Caxias do Sul

The Diocese of Caxias do Sul.
Praça Dante in 1933.
Central Business District in Caxias do Sul.

Caxias do Sul is the second largest city in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul after the capital city of Porto Alegre. It is a major industrial center in the region dealing mostly in metallurgy, bus manufacturing, and grape production. It is a strong center of Italian-Brazilian culture and seen as the Capital da Serra Gaúcha or Capital of the Gaucho Mountain Range. It is one of the wealthiest cities per capita in Brazil. It's also a sleepy and traditional Italian-type city.

Understand

The history of Caxias do Sul starts before the arrival of the Italians, when the region was being roamed by cattlemen and occupied by Indians. Back then, the region was called "Indians' Field". The Italian immigrants' occupation, mostly farmers from the Veneto region (northern Italy), started taking place in 1875 in Nova Milano. Hence, they were in search of a better place to live. They also met people from Lombardy, Trento, and other places. Although they had gotten some governmental support, such as tools, supplies, and seeds, everything had to be reimbursed.

Two years later, the colonial headquarters of the Indians' Field was given the name Caxias Colony. The town was created on July 20, 1890 and acknowledged in the same year, on August 24. Many economic cycles marked the evolution of the city throughout that century. The first one is connected to the most peculiar aspect of its cultural identity: the growth of vines and the production of wine for own consumption at first, and later on, for commercialization.

On June 1, 1910, Caxias do Sul was elevated to the category of city. On the same day, the first train arrived connecting the region to the state capital. Although the immigrants were farmers, many of them used to perform other activities. They settled down, urbanized the region, and started a fast-paced process of industrialization.

In the countryside, subsistence agriculture concentrates on the cultivation of grapes, wheat, and corn. Home-based manufacturing started to emerge and the overproduction was commercialized. Home-based manufacturing and Caxias do Sul evolved from having small home-based workshops to today's big factories, which are known internationally.

Nowadays, Caxias do Sul is an important city, and due to its industrious colonists, is home to vast vineyards, wineries, a varied industrial park, and a rich and dynamic market. Those attributes grant this land great importance, the reason why Caxias do Sul, called "pearl of the colonies", is considered the center of the Italian presence in Southern Brazil.

Caxias do Sul is today the hub centralizing the region more diverse than Brazil, with its industrious settlers, its vast vineyards, his winery, his varied industrial park and a rich and dynamic trade, which gives the land a further dimension, why Caxias do Sul, the "Pearl of the Colonies", is, by itself, the pole centralizing the Italian brand in southern Brazil.

Get in

Caxias do Sul is 128 km from Porto Alegre.

By plane

  Aeroporto Hugo Cantergiani, Avenida Salgado Filho 3451,  +55 54 3901-1219. There are flights into and out of Caxias do Sul via São Paulo airports (GRU and CGH), Curitiba (CWB) and Campinas (VCP). Many travelers simply fly into Porto Alegre's airport (POA) and get a comfortable executive bus to Caxias do Sul which is only two hours away. Compare fares to both airports.

Airlines serving Caxias do Sul include:


By bus

The main intercity bus station (rodoviária) in Caxias do Sul.

  Estação Rodoviária de Caxias do Sul (Intercity bus station), Rua Ernesto Alves 1341,  +55 54 3218-3000, e-mail: . Comfortable and air-conditioned executive coaches are available from Porto Alegre and many other cities throughout Rio Grande do Sul state to Caxias do Sul. The bus station has a snack bar, shops with newspapers, magazines, and souvenirs. It also has a baggage storage services (guarda volumes, located in Sector 6, west side of the station) if you plan on just visiting town while waiting for another bus. Most travelers coming from the metropolitan Porto Alegre region will take the CAXIENSE busline to Caxias do Sul. If traveling to Caxias do Sul from another area, check the bus station website where you can check schedules, verify bus fare, and even purchase tickets (although a CPF, Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas, or Natural Persons Register Number is necessary). Most foreigners simply show up at the time of travel and purchase a ticket. In general, there are vacancies on the buses if you're not traveling during a holiday.

Intercity buslines that operate at the Caxias do Sul intercity bus station:

By car

BR-116 North (Porto Alegre to Caxias do Sul). If you plan on driving throughout the Serra Gaúcha, you may find better rental prices in Porto Alegre than in Caxias do Sul. Compare the rental prices at the Porto Alegre Salgado Filho airport.

Get around

By taxi

Taxi service in Caxias do Sul is very reliable. You will nearly always get a taxi from a taxi queue instead of hailing one off of the street. Use usual precautions and make sure that you know what the starting fare should be before getting into the taxi and which flag or "bandeira" should be used for that time of day. If the taximeter starts running before your driver even starts the trip, ask him or her to zero out the taximeter (zerar o taxímetro). Normal working days during working hours are "bandeira 1" which is less expensive.

By bus

Visate local buses can take travelers all around the city.

By car

There are a couple of places to rent a car if you're planning on seeing points outside of the center of the city or if you plan to travel throughout the Serra Gaúcha.

See

Interior of the São Pelegrino Church in Caxias do Sul.
Casa de Pedra (House of Stone Museum) shows Italian immigrant life in 19th century Caxias do Sul.
Vineyards in Caxias do Sul.
Museu de Uva e Vinho Primo Slomp (Museum of Grapes and Wine)
Waterfall in Galópolis
Castelo Chateau Lacave

Do

Eat

Drink

Bars

Electronic music venues

Country music venues

Traditional gaucho venues

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

Routes through Caxias do Sul

Novo Hamburgo Nova Petrópolis  S  N  Vacaria Lages
Garibaldi Farroupilha  W  E  São Francisco da Paula Terra de Areia
São Vendelino Farroupilha  W  N  Flores da Cunha Antônio Prado
Start of Road  W  E  São Francisco de Paula
Feliz Vale Real  S  N  Start of Road


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 27, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.