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Three Perfect Days: São Paulo

With a population close to 11 million, Brazil's (decidedly non-Rio) urban powerhouse blends the exuberance of South America with the poise and sophistication of old Europe.

Author Stephan Talty Photography Raymond Patrick


Picture 1 of 18

RIO MAY OFFER the flash, but São Paulo, with its Latin motto non ducor, duco (“I am not led, I lead”), is where you’ll find the sophistication, the power and the future of Brazil. Founded by Jesuits in the 16th century, the city grew rapidly over the next 300 years into a center for the coffee trade before its merchants—many from families that originated in Italy, Portugal and Germany—branched out into heavy industry, banking and financial services.

Its population has since mushroomed to 11 million, making it the biggest city in South America. But what makes “Sampa” (the affectionate nickname for the city) truly a world-class metropolis is how the city’s fathers have managed to keep it surprisingly livable. They’ve blended the monumental and the intimate, the cutting-edge and the folk, the European and the South American. Within the crowded, sprawling megalopolis you’ll find serene parks studded with startling modernist sculptures, restaurants that take Brazil’s beef-dominated culinary tra- ditions and advance them with flourishes from around the world and, of course, teeming clubs that blend Brazil’s bossa nova breeze with the unrelenting thump of modern dance music. With the power and glamour of a cosmopolitan city, but minus the neon-lit ego, São Paulo doesn’t beguile you like Rio or assault you like New York. It sizes you up then smiles and invites you over for a caipirinha.

Basilica de
Nossa Senhora
da Assuncão.
Image – Raymond Patrick

3 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: São Paulo”

  1. Sue Sommer Says:
    December 21st, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    From which store or site may I find out the price and how to purchase the resin necklace pictured on P. 63? It was in the TPD in Sao Paulo. I went to Rua 25 de Marco, but it was a jumble!
    Thanks, Sue Sommer

  2. Sue Sommer Says:
    December 21st, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Where can I find the price or purchase the resin necklace on P. 63 of the Sao Paulo TPD? Thanks, Sue Sommer

  3. zero fernandes Says:
    January 26th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    In Sao Paulo you can find everything you desire at any time, including necklaces resin:


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