You want to learn about the south of Brazil? My Little Brasil takes you on a trip to Florianópolis, the capital of the state of Santa Catarina, known for its good quality of life.
Florianópolis, land of immigration in the South of Brazil
The first inhabitants of the region were the native tupi-guaranis and it’s around 1675 when occupation of the island started and Francisco Dias Velho, a Brazilian bandeirante, gave it the name Nossa Senhora do Desterro.
This occupation quickly became militarized for the defense of the Portuguese territories, which corresponded to the first large wave of immigration, mainly from the island of the Azores.
In the 19th century, Desterro was elevate to the status of a city and became the capital of the state of Santa Catarina in 1823. The investments in the state that followed this change signaled the start of a period of economic prosperity for the city, which allowed it to develop and modernize its political and cultural activities.
Nossa Senhora do Desterro was renamed as Florianópolis in 1894 in honor of Floriano Peixoto, the second President of Brazil.
Florianópolis, the island-city of 42 beaches
Florianópolis, also known as Floripa by the locals, has the peculiarity of being half part of continental Brazil and half an island.
With 420 000 inhabitants, majority being Portuguese, German and Italian descendants, it is not the most populated city of Santa Catarina but is the principal tourist destination because of its 42 paradise-like beaches (read our article on our favorite 7 beaches in Brazil).
The subtropical, humid climate is marked by seasons since it rains much more in summer than the winter where the average temperature is around 16C.
The economy of Florianópolis, technology and tourism
The south of Brazil is the most developed region of the country and Florianópolis particularly demonstrates this characteristic.
Its economic activity is based almost entirely on its services’ industry, centered around information and communication technology. The objective of local authorities is to make Florianópolis the “Silicon Valley” of Brazil.
Floripa has become over the past several years a large tourist destination in the south of Brazil to the point where during the high season the population doubles.
Tourists go for the numerous beaches, especially surfing amateurs, the hiking, and the animated nightlife.
What a nice surprise, by walking from one beach to another, to discover the hidden corners of the island that are practically uninhabited!
Cultural activity in Floripa
In addition to the beaches, you can go for walks in the picturesque neighborhoods of Santo Antônio de Lisboa and Ribeirão da Ilha, which are witnesses to the cultural and architectural heritage of the Portuguese colonization period.
These are the perfect spots to walk around in with your family or for a romantic evening.
With it’s two large theaters and its numerous museums Floripa, origin city for the famous tennis player Gustavo Kuerten, is the ideal city for a variety of activities from relaxing on the beach to cultural experiences.
In the cultural center CIC, you can, for example, visit the museum of art of Santa Catarina, the museum of image and sound or even the Lindolf Bell space.
The federal university of Santa Catarina, one of the best in Brazil, also has its own museum.
Did we make you want to pack up your suitcase and travel to Floripa?