ISA students playing volleyball on a beach in Florianopolis, Brazil

A Photographic Journey Through Florianópolis, Brazil

By Rodrigo Ferrari Franzoni, Resident Director

Nature has never gathered so much beauty!

Boats floating offshore of Florianopolis, Brazil
You can’t help but feel relaxed by the spectacular views throughout the island. (Photo by Rodrigo Ferrari Franzoni)

Florianopolis, or Floripa as it’s affectionately referred to by us locals, is known to Brazilians as a hidden treasure. Although it’s only a short flight from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the island is a vacation destination known for its relaxing nature, panoramic vistas, and gorgeous beaches. Let me tell you: living on this island is spectacular. It is amazing to wake up every day and see the ocean and the bay area on the way to the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina. I take buses each day and love that it’s 30 minutes of wonderful views. Life feels easier this way.

Historic building in Florianopolis, Brazil
The historic Palacio Cruz e Sousa now serves as a museum that ISA students often visit. It’s located right on the Unisul campus, making it an easy stop after classes. (Photo by Rodrigo Ferrari Franzoni)

At the center of the city, we have several historical buildings that were part of the Portuguese colonization. Floripa has always been a strategic stop since the times of the great European voyages to the Americas. Also, because of all the archaeological material in Sambaquis (mounds of shells) found on the island, we know that people have inhabited this island for thousands of years. As Zininho, the poet who created the Anthem of Florianopolis, would say, “Nature never met so much beauty.”

A dog on a beach in Florianopolis, Brazil
A playful dog takes a morning dip on Praia Joaquina. (Photo by Maddie Townsend)

Mountains, beaches, dunes, lakes, fauna, and flora make up diverse scenery in every part of the city. Hiking through the mountains of the island, surfing and going to one of the 42 beaches are activities that are part of our everyday routine.

And I do not even need to talk about soccer, which is the passion of every Brazilian. We have two soccer teams with thousands of loyal fans.

An outdoor restaurant in Florianopolis, Brazil
Right down the street from the Unisul Centro campus is the Mercado Público. This is a popular lunch and shopping spot for both locals and students. (Photo by Rodrigo Ferrari Franzoni)

In addition to all the natural attractions, the city also has many options for more urban people, with large supermarkets, malls, restaurants, and shops throughout the island. You can walk and take buses to any part of the island. Public transportation works very well, and it is easy to travel around the city by bus. Florianopolis has a reputation for being one of the friendliest, safest cities in Brazil.

A local fruit stand in Florianopolis, Brazil
The historic centro area of Florianópolis is pedestrian friendly and full of places to explore. Along the streets, local vendors sell everything from fruit to handmade lace. (Photo by Maddie Townsend)

The highlight of the city are the people. Like most Brazilians, we are a very kind and receptive people. We like to welcome foreigners in Floripa, especially when they are interested in Portuguese Language and in learning about our culture and people.

Photo of the ISA Abroad office in Florianopolis, Brazil
One of my favorite views of the city is right from the ISA office at Unisul! (Photo by Rodrigo Ferrari Franzoni)

Floripa is such a beautiful place with wonderful natural beauty and lots of historical, cultural, and artistic wealth. The only hard part of coming to Floripa will be having to go back home!


Learn more about ISA’s study abroad program in Florianópolis, Brazil.

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