Piracicaba is a city in Campinas Region of São Paulo state. The birthplace of the caipirinha, Piracicaba is regarded as one of the most pleasant medium-sized cities in the state. Attractions of the city include a charming riverside area, historical heritage, Tyrolese villages and the beautiful campus of the agriculture school of University of São Paulo.
Campinas is undoubtedly the largest city and economic powerhouse of the Campinas Region, but hardly any city of the region beats Piracicaba in terms of cultural vibrancy. The city has several cultural centers, annual traditions from both caipira and immigrant origins, and is the birthplace of the caipirinha.
Founded in 1776 at the shores of the Piracicaba river, the so-called Vila Nova da Constituição grew with sugarcane production, unlike most of the São Paulo state which grew with coffee farming. Thanks to city council member Prudente de Moraes, who would later become the first civil president of Brazil, in 1881 Vila Nova da Constituição changed its name to Piracicaba. Sugarcane remains very important to the city's economy, as Piracicaba is a major producer of ethanol.
- Rua do Porto (Parallel to R. Alidor Pecorari). The pedestrianized street in the front of the Piracicaba river, containing old, colorful fisherman houses, is not only a place with excellent bars and restaurants, but also where the city was first settled.
- Casarão do Turismo, Rua do Porto, 1433, ☎ (19) 3403-1270, (19) 3422-5115. This 19th-century house is used as tourist information center, and hosts some cultural expositions. Not open on Monday.
- Salto do Rio Piracicaba, Av. Beira Rio, s/n (Near the Museum of Water). A small segmented waterfall in the Piracicaba River.
- Parque do Mirante, Av. Maurice Allain, s/n (Next to Engenho Velho), ☎ (19) 3417-9494. Park by the Piracicaba river, that provides some nice views of the segmented waterfall, the Rua do Porto, and the city center.
- Engenho Central, Av. Maurice Allain, 454, ☎ (19) 3403-2600. 08AM-06PM. With an area of 85 thousand square meters, the "Barão de Rezende" sugar mill, constructed in a 1881, is a valuable historical heritage. It hosts several cultural events.
- Museu da Água, Av. Beira Rio, 448, ☎ (19) 3432-8063. wed-fri, 07AM-5PM, sat-sun 09AM-05:45PM. Built in 1887, the old water catchment station is now an educational museum and offers some nice views of the Piracicaba river.
- Casa do Povoador, Av. Beira Rio, 800, ☎ (19) 3434-8605. 08AM-12PM, 01PM-05PM. Rammed-earth house constructed between the 18th and 19th centuries, used to host small expositions.
- Alto Mirante, Ponte “Caio Tabajara Esteves de Lima (North of Parque Mirante, on the SP-127 bridge). Fri/Sat/Sun 11am-9am. Tourist elevator on the bridge above the Piracicaba waterfall. Good view of downtown and river. R$2.
- Centro Cultural Martha Watts (Old Colégio Piracicabano), Rua Boa Morte, 1257 - Centro, ☎ (19) 3124-1889. mon-fri, 09AM-05PM. Former school founded in 1881 by an American missionary, nowadays a cultural center.
- Museu Prudente de Morais, Rua Santo Antônio, 641 - Centro, ☎ (19) 3432-2148. tue-sun, 09AM-05PM. Museum dedicated to the history of Piracicaba and Brazil's first civil president, Prudente de Moraes, who lived in the same construction during the XIX century. Built in an eclectic style, it is a national heritage site.
- Igreja Metodista de Piracicaba, R. Dom Pedro x R. Gov. Pedro de Toledo. The Methodist church in Piracicaba started with American missionaries, the same ones who founded the Colégio Piracicabano and the Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (UNIMEP). The current construction is from 1922.
- Pinacoteca Municipal, Rua Moraes Barros, 233 - Centro, ☎ (19) 3433-4930. mon-fri, 08AM-05PM. The contemporary-style building hosts temporary art expositions.
- Igreja Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte, Rua Boa Morte, 1835 - Centro. The church and the annex school (former Colégio Assunção) were founded in 1893 by Salesian nuns, intended to compete with the Methodist Colégico Piracicabano. Colégio Assunção (nowadays Colégio Dom Bosco Assunção) used to be a girls-only school, where women of some of the wealthiest families in the region have studied.
- E. E. Barão de Geraldo, Rua Ipiranga, 924 - Centro. Historical public school, founded in 1897. Its charming facade illustrates the high quality of Brazilian public schools at the end of the XIX century.
- E. E. Moraes Barros, R. Treze de Maio x R. do Rosário - Centro. Another fancy-looking public school, founded in 1900.
- Igreja dos Frades (Igreja Sagrado Coração de Jesus de Piracicaba), Rua São Francisco de Assis, 640 - Centro. Church founded in 1897 by Capuchin friars from Trento, also to contain the expansion of the Methodist church in the city.
- Estação da Paulista, Av. Dr. Paulo de Moraes, 1540 - Paulista, ☎ (19) 3402-7373. 08AM-05PM. Piracicaba's train station, inaugurated in 1922 and deactivated in 1970. Now it hosts a cultural center.
- Praça José Bonifácio, Centro. Piracicaba's central square, where the city's cathedral, built in 1959 in Romantic style, is located. Hosts a handcrafts fair in the first week of each month.
- Mercado Municipal, Rua Governador Pedro de Toledo, between R. Dom Pedro I and R. Dom Pedro II. Market with individual stalls: fruit/veg, meat, pastaleria.
- ESALQ (Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz), Av. Pádua Dias, 11 - Agronomia, ☎ (19) 3429-4198. mon-sat, 08AM-06PM. The University of São Paulo's agriculture school, founded in 1901, is also one of the Piracicaba's main postcards. Its attractions are its beautiful, early 20th century buildings and surrounding green areas.
- E. E. Sud Mennucci, Rua São João 1121 - Cidade Alta (Within walking distance from downtown). This impressive construction, from 1917, hosts a public school founded by the Italian educator Sud Mennuci. It was used in the past for preparing teachers, hence the sign "Escola Normal".
- Colégio Dom Bosco Cidade Alta, Rua Alfredo Guedes, 1199 – Cidade Alta. The "other" Dom Bosco Catholic school, located in a beautiful eclectic structure, inaugurated in 1950.
- Igreja Bom Jesus do Monte, Rua Bom Jesus x Rua Morais Barros - Cidade Alta. Beautiful Catholic church decorated with angels and a Christ the Redeemer statue.
- Monte Alegre neighborhood (Northwest of the city). A historical neighborhood built around the "Monte Alegre" sugarcane mill, founded in 1824 and deactivated in 1980. Along with the mill, it also contains a church, constructed in 1936, and several worker houses previously inhabited by Italian immigrants. Many constructions are in poor state, although a revitalization process has been started recently.
- Santa Olímpia neighborhood (About 8 km from the center of Piracicaba). Santa Olímpia is a rural Tyrolese neighborhood that maintains strong traditions. It is best visited during a cultural event such as the Festival da Polenta.
- Piracicaba river boat ride, (19) 9747-4545. 15-minute boat rides along the Piracicaba river, departing at Rua do Porto. Day trips to other municipalities (like Barra Bonita) are also available by reservation.
- Rua do Porto Handcrafts Fair, Rua do Porto. weekends, 10AM-06PM. Handcrafts fair that typically happens in Rua do Porto during saturdays and sundays. Check the website for exact dates.
- Centro Handcrafts Fair, Praça José Bonifácio - Centro. tue-fri 10AM-05PM, sat 10AM-02PM. Handcrafts fair that happens in the city center, starting in the first tuesday of each month and ending on saturdays. Check the website for exact dates.
Piracicaba's most famous local dish is the peixe no tambor ("fish in the drum"), served on Rua do Porto. Piracicaba is also famous for its pamonha, a dessert made of mashed corn, milk (or coconut milk), sugar, cinnamon, butter and fennel, produced in the rural neighborhood of Tanquinho. The restaurants of the Santa Olímpia neighborhood also offer dishes of Tyrolese origin, like polenta with chicken, canederli and polenta brustolada.
- Municipal Market, Rua Governador Pedro de Toledo, 1336. Founded in 1888, Piracicaba's municipal market is a great place to eat pamonha.
- Remador, Rua Remador 1689 - Parque do Porto, ☎ (19) 3371-7374. Fish restaurant decorated with caipira handcrafts and sculptures.
- Dezoitos, Rua Alidor Pecorari, 1917 - Parque do Porto, ☎ (19) 3434-6225. A traditional and popular restaurant that serves peixe no tambor. Pay per kilogram of fish.
- Antonio´s Palace Hotel, Av. Independência, 2805 - Cidade Alta, ☎ 19 3417-6000, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Colina Park Hotel, Avenida Doutor Paulo de Moraes, 460 - Castelinho, ☎ 19 3422 1555.
- Hotel Beira Rio, Rua Luiz Curiacos, 51 - Centro, ☎ 19 3401-1000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hotel Ibis, Av Armando Dedini,125.
- Hotel Nacional, Rua do Rosário, 1358, ☎ 19 3428-4000.
- Hotel Saint Paul, Av. Dr. Cássio Pascoal Padovani, 1615 - Santa Cecília, ☎ 19 3414-4115.
- Princeton Hotel, Rua Prudente de Moraes, 543 - Centro, ☎ 19 3433-5790.
- Royal Park Hotel, Rua Saldanha Marinho, 555 - Cidade Jardim, ☎ 19 3434-5091, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Águas de São Pedro - A prosperous and charming mineral spring resort town.