Casa da Cultura de Recife, Recife's cultural marketplace, was once
a colonial prison. It has since been transformed into a centre for
traditional arts. Excellent musical and dance performances often
take place right outside the building. The Casa da Cultura is an
excellent place to obtain tourist information and start an acquaintance
with the region's cultural arts.
A true gem of Recife is the Oficina Ceramica Francisco Brennand,
the studio, workshop, and museum of one of Brazil's best known artists,
located a few kilometers
outside of the city. The colonial ceramics factory that Brennard converted into
his atelier is surrounded by thick, original forest. Within the gallery are displayed
over two thousand imaginatively placed pieces: Balaclava- hatted worms,
lizards bursting from parapets, geese with helmets, and a crazy collection of
other fanciful objects d'art (some of them cheerfully risqué) make the memorable
Olaria and its a must-see. There is a sales outlet in Recife's Boa Viagem district.
Within Recife itself is the Horto Zoobotanico, a newly renovated zoo and botanical
garden. Also in the city is the Museu de Homen do Nordeste, a highly acclaimed
museum of anthropology that displays artifacts of the region's rich cultural
The Recife-Olinda Carnival may be the best in Brazil. Its unusually early means
visitors can catch the opening festivities and still have time to enjoy other
Brazilian carnival celebrations.
There are excellent beaches south of Recife, with a calm sea, crystal clear waters,
white sand dunes, and friendly people. The reef that protects the city runs parallel
to the coast for many miles, and the entire region offers outstanding dive opportunities.
Fishing villages dot this part of the coast, and these are excellent places to
dine on fresh-caught seafood.
Boa Viagem, an 8 km promenade along the Atlantic, is widely regarded as Recife's
most picturesque locale. A major attraction along the promenade is an exposition
of the arts and crafts of Pernambuco, which takes place every day in front of
the Boa Viagem Church.
About 40 minutes by car from Recife is Olinda, the old capital of Brazil. Founded
in 1537, Olinda is Brazil's most cherished historical city, and the abundance
of 16th and 17th century churches and houses has inspired Unesco to adopt the
town as a world heritage site.
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