Why have we never been to Embu das Artes before? Well, actually, we’ve been twice, but both times on election Sundays, when the art fair wasn’t held. But we made it at last, twice, while Woody was visiting. I’m certainly going back again, many times.

Embu das Artes is a small town about 10 miles from downtown Sao Paulo. It takes more time to get free of the vortex of Sao Paulo than it takes to reach Embu. Only a few miles, but a different world.


On Sundays, the town closes many of the city-center roads, which are then filled with vendors selling everything from clothing for dogs to unique sculptures and other works of original art. You can also watch the artists at work.

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Plus, there are sweets and flowers and jewelry and unique furniture (the fellow below is pounding pieces of wood into a frame, making a beautiful table top). It’s a sensual delight.

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Woody and I found several “treasures” at the antique vendors, including an etched silver boot stirrup for her mother (it’ll look beautiful on a table with a tiny fern in it), a tea dispenser, and several silver serving cups.

Woody also bought a beautiful carved wooden statue of St. Teresa of Avila, carved by one of Brazil’s renowned santos carvers. We both bought small carved statues of St. Longinho (saint of lost items), whose powers were immediately evident when Woody’s son Hunter found his previously “lost” wallet and all his money. Accordingly, Woody did the “hop, skip, and jump” and shouted “Thank you, St. Longinho!” in thanksgiving.


On our second trip, Woody bought me a small statue of Father Cicero, a Brazilian saint known to work miracles. I’m keeping him in reserve for future needs.

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When you are tired of shopping, you can sit in any one of several cafes near the church square and enjoy a meal, a coffee, or a small beer…or two.


We tried our first caldo de cana, sugar cane juice, and I’m hooked. It’s lovely and light and sweet, but not too sweet. Add a touch of lime, and it’s heaven.


Whether you spend an hour or a day, Embu is worth the trip on a Sunday. I’m so glad we’ve visited at last, and it took Woody to get us here!