Piratininga was thus established so as to convert the Guainas Indians into the Catholic religion.

In its early years, Sao Paulo has been the stronghold of “Bendeirantes” who are explorers, enslavers and gold prospectors that invaded the interiors of Brazil. It became a city in 1711 and there was a gold rush towards the end of the 17th century followed by a progress in their sugarcane production as well. However, the demand for the legendary Brazilian coffee made a boom to Sao Paulo‘s economy in the 19th century and it became the richest city in the country.

Sao Paulo Metropolitan Cathedral.

Millions of immigrants came to work in Sao Paulo at the height of its coffee production especially Italians and Japanese who worked in the plantations. When the price of coffee nosedived during the early 20th century, Sao Paulo was transformed into an industrial powerhouse attracting a new wave of immigrants (South Koreans, Chinese, Lebanese) who arrived as factory workers specifically in the automotive industry.

The city’s industries would later replaced by commerce and service trades and these days Sao Paulo is the home of large conglomerates, colossal banks, multinationals, law firms and advertising companies. Known as the economic powerhouse of Brazil, this city is also famous in the world for its arts and culture, its thriving nightlife and eclectic culinary scene and as the country’s fashion mecca.

Map showing Sao Paulo, Brazil.

I was on a shore leave at Sao Paulo one October day in 1997 while our ship, M/T Knock Dun was on berth at Port of Sao Sebastiao’s Petrobras for oil loading. Located at a hilly corner of the southeastern highlands, it is where Brazil meets the world and the world gather in Brazil. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere and when I say it is a bustling metropolis it’s in fact an understatement. The eclectic financial hub of Brazil here is everything you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“Sampa”, The Land of Drizzle

If there is one thing you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil is it’s nickname, Sampa (short for Sao Paulo), the land of drizzle or light rain. It earned its moniker due to its unpredictable weather. But that was ages ago as the drizzle has been replaced by thunderstorms and if you’re in Sao Paulo between March to August, it is common to experience that in 4 days a week.

Liberdade, Largest Japanese Community Outside Asia

The Japanese quarter in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This city holds the biggest concentration of Japanese immigrants in the world, a surprising thing you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Liberdade (which means freedom in Portuguese), the Japantown has its own newspaper and most of the street names in the area are written in the Japanese character. The outlet of McDonalds here has a Japanese-style garden which is found at the back.

The Makudo Street outlet of McDonalds in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Japanese Brazilians in Sao Paulo.

Bixiga, Where Paulistanos Consume A Million Pizza A Day

Gateway to the Italian neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bixiga is Sao Paulo’s little Italy and it is where Paulistanos gather for pizza,consuming a million of it a day. Founded by Italian immigrants in 1878, the Bixiga neighborhood is famous for its Calabrese Speciale Pizza, a spicy Calabrian (Italian) sausage with mozarella cheese. The community also holds the Feast of Nossa Senhora da Achiropita (Our Lady of Achiropita) in August where stalls offer traditional Italian delights in honor of the area’s patron saint, a thing you want to know the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sao Paulo‘s famous Calabrese Speciale pizza.
The Feast of Our Lady of Achiropita in the Bixiga neighborhood of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Famous For Mortadela Sandwich At Its Mercadao

Huge mortadella, Sao Paulo‘s most famous sandwich and always featured in the city’s travel books is the specialty at Mercado Municipal or Mercadao for short. Sometimes it is referred to as the bologna sandwich but it is actually slices of Ceratti mortadella (Italian sausage which is uniquely produced in Sao Paulo), melted cheese, slices of tomatoes and lettuce in a Portuguese-style rolls but called pao Frances (French bread). Don’t leave the city without grabbing a bite of their mortadella – one of the things you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Busy as can be in Sao Paulo’s Mercado Municipal or Mercadao, home to mortadella sandwich.

A City of Choppers

In every 5 minutes when you are in Sao Paulo it is normal to hear helicopters whirring daily which makes it the city with the largest fleet of choppers in the world. Another surprising thing you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil wherein at least 5 helicopters land or take off from one of its skycrapers everyday. This mode of transport is used by the city’s upper class to avoid getting caught up in the crazy traffic on the streets below.

It is everyday a chopper over the city in Sao Paulo.

It Has Pico da Jaragua, Home To Brazil’s Indigenous Community

In Sao Paulo, though it is the largest city in South America, has also within the area an indigenous reservation of Brazil‘s Guarani Indian tribe. Its government recognizes Pico da Jaragua as a traditional tribal land, a thing you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Pico da Jaragua is also the highest point in the city which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and where the Guarani Indians call it their home.

Guarani Indian kids rendering a welcome song to tourists visiting their community at Pico da Jaragua.

Host To Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix

Formerly known as the Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo hosts Formula One Championship better known as the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Brazilians started automobile racing after World War II and the first F1 race began in the city in 1973, another important thing you want to know about the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. From then on, it has seen 5 Brazilian drivers won the race especially Sao Paulo natives like Ayrton Senna (1991-1993 GP) and Felipe Massa who won for Ferrari in 2006-2008.

Ayrton Senna
Felipe Massa

Sao Paulo Grand Prix in action.

To all the serious travelers out there, Sao Paulo is worthy of a space on your bucket list. Maybe leisure travel is impossible at the moment but one day the world opens its door again and you should visit this city because once you do, it will have you coming back to explore more. Boa sorte na sua viagem!

Reference: Wikipedia