Bixiga — the Italian neighborhood in Sao Paulo
Elenice, please tell us more about Bixiga.
Bixiga… it’s one of the
most famous neighborhoods in Sao Paulo.
The first immigrants settled here in 1878.
Now it’s the traditional Italian neighborhood.
I see. Whereabouts is it in Sao Paulo?
It’s in the city center.
Bixiga is famous for its Italian restaurants…
as well as museums, theaters and markets.
I am curious if the Italian people
are still the majority of the population in the area?
Yes, it’s mostly an Italian neighborhood.
So, they speak Italian, right?
No, not really.
they speak Portuguese, mostly.
What kind of food
do the local restaurants serve?
Oh… many different kinds of food.
But the most popular ones are…
pasta and pizza.
I think pizza is actually…
the most popular dish in Sao Paulo.
Our pizza has more cheese.
Oh… I didn’t know that.
And they do also serve Italian wine, right?
You can find a good Italian wine there.
What about the prices?
How much would a dinner for two cost?
The prices are…
well… not very high…
but not very low either.
Right. So, let’s say I wanna eat a pizza…
and some wine for dinner.
How much do I have to spend?
Well, it’s about 90 reals.
OK… 90 Brazilian reals, in US dollars…
divided by three…
it’s about 30 dollars.
Yep, that’s right.
So, did you try any other dishes in Bixiga?
Other than pizza and pasta?
Yes. They make a great lasagna.
All right. I see.
Did you have a chance to visit a local theater?
Oh… Bixiga is famous for it’s theaters.
The most famous are…
Theater Ruth Escobar…
and another one is… Theater Sérgio Cardoso.
What about local festivals?
Yes, there is a festival…
one of the most famous
traditional festivals in Sao Paulo…
it’s called Nossa Senhora da Achiropita,
or Our Lady of Achiropita.
It has been celebrated since 1926.
It happens in August every year.
This festival has it’s roots
in the Catholic tradition of local people.
It’s a tribute to the Patron Saint of Bixiga neighborhood.
There is a lot of food and the market…
and there are about 200 thousand people visiting it.
I see. Very interesting.
Any other places you can recommend?
Yes, there is a historical place
called Escadaria do Bixiga
or the Staircase of Bixiga
It’s close to Museo do Óculos…
the Museum of Glasses…
and Museu Memória do Bixiga
Oh… and the Casa da Dona Yaya…
Mrs. Yaya’s house…
It’s the first building in Bixiga…
used to be a part of the local farm.
Today it is the Cutural Center
of the University of Sao Paulo.
Yes, it does look like a historical neighborhood.
There are many traditional houses and stores…
One colorful area is called Caminito Brasileiro…
the name is similar to Caminito,
a famous tourist spot in Buenos Aires.
Yes, this is really great.
On Sundays there is a Fair Antique of Bixiga.
It has been there since 1982.
They have about 300 stalls selling
books, furniture, clothes, jewelry.
And there are many bars and nightclubs…
many famous shows and singers.
And do you wanna know
what else makes this neighborhood famous?
Yes, I wanna know.
Tell me, please…
There is the Escola de Samba Vai Vai
the samba school…
the Champion of Paulista Carnival,
it has been the best fifteen times.
Glad to share my impressions.
Head image: LWYang at Flickr, CC-BY