A few weeks ago, I took a tour of downtown São Paulo and the bohemian ‘hood of Vila Madalena (aka Madville – just coined by yours truly) with one Flavia Liz Di Paolo, professional travel guide. Flavia Liz, full of spunk and moxie and who speaks, like, seven languages, offers personalized tours of São Paulo to small groups, often comprised of visiting dignitaries, celebrities, and other VIPs. Whether you’re into food, fashion, architecture, ecology, or social awareness – she’s one of the only outfits in town that offers tours of the favelas ringing the city – Flavia Liz knows exactly where to take you and exactly what to tell you.
The tour I took with Flavia Liz, along with Nacho (a film producer from Spain) and Pedro (who runs the travel site Sem Destino and filmed us traisping around town), encompassed the school where São Paulo was founded, the cavernous Financial District with the Brazilian stock exchange, humongous cathedrals, and the graffiti-covered Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley). I learned crazy facts like how a historic house gets torn down in the city every ten hours and that there were a hell of a lot of important buildings designed by German architects. Random. But then, I like random facts. So come along with me for a brief tour of my beloved adopted hometown; the video is mostly in Portuguese, aside from my bits, but let the imagery transport you.
And when you’re in town, hit Flavia Liz up for one of her tailor-made tours at Unique in SP. She’s fly.