I just did a forum search on Curitiba and didn't find much, just someone saying it's rubbish and someone else saying it's worth a detour.
I've taken two years of Portuguese and I think it's time to finally GO to Brazil and take 1 more month of classes there. So this is about the language--not the beach--and about finding a city that is SAFE for a girl traveling alone.
Rio and Sao Paulo are out of the question, and Curitiba seemd like a good option, but now I'm having second thoughts... So if anyone's been there, I'd love to hear your opinion!
May be Curitiba is not a tourist highlight, but according to your interests I agree it's a good choice.
It's a safe city, considered the cleanest and neatest of Brazil, close to Florianópolis if you want beach, has a bus ride called Linha Turismo (very cheap and interesting), has parks, a nice selection of restaurantes, fairs, museums, etc.
As regards Portugues, the south is perfect because it's "pure". The northern and northeastern people have a funny accent, and Cariocas have completely changed pronounciation. São Paulo would be good for learning, but it has become uninhabitable, too violent.
So, Curitiba sounds just fine! I've only spent a few hours there, but my Carioca friends (I'm living in Rio right now) tell me it's like a "model city" for them.
If you are still considering another place, some city in the state of Bahia can work, or may be Vitória in Espiritu Santo.
Hope it helped,
Thanks for your reply! That really helps Tonya!!