World Cup Brazil city guide: Recife


BBC Brazil's Camilla Costa offers an insider's view of the 12 cities hosting matches in this year's Fifa World Cup tournament.



Image source, Google
Image source, Rafa Medeiros
Image caption,
The name 'Recife' means reef in Portuguese

Recife is one of the most important state capitals in north-eastern Brazil.

Although it was also colonised by the Portuguese, the city was ruled by the Dutch for 24 years.

Today it is known for its popular culture festivals, as a technology hub and, less auspiciously, high rates of homicide.


Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Arena Pernambuco. Capacity: 46,154

Built from scratch, Arena Pernambuco is located in Sao Lourenco da Mata, 14 miles (22km) from Recife's downtown area.

Partly because of the distance from the city, local teams were reluctant to accept the stadium as their home ground.

Nautico, the smallest of Recife's very popular teams, will be based there after the World Cup.

Culture and cuisine

Image source, Marcio Ribeiro
Image caption,
Sururu clams are known as poor man's oysters in parts of Brazil

If visiting the city in June, you'll find yourself in the middle of the Sao Joao (Saint John) festival, popular in many parts of Brazil, and rivalled only by carnival in Recife.

Here, the festival has a very special flavour. There are delicacies made from corn and peanuts, eaten to the sound of forro - a traditional folk music.

Recife's caldo de sururu - a soup made with small clams - is one of the city's most famous foods. It is served in bars as a snack, to accompany a cold beer.

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