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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

A Day Above São Paulo, Brazil: The Italian Building Observation Deck

The Edifício Itália in São Paulo, Brazil


The Italian Building Observation Deck in São Paulo, Brazil
The Italian Building Observation Deck in São Paulo, Brazil

I've always been enamored with city skylines. Whenever I travel to a new city, I try to visit the highest natural peek or one of the tallest buildings. There's a certain magic about seeing a city from high above. So, when I was in São Paulo, Brazil, I set out with a friend to visit the observation deck at the iconic Italian Building, referred to by locals as the Edifício Itália.


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“The city framed by the mountains in the distance, looked like a beautiful landscape painting. For a photography aficionado like me, this was paradise. The never-ending panorama of buildings in a city with more than 12 million people was stunning.”

Before delving into my personal experience, it's crucial to understand the story behind Edifício Itália. Originally named the Circolo Italiano de São Paulo, it pays tribute to the massive Italian diaspora that chose São Paulo as their new home. German-Brazilian architect Franz Heep brought to life a blend of modernist elements that perfectly mirror São Paulo's people and spirit.


The building is located in the Centro district of São Paulo, making it easily accessible and central to other tourist attractions in the city. Once standing tall as Brazil's pinnacle, even though many skyscrapers have since eclipsed its height, its stature in São Paulo’s urban legend remains uncontested.


I headed into the elevator, and in no time, I reached the top floor where a beautiful restaurant called Terraço Itália is located. While my friend and I were not there to eat, they did offer a glass of Champaigne to us as part of the ticket package that we purchased. Terraço Itália’s rooftop restaurant and bar is located on the 46th floor. It offers panoramic views of São Paulo, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals. It's especially renowned for its sunset views.


We made our way to the perimeter of the restaurant to the open-air observation deck. Stepping out onto the deck, São Paulo stretched out before us like an artist's canvas painted with structures, roads, and different colored buildings. Iconic landmarks like the Municipal Theatre, the unique curvature of the Copan Building, and the São Paulo Cathedral were easily discernible.


The city framed by the mountains in the distance, looked like a beautiful landscape painting. For a photography aficionado like me, this was paradise. The never-ending panorama of buildings in a city with more than 12 million people was stunning.


Edifício Itália stands is an example of modernist architecture. It's clean lines, large windows, and imposing structure makes it stand out in São Paulo's skyline. The building rises to a height of 165 meters, making it one of the tallest buildings in São Paulo. When it was completed in 1965, it was the tallest building in Brazil.


Besides the famous Terraço Itália, the building houses office spaces, a theater, and a gallery. Its multifunctional nature adds to its significance in São Paulo's urban landscape.


Edifício Itália stands as a symbol of the significant Italian influence in São Paulo, given that the city has the largest Italian community outside Italy. Many Italian immigrants came to São Paulo in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and their influence can be felt throughout the city, from its restaurants to its architecture.


Due to its architectural, cultural, and historical significance, the building has been preserved over the years. This preservation ensures that it remains a vital part of São Paulo's history and urban landscape.


If you ever get the chance to visit São Paulo, a trip to the Edifício Itália, is highly recommended. I'd suggest visiting during weekdays, preferably early morning or late afternoon for the best views and fewer crowds. If you are there in the late afternoon, you are sure to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Check the museum’s official website for up-to-date entrance fees, hours, and any special events. Accessibility is well-thought-out, ensuring everyone can enjoy the building.


Book a Private Tour: São Paulo Tour with Ibirapuera Park, Paulista Avenue and Downtown

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