The guide Edison Cabral explained that Giuseppe Martinelli was an Italian master builder from Tuscany that arrived in Brazil as an immigrant in 1892 attracted by the coffee plantations. With the fortune he made with his shipping coffee business he built this palace in 10 years (1924-1934) with the Hungarian architect William Fillinger.
From there I passed by Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil but I decided to keep going because there was a huge queue at the entrance for Picasso show. I visited the Cathedral and the stunning Sao Bento church instead but I couldn't take photos in there. Plenty of homeless people along the streets...
Thanks to Lonely Planet guide's suggestion (my traveler's bible) I went to visit the covered Belle Epoque style Mercado Municipal. It was an amazing market where the Brazilian ability to sell and package culinary items excelled!
After the market I met these two singers and story tellers Pernabu and Alagoas. Peneira & Sonador one of the best duo of improvising rimes or Emboladores e Repentistas in Brazil. They were amazing and it was so hilarious hearing them improvising a story about me and my husband Chris so far apart and trusting each other. I recorded it with my tape recorder as a birthday present for Chris!
I finished my day with the visit to the studio/home of Lidia Lisboa the Brazilian artist I met at Galeria Rabieh. It was so inspiring to see how Lidia can work in such a small place producing hips of work and storing it in her bedroom, kitchen and entrance of her apartment. Even her dog has learnt how to live with Lidia's world! Lidia is thinking to try to sell her artwork overseas such as New York because at Sao Paulo there is no market for her. She will be part of SP Art Fair at mid April, a big opportunity for her artwork to be recognised. I wished her best luck and we promised each other to stay in contact.