Bela Vista is a district in downtown São Paulo. It is commonly referred as Bixiga.
Besides being one of the biggest meccas of Italian culture outside of Italy itself, Bela Vista, also known as Bexiga or Bixiga, became home to the city's most important theater venues and also has a vibrant nightlife, dotted with bars where bands, be they new or veteran, show off all their skills when it comes to rocking the place.
Fashionistas and their followers have recently found the place, and usually meet at Club Glória for a chat and a dance. The section is also home to Vai-vai, Sao Paulo's most popular Samba School, which practices weekly before Carnival on a "quadra" near 14 Bis square/9 de Julho Avenue, and not too far from Our Lady Achiropita church, a center of Italian culture in the city. Despite its Italian roots, the church caters to African-Brazilians and Nordestinos (Northeasterners), as well, as the section is home to many of them. So, "atabaque" drums and African rythms and rites can be part of the liturgy.
On Saturdays and Sundays, an antique fair takes place at Dom Orione square near Morro dos Ingleses --Hill of the English-- with its colonial style steps and lightpoles that lead to Rua dos Ingleses & Franceses square with some modern sculpture fountains as part of a residential building complex. Some early 20th century mansion leftovers can still be appreciated on both streets.
There are a few small theaters in the area, and the most important ones are located on Rui Barbosa avenue --Sergio Cardoso State Theater,-- and Brigadeiro Luis Antonio avenue, which is often called the "Broadway Brasileira" because musicals such as The Beauty & the Beast and Phantom of The Opera and Miss Saigon have been presented at the Abril Cultural Center in a former Paramount movie theater.
- Future station Bixiga and Treze de Maio of metro line 6.
- Buses that drive on avenues Brigadeiro Luís Antônio and 9 de julho.
- São Paulo Museum of Art (Museu de Arte de São Paulo - MASP), Av. Paulista. The most important museum of European and Western art in the city, with a collection that focus on paintings but also contains sculptures, drawings, antiques and other different works. It also hosts temporary exhibitions of modern art and has a buffet restaurant in its basement restaurant. edit
- Trianon Park, Av. Paulista. Park with some native Brazilian/Paulistan tree species. edit
Two upscale gay saunas Borges Lagoa and For Friends are located in the area.
- Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia (TBC), Rua Major Diogo 315, tel. +55 11 3104-5523.
- Teatro Bibi Ferreira, Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio 931, tel. +55 11 3105-3129.
- Ágora Centro de Desenvolvimento Teatral, Rua Rui Barbosa, 672, +55 11 3284-0290
- Teatro Jardel Filho, Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 88, +55 11 3107-3364.
- Teatro Jofre Soares, Rua Major Diogo, 547, +55 11 3105-9463.
- Teatro Maria Della Costa, Rua Paim, 72, +55 11 3256-9115.
- Teatro Oficina, Rua Jaceguai, 520, +55 11 3106-2818, Political epicenter in the 1960's.
- Teatro Pirandello, Rua Major Diogo, 578, +55 11 3242-3393.
- Teatro Sérgio Cardoso, Rua Rui Barbosa, 153, +55 11 3288-0136 .
- Teatro Ruth Escobar, Rua dos Ingleses, 209, +55 11 3289-2358.
- Antique Fair, Dom Orione Square (between 13 de Maio street and Ruy Barbosa). edit
- Shopping Paulista. edit
Bixiga's cantinas and pizzerias are amongst the best in the city. Try authentic fresh Portuguese rolls or Italian loaf with butter and "pingado," or "cafe' com leite" --coffee with cream-- from the bakery at the corner of Conselheiro Carrao and 13 de Maio streets. You won't regret!
- Bassi, Rua 13 de Maio, 668, tel. 11 3288-7045. The exception is a meat specialist.
- Cantina D'Angelo, Rua Humaitá, 258, tel. 11 3106-4274.
- Capuano, Rua Conselheiro Carrão, 416, tel. 11 3288-1460.
- Il Cacciatore, Rua Santo Antônio, 855, tel. 11 3120-5119.
- La Penisola,Rua João Passaláqua, 170, tel. 11 3112-2592.
- Montechiaro, Rua Santo Antônio, 844/846, tel. 11 3259-2727.
- Roperto, Rua 13 de Maio 634, ☎ 011/3288-2573. Cosy and comfortable Italian restaurant that serves trypical Italian fare. Be sure to try the baby goat's leg with potatoes and tomatoes, its a speciality of the house. edit
- Taberna do Julio, Rua Conselheiro Carrão, 392 tel. 11 3289-0421.
- Afro Spot, Rua 13 de Maio, 48, tel. 11 3151-3974.
- Clube Glória, Rua Treze de Maio, 830, tel. 11 3287-3700. Designers, models and their friends.
- Cafe Piu Piu, Rua 13 de Maio 134, ☎ 011/3258-8066. The place to go for live music, especially jazz and blues. Has an old world feel with marble bar tops and antique balconies, but its the perfect place to hear good music. edit