Tagged: Brasil

Florianopolis – Santa Catarina – Brazil

Winter in Florianopolis

Central Market - Florianopolis by MNR

I’m lucky enough to have Florianopolis as a guaranteed destination in any of my holidays in Brazil. Hubby’s family lives there and this winter was the best trip I ever made to the city.
Family reunited, city quieter than the usual, sunny days, oysters and mullets bigger and fresher than ever, lots of local festivals and all the good wine we had brought from Rio Grande do Sul.
We didn’t end up going to the beach, but for someone who lives in Sydney, beach was not something I was missing.

Fresh Market in downtown Florianópolis by MNR

Capital of the State of Santa Catarina and the Brazilian capital with the highest HDI (human development index), the island is noted for its parks and beaches, its planned urbanization, cleaning, security and good services for tourists. In high season it is the second home destination for Argentines, Paraguayans, Uruguayans and hundreds of Brazilians mainly from Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo.
Portuguese culture is rooted in the accent of each “barriga verde” (green belly,how the locals are called) in its cuisine, in the architecture and all the crafts.

Pottery - Florianopolis

Two places won my heart more than ever during this holidays: Santo Antonio de Lisboa and Santo Amaro de Imperatriz.

Santo Antonio de Lisboa

Local craft - Santo Antonio de Lisboa
Local craft - Santo Antonio de Lisboa by MNR

Santo Antonio de Lisboa, region famous for its religious festivals; manifestations of local folklore; handcraft production; pottery and oyster farming, is a nice place for lunch on the seafront, walk by the house of handicrafts and walking on cobblestone streets.

Oysters - Santo Antonio de LisboaGratinated Oysters - Santo Antonio de LisboaPirão de Peixe - Santo Antônio de Lisboa

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz is part of the metropolitan area of Florianopolis, at 30 Km east of the capital of Santa Catarina.

Santo Amaro da Imperatriz by MNR
Santo Amaro da Imperatriz por MNR

This paradise is known for its wealth and its natural hot springs that reach temperatures of about 40° C.
My in-laws come to the region every 15 days to get mineral water straight from the tap. That’s quality of life !

Some friends usually ask what Mariano (who was born in this paradise), had in his mind when he moved to Sao Paulo about 10 years ago. My answer is one: marry me, what else it would be?

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Café Colonial in Gramado – Rio Grande do Sul – BR

Gramado - Rio Grande do Sul - BR

Gramado – Rio Grande do Sul

Gramado is a very charming town in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Settled by Germans and Italians, the charm of Gramado is in its architecture, in its many cafes, chocolate factories, fondue houses, crafts and the many sights.

The city is the third most visited tourist destination in Brazil, famous for its hortensias, its Christmas Light , its Film Festival among other attractions.

Due to weather conditions on the day that we were in Gramado (rainfall and temperature around 7 degrees), we spent most of our time eating and drinking. Cold weather, rain, good food? Hummmm…I loved it!

Café Colonial

Café Colonial Bela Vista

It may look like the holy communion but in fact this is a Colonial Café in Gramado.

Colonial Coffee is one of the most authentic traditions and culture of German cuisine held here.
Fresh baked cakes, homemade sausages and cheeses, polenta fries, pastries, hot chocolate, teas, white and red table wine, jams, cheeses (have I mentioned by any chance homemade?). It’s like arriving on a Sunday at Grandma’s house and she had simply made all your favorite treats.

The tradition comes from the time when the settlers used to wake up ealier to work on the fields and as they would have only one meal for the day, this breakfast used to give them the energy until the dusk. My version of the history is that they were probably gaining energy for the rest of the week, but never mind.

Despite being called breakfast, the meal can be done at any time of day. We, for example, opted for Bela Vista around lunchtime. Costs $ 38,00 per person and food is it all you can it.

Say “quantity is not quality” but the colonial coffee is where the two complement each other: each one of the 80 dishes that we had tasted all very fresh and were impeccably presented.

Are you hungry?

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Bento Gonçalves – Rio Grande do Sul – BR

It has been 2 weeks since I returned from my holidays and after settling down, it was about time to take the dust off the blog.

Yes, I’m back ! And nothing better than to start posting about some of the best moments from my holidays in Southern Brazil.

Bento Gonçalves - RS - Brazil

Bento Gonçalves, Rio Grande do Sul

Known as the wine capital of Brazil and also for being the largest grape-producing of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, this region has not earned this reputation for nothing.
The first Italian immigrants arrived in the region of Bento around 1870 and soon established grapevine culture due to favourable climate of the region.

The region also concentrates the best national wineries such as Salton, Aurora, Miolo and Casa Valduga, among many other smaller boutique wineries.

Visiting Bento Goncalves was truly unforgettable! The weather was rainy and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), one of our cars broke down right near this small cheese factory at the beginning of the Vale dos Vinhedos.

Cheeses and Cured Meat

We took this opportunity and tried some cheese and sausages. Please, a round of applause for the provolone cheese with oregano and olive oil !

Casa Valduga

Following the route we stopped for a wine tasting at Casa Valduga.

Only by tasting these wines to understand the tradition of this family and their 135 year history noticeable even in their facilities built with stones.

What incredible experience! I even tasted a blend of Pinot Noir and Shiraz for the first time in my life!

I ended up bringing to Australia the cab sav Casa Valduga Premium.

But the climax of the trip was in fact our wine tour to the facilities at Miolo and the tasting of some of their best wines.


Due to the hilly ground of the Valley of the Vineyards, the grape harvest is manual in the region. And walking around there was even harder to think about a mechanical harvesting at Miolo hills..

The soil conditions together with high investment in equipment have transformed Miolo in the leading national market for fine wines from the Brazilian wineries.

Miolo Lote 43

One of the wines that I tasted and ended up bringing a bottle to Australia was the Merlot Terroir 2008. The 2005 one was recently chosen in London as the best Merlot in the world in its price range.


To end on a high note nothing better than a game of dominoes with my family in front of a fireplace, accompanied by “pinhão sapecado”, cheeses and fine wines from the Vale dos Vinhedos, of course!

I’m gonna miss it!

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