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Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil's southernmost state and although typically Brazilian, it is a world away from the tropical rainforest or Rio and its beaches. Large parts of the state are gaucho terrain, comparable to what you'd find in Argentina or Uruguay, but of course with its own Brazilian identity. Many immigrants, mainly from Italy and Germany, settled in this southern part of the country and this is best reflected in the region a couple of hours north of the capital Porto Alegre, where you will find Bavarian style buildings, Italian gastronomy and the wine region around Caxias do Sul and Bento Goncalves and Garibaldi. About 11 million Brazilian call the state their home.
Rio Grande do Sul covers about 282,000 square kilometres, bordering the state of Santa Catarina to the north, Uruguay to the south and Argentina to the west. The Atlantic Ocean runs along its eastcoast.
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The FIFA World Cup 2014 will be held in Brazil. It takes place from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. The national teams of 32 countries will join the second biggest sports event in the world (after the Olympic Games). A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology. Twelve locations will be World Cup host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and São Paulo. They cover all the main regions of Brazil and create more evenly distributed hosting than the 1950 finals in Brazil provided, when matches were concentrated in the south-east and south. As a result the tournament will require significant long-distance travel for teams. Brazil opens the tournament against Croatia, played in Sao Paulo on the 12th of June, and the final will be played on the 13th of July in Rio de Janeiro.
Salgado Filho International Airport (POA) is about 6 kilometres from Porto Alegre's city centre and there are flights to/from Montevideo, Lima, Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Cuiaba, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belém, Brasilia, Campo Grande, Curitiba, Rosario, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Salvador, Manaus and many other smaller cities throughout Brazil.
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