Mining experiences: an immersion in Belo Horizonte, Inhotim and Caraça

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Minas Gerais is one of those must-see places: the state it has a well-kept tradition, is filled with beautiful natural landscapes, its historical heritage tells us a piece of Brazilian history and the rich cultural and gastronomic activity fills both the eyes and the stomach.

Thus, it is clear that Minas would be one of the destinations of the program CNN Travel & Gastronomy. This time, I was able to delve into the delights and adventures of three popular and formidable places: Belo Horizonte, Inhotim it’s the Caraça Sanctuary.

In “Beagá”, as the most intimate ones call, I took a mouth-watering gastronomic route. I tried (almost) everything from the Central Market, especially the liver with jiló from Bar da Lôra and the crackling by Rei do Torresmo. In order to rescue a democratic place in the city, another “mercadão” has done well: the Mercado Novo, with small producers and young people moving around the area.

As a recipe lover, I was able to make, alongside chef Flavio Trombino, who runs the Xapuri restaurant in the city, a tasty lobozó that includes dried meat, jiló and zucchini. It has the taste and face of Minas! In addition to these places, I also immersed myself in the culture of this city of almost 3 million inhabitants. From Pampulha to the Praça da Liberdade Cultural Circuit, Belo Horizonte enters the route of large urban centers with a thriving cultural scene.

But it is not only the capital that has these attributes: surrounding destinations offer tourists experiences that blend art, history and tradition in a unique way. This is the case of Inhotim, the largest open-air museum in the world located in the city of Brumadinho.

Altogether, there are more than 700 installations by around 60 artists from 38 countries exhibited inside galleries and outdoors. Huge gardens are one of the museum’s assets: there are eight themed gardens with more than 4.3 thousand species – some of them rare – coming from all continents; a reference in contemporary tropical landscaping. In addition to all its exuberance, the space is extremely important for research, environmental education and conservation.

And novelties do not stop: this year, which celebrates 15 years of foundation, Inhotim is inaugurating new commissioned works by Brazilian artists of importance in the national and world art scene that dialogue with the theme of the 2021-2022 biennium. It’s a must see!

Finally, the program looks at another side of tradition and history. I speak of Santuário do Caraça, a place of great faith that is full of well-preserved fauna and flora in the middle of the Serra do Caraça, 120 km from Belo Horizonte. With nearly 300 years of history, the Sanctuary is marked by the imposing construction of the neo-Gothic Church of Nossa Senhora Mãe dos Homens, which appears austere in the landscape.

It all started as a small chapel and accommodation in the 18th century, which became a reference both as an imperial college and as an apostolic school – D. Pedro II and Teresa Cristina passed through there in 1881 and left their marks. Gastronomy is one of the highlights of Caraça: like me, you can learn how to make a cabinet pudding, a centuries-old recipe that even appears in the historical books of the local library. Mixing history, spirituality, ecology, cuisine and architecture, the Sanctuary, as well as the Serra, is worth – and a lot – the visit.

Mines it’s like this: a discovery around every corner. Whether in nature or in the large urban center, the Minas style is reflected in the most different aspects and in the smallest details. Through its food, its people, its history and its artistic manifestations, we were able to understand a little more why the state is so special.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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