Official language: Portuguese
Time zone: UTC-3 (summer), UTC-2 (winter)
Currency: Brazilian real (BRL)
Caxias do Sul is referred to as the biggest Italian city in Brazil. To commemorate immigrants that founded in, in 1950 there was erected a monument to honour first settlers.
The church São Pelegrino is something like a tribute to Italian roots. Enormous entrance doors were created in Italy, and interiors has paintings of Aldo Locateli, the Italian painter.
In Caxias do Sul there isn’t lacking greenery. There are a few parks, in which you can rest and cool down in hotter days. The most interesting of hem is the biggest one – Getúlio Vargas.
The municipality on the south of Brazil in the mountain region of Serra Gauche, that many times in its history has changed names. It was established in 1890 by immigrants, as may others Brazilian towns. The biggest group were Italian farmers. They weren’t though first people on that land. Indigenous residents eagerly pasture cattle there.
New settlers were mainly working on harvesting wine grapes – first for their own needs, and with time they started selling wine in other regions. They grew also wheat and corn. Fast development Caxias do Sul owes to railway, that reached that place in 1910. To this day the area is famous for great wines.
Though the town’s history is short, it isn’t lacking architecture that captivates with its beauty. Walking around the town, easily you will notice a few homes in eclectic style that were built by local richest houses, interesting buildings of public use and neo-Gothic churches. With a bit of luck, you will find a few single examples of houses of first Italian immigrants, humble farmers and chaps. Their houses were made of stone and wood, similar to chapels, that are preserved here and there.
Every second year, when there is an even year, in February there is a huge feast taking place. Festa da Uva, which is the festival of grape, is an opportunity to celebrate Italian traditions and reminding young citizens of Caxias do Sul, where their roots are. On markets you can taste fantastic local wines, cheeses and fresh grapes. Feast are accompanied by fun games and sightseeing of the castle Lacave Castle, a building form the 6th century, that nowadays serves as a wine factory.
Local cuisine obviously takes a lot from sunny Italy. There is no need to wonder – first settlers of Caxias do Sul were cooking what they knew, using products available in the New World. We recommend to try baked rooster, local risotto, as well as fortaia – omelette with cheese or Brazilian salami.