The state of RIO GRANDE DO SUL has many peculiarities like the way the Gaucho tallks pronouncing the words and using the pronoun "tu" instead of the third person singular "voce" which gives the impression of a certain informality.
Rio Grande do Sul became part of Brazil quite late in the history because according to the Tratado de Tordesilhas the Portuguese territory ended in Santa Catarina. The land south of Laguna, Santa Catarina, was inhabited since the beginning of the XVII century by the indians Guaranis, Tapes, Charruas and Minuanos. Only much later it became part of Brazil when more than 500 families were sent from the Açores Islands (Portugal) to begin the settlement.
The foundation of Porto Alegre goes back to the 18th Century, when Portugal decided to populate the area in order to stop the Spanish expansion. In 1772 sixty couples coming from the Açores Islands settled at the riverside of the Guaiba. The Porto dos Casais as they first called this settlement , changed soon its name to Porto Alegre. The geographical situation of the city permitted a quick development thanks to the many rivers like Jacui, Gravataí, Sinos and Caí which were used for transportation of goods coming from the area nearby.
During the first decades of the last century the city grew steadily thanks to the arrival of the European immigrants especially Germans and Italians. At the beginning of the 20th. Century Porto Alegre was already the richest city of the state and today the city offers wide avenues, big parks, trade centers, shopping malls and sophisticated residential areas and suburbs. With 1,5 million people Porto Alegre is number six on the national ranking and the most important industrial and commercial area of the South of Brazil.
Porto Alegre has several universities, seven TV networks, cable TV, lots of art galleries and museums. The city, which has its own symphonic orchestra (OSPA), offers a great range of cultural events. It has a large variety of restaurants. The immigrants brought along their own cuisine but nothing is better known then the barbecue or "churrasco".
Like most major cities, the downtown area is located in the old part of the city with lovely architecture like the "Praça da Matriz", where you will find the Governor's Palace, the Cathedral, the Legislative Assembly, the Palace of Justice, São Pedro Theater , Solar dos Câmaras(one of the oldest "mansions" in town) , Public Library, etc.
Population of Porto Alegre: 1.500.000 inhabitants.
Porto Alegre plus the Metropolitan area: 2.000.000 inhabitants.
Metropolitan cities: Araricá, Campo Bom, Dois Irmãos, Estância Velha, Esteio, Ivoti, Nova Hartz, Nova Santa Rita, Novo Hamburgo, Portão, São Leopoldo, Sapiranga, Sapucaia do Sul, Alvorada, Cachoeirinha, Eldorado do Sul, Glorinha, Gravataí, Guaíba and Viamão.
Highways: Br 116, Br 101, Br 290, Br 158, Br 153.
Altitude: 33 feet
Area Code: (51) sice June 1, 2001 the telephones in Porto Alegre have 8 digits and the first number is 3.
Porto-alegrenses are very friendly and love to sit and talk while
drinking a good "chimarrão" or. "cafèzinho". "Chimarrão"
is a popular gaucho drink, similar to tea but served in a very different
way. It is drunk from a "cuia", the shell of a local gourd, using
a steel straw. "Cafèzinho" is hot, strong coffee drunk from a small