Recife is probably the best big Brazilian city in which to find artesanato, and the area around Igreja São Pedro is the best place to look for it. Here, stalls coagulate into a bustling complex of winding streets, lined with beautiful but dilapidated early nineteenth-century tenements. The streets are choked with people and goods, all of which converge on the market proper, the Mercado de São José, an excellent place for artesanato (craft goods). If you can’t face the crowds, there’s a very good craft shop, Penha, on the corner of the Pátio de São Pedro, which is the main city outlet for some of Recife’s excellent woodcut artists. In the same shop, you’ll also find extremely inexpensive prints on both cloth and paper, known as cordel. Outside the shop, you can dig out cordel around the mercado or in Praça de Sebo, where the secondhand booksellers have stalls.

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