Sao Paulo is a state in southeast Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic centre of the Brazilian economy. Among visitors, the state is more well-known for its huge and somewhat chaotic capital, São Paulo. However, the vast countryside of the state offers much else to be enjoyed, including rainforest-surrounded amazing beaches, a rich Italian and Japanese heritage blended seamlessly with local (caipira) culture, and prosperous, relaxing small towns that can make you forget that you are in a developing country.
The state of São Paulo has an area of approximately 248,800 km², and a population of about 40 million (21.5% of the population of Brazil), which makes it the most populous country subdivision in the Western Hemisphere.
Sala São Paulo is a beautiful concert hall located in Julio Prestes Station. The station was constructed between 1926 and 1938 and served as a train station for several decades. Then in the 1990s the grand hall of the train station was turned into the current day concert hall. In order to honor the original design of the station even the sand imported in the restoration effort was brought in from the original source when the building was built in 1926. Today the amazing concert hall has amazing acoustics and can seat 1498 people making it a great place to check out a classical symphony or opera.
The Sao Paulo Museum of Art houses a huge collection of Western art, as well as a large collection of Brazilian art and smaller collections of African and Asian arts and collections of Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman antiquities as well as Pre-Columbian artifacts. Since 1969 the museum is located on the present location on the Paulista Avenue. The building itself is considered to be one of best examples of Brazilian modern architecture. Amongst the highlights are piantings by Raphael, Botticelli, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh and Rembrandt.
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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.
The climate of São Paulo is tropical to subtropical, altitude being the largest contributor to what variation there is. The capital, São Paulo, barely outside the tropics in the south of the state and about 800 metres above sea level, has daily minimum and maximum averaging about 19 °C and 28 °C respectively at the warmest time of year and about 12 °C and 22 °C respectively at the coolest time of year. Temperatures reach around 33 °C on the hottest days and fall as low as 5 °C on the coldest nights. In the low-lying northwest of the state, temperatures average around 4 °C higher.
Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) is the busiest airport in Brazil and located about 25 kilometres from the city centre. This airport is a major hub for South America making it possible to fly almost from any major city in South America and Brazil to and from here. The passenger traffic is split between two terminals and has over 260 check-in counters. Around 40 airlines from this airport serve dozens of cities in Brazil, and countries in South America and beyond. Some of the main international cities served are Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York JFK, Amsterdam, Toronto, Beijing, Madrid, Paris, Miami, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Seoul, Lima, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Chicago, Lisbon and London.
To/from the airport
Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH) only offers domestic flights with around 5 airlines serving several dozens of destinations throughout Brazil.
Terminal Rodoviário Tietê or Metropolitan Bus Terminal Tietê is the place to travel by bus to and from São Paulo from Brazilian and international destinations. If you are in South America, you can choose to travel to São Paulo by bus. The main international destinations are:
São Paulo's traditional cuisine is the caipira cuisine, with similarities and common dishes to the cuisine of Minas Gerais and Goiás, using ingredients like flour, brown beans, cassava, pork and beef. Some dishes include leitão à pururuca, virado à paulista, feijão tropeiro and vaca atolada. Desserts of the caipira cuisine include the pamonha, paçoca de amendoim and pé-de-moleque. Caipira restaurants are easier to find in the countryside of the state, as the state capital has a more international and pan-national range of restaurants.
Food native from the state, but not part of the caipira cuisine, include the bauru (Brazilian bread with roastbeef, tomato, pickles and melted cheese) and the torta holandesa (literally "Dutch pie", a dessert that uses black and white chocolate, cream cheese, vanilla and cookies).
With about 12 million of Italian descendants, it is no surprise that Italian food is ubiquitous in the São Paulo state, with cantinas and pizzerias being found practically everywhere. São Paulo pizzas use less tomato sauce than their Italian counterparts, and frequently use typical Brazilian ingredients such as catupiry, heart of palm and dried meat.
São Paulo's most famous native drink is the caipirinha, a cocktail made of cachaça, sugar, lime and ice and popular all around the country. It is originary from the city of Piracicaba. The state's most famous native beer is undoubtly Antarctica, one of the most consumed beers in Brazil. In originated in 1888 in the state capital São Paulo, and is now brewed by AmBev.
Several local wineries, beer and cachaça brewers can be found in the countryside of the state, like in the Fruit Circuit, that includes the cities of Jundiaí, São Roque and Vinhedo.
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