Sao Paulo, Brazil - "My City" with Giovanni Vianna
My City is a Volcom video series showcasing the Latin American Skate Team as they take us through their hometowns, showing us where they grew up skating and what struggles they had to overcome along the way.
In episode four of My City we visit 16-year-old Giovanni Vianna from ABC in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the most populous city in the country as well as the Southern Hemisphere. ABC is traditionally an industrial region in Sao Paulo, known for their automotive manufacturing, but with its own identity. The acronym comes from three cities which originally formed the region: Santo Andre, Sao Bernardo do Campo, and Sao Caetano do Sul. Rich with shopping malls and town centers, these areas serve as a perfect landscape for Giovanni and his friends to skate, finding solids transitions, stairs, and rails in between the many pedestrians making their way around the city.
But that’s not all there is to skate, Sao Paulo is home to some great skateparks such as Ana Brandao and Pignatari, each with their own unique appeal. Gathering at these parks after school or on the weekends was a regular routine for Giovanni when he started skating, but he now loves street skating throughout ABC more than ever. With plenty of concrete structures and residential spots to satisfy his diverse bag of tricks, Giovanni keeps busy by posting his latest clips on his Instagram which showcases his favorite spots in the city. While the police are always nipping at his heels and kicking him out of city areas, he and his friends still find time to have fun at their local skateparks with the community.
There are tons of places to eat around ABC and Sao Paulo, and one of Giovanni’s favorite restaurants around town is Figueira Rubaiyat, a spot that serves delicious grilled meats and seafood. He also recommends the pizzeria Michelangelo, which is on Avenida São Bernardo do Campo, very close to his house. Good and cheap he says. Besides a variety of restaurants and local pizzerias, there are also the street kiosks that sell cakes and sugar cane juices which are a favorite among the locals before and after skate sessions.
During the day, a majority of Sao Paulo might not seem too happening or alive. Certain neighborhoods tagged with graffiti and broken-down-looking structures may resemble a place once-inhibited, and others may be eerily quiet as everyone is at work in factories or in the city, but once the clock strikes midnight, Sao Paulo comes alive. Street parties, venues, and clubs make their presence known and the iconic Brazilian party spirit echoes throughout the city. Giovanni and his friends frequent a venue called Monte Figueiras, well-known for house music and dancing. Other spots he likes visiting at night are the shopping malls and local street parties. There are lots of things to do when the sun sets over Brazil, but one thing is certain for Giovanni, he’s always focused on his number one passion, skateboarding.