Day 134: Bixiga & Língua

Sunday, day 134 of my Brazilian immersion experiment, was a doubly Brazilliant day!

First, (as requested by Stephanie ) we went to Bixiga (or Bexiga or Bela Vista depending on how you feel), a neighborhood which was home to a large number of Italian immigrants. Evidence of such remains with a whole heap of Italian restaurants and markets hanging around. It was Mother’s Day, which is a big day for the Italians, so the chances of us getting to eat at one of the fabulous restaurants in the neighborhood without a reservation was pretty much zero.

But we did find a little Italian market with loads of great stuff so we could have our own little Italian dinner at home later that night.

On Sundays, Bixiga also is home to an antiques fair in its square. I’m no antiques dealer, but it seemed to me that the prices in this neighborhood are much more reasonable than the Sunday markets on Paulista Avenue or the MuBE. I felt compelled to pick up a 1965 November edition of the Brazilian Reader’s Digest for one real.

And what’s an Brazilian “antiques” fair without… creepy baby dolls.

And of course, there is always the unofficial street fair on the outskirts.

Next we went to the Museu da Lingua Portuguesa.

My first cultural attraction experience in Sao Paulo was really the aquarium (“South America’s Largest Aquarium!), which I thought was totally crap in addition to being quite strange (see AquariScari).  I assumed that there was a lack of private and public funding for museums and such. But since then, we’ve been to quite a number of places that are truly amazing. The Museu da Linga Portuguesa is another example of a top notch cultural attraction.

Upon arrival, you view a 10 minute movie about the history of language in the auditorium. Then, the screen opens up and you enter an exhibit area with a multi-media presentation on the Portuguese language. It is really incredible.

The two other floors hold interactive exhibits, such as a series of computers set up so you can trace the origin of Brazilian Portuguese words, as well as displays that detail the history of the Portuguese language across time. Plus just a lot of interesting language-themed artwork.

A very cool museum to visit. I would highly recommend.

The museum is inside Luz Station (in itself an interesting place to visit). It is R$6 to get in, but is free on Saturdays.

Praça da Luz, s/nº
Centro – São Paulo – SP
(11) 3326-0775

This entry was posted in 366 day Brazilian Challenge, Expatriate Info & Advice, Foreigner Insights, Living in Sao Paulo, Tourist Info and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Day 134: Bixiga & Língua

  1. anon blog fan says:

    Your aquarium post is still one of my favorites- your poor daughter! I was telling that story to my mom and she said she actually had a similar experience with me when I was little, with scary dinosaurs in the middle of a whale exhibit! I don’t remember it, so hopefully your little girl will grow up to be similarly unscathed 😉

  2. Stephanie says:

    Yay! You went = ). Thanks for posting the experience and too bad you couldn’t eat there but Sunday/Mother’s Day = no way to eat anywhere without serious wait times. Loved the photos!

    • The food we got from the marie was delicious! Next time I hope we can actually get a table somewhere.

      • Sofia says:

        There is a really good, traditional and famous cantina ( italian restaurant ) in bexiga called ” C Que Sabe” , check it out http://www.cantinacquesabe.com.br, it has been owned by the same family for decades originating to italian immigrants.
        At night they have live Tarantella music which is really fun! ( just not sure if it is every night or just weekends, better call).
        The food is amazing and serves at least 2 so order carefully .

        • Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely check it out. It is a neighborhood I always forget about until I am craving Italian food.

          • Sofia says:

            Part of the tarantella is that the waiters throw metal plates on the floor as the music picks up and people start clapping, really fun. Just warning… because I almost fell of my seat when that happened next to me, totally not expecting that! haha. But it was great. Everyone is enjoying themselves and the atmosphere takes you back to a party in Italy. ( I guess in weekends it must be more lively)

            We recently discovered another great italian restaurant called Vicolo Nostro http://www.vicolonostro.com.br, in Itaim, that you must check out. More for a special occasion or romantic evening out, you wont regret it. Really beautiful and romantic, and the food is excellent, and since you enjoy wine, there will be a sommelier there as well which is nice. The risottos are amazing, I ordered one in red wine, with radicchio and file mignon, just perfect… 🙂

          • Another one for my list. Thanks!!!

  3. I have been to that fair in Bixiga: it was quite pleasant. Plus, across the street there is, or used to be at least, a place called Villagio Cafe where some really good chorinho musicians would put on a show during Sunday afternoons.
    What is your favorite book originally written in Portuguese? This is mine: http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Disquiet-Penguin-Classics/dp/0141183047

  4. lostsambista says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this.

  5. lostsambista says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Sambista and commented:
    Very nice insight to what is cool about Sao Paulo

  6. Pingback: The Creepy Side of Campos do Jordão | born again brazilian

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