Goal.com takes a snapshot of Brazil's eco-centre as the South American nation prepares to host World Cup 2014
Welcome to Curitiba for World Cup 2014
One of the world's most ecologically-savvy cities, Curitiba sits 3,000 feet above sea level and has one of the highest Human Development Index ratings in Latin America. Curitiba is also the state capital of Parana.
In Three Words
Architecture, wonder & music
Founded in the late 17th century, Curitiba was originally a small settlement that became a successful hub for cattle trading, due to its location between farming grounds and the markets.
The 19th century saw the introduction of logging in the heavily forested area, booming the city's population. The city was renovated in the 1950s, with sustainable growth key to the plans. The city remains one of the most sustainable regions in the world.
Where To Party
To eat - Bistrot do David restaurant: French cuisine, but with a typically Brazilian twist, the Bistro recently had to expand its premises, such is its popularity with the locals. That has not diluted the quality of the food or the service, however, and remains a must-visit venue.
To drink - Clube do Malte: Whether you are looking for the best beers that Brazil has to offer, or the finest from further afield, this is the place for you. You can sit, eat and chat with friends, while the bar also has a huge shop that sells the best drinks from all corners of the globe, for those looking to stock up during the tournament.
To dance - Vox Bar (below): In the historic centre of Curitiba, the quiet street Baron of Rio Branco comes to life at the weekend and this bright and vibrant party bar. Whether you're looking to book a World Cup party, or just enjoy yourself while visiting, you won't find many better venues in Curitiba.
Former Fenerbahce playmaker Alex was born in the city and started his career at Coritiba, before leaving for Palmeiras, where he made his name as a goalscoring threat from midfield. He returned to the club ahead of next season, and was presented in front of 10,000 fans. Another of the side's academy graduates is Adriano, currently of Barcelona, whose versatility saw him become a key member of Pep Guardiola's all-conquering class of 2011 at Camp Nou. Also born in Curitiba, but a product of lower-league Parana Clube's youth ranks is Thiago Neves, who netted a hat-trick in Fluminense's 2008 Copa Libertadores final defeat to LDU Quito.
Wire Opera House (right): Opened in 1992 and designed by architect Dominic Bongestabs, professor of Architecture and Urban Planning in Curitiba this stunning venue has enough room for 2,400 spectators and features a huge stage that often hosts concerts and other presentations.
Oscar Niemeyer Museum: Niemeyer is regarded as one of the most influential figures in 21st-century architecture and has had a hand in designing several major cities in Brazil, and indeed the world. He fittingly designed the complex devoted to his legacy, which is also named the Museum of the Eye, due to the eye-shaped tower that stands above the building.
Panoramic Tower: A telecommunications tower, built on the highest part of the city, in the Merces neighbourhood. It stands over 100 meters high, and gives a 360° panoramic view of Curitiba, at the top deck. It was inaugurated in 1991 and also contains a museum dedicated to telecommunications.
Did You Know?
The name Curitiba is derived from the indigenous Tupi word kuri tyba, which means 'much pine' due the huge number of Pine trees on the Parana state.
Isabeli Fontana is one of the world's biggest-earning models, but her career began in a whirlwind of notoriety. After moving from Curitiba to Italy at the age of 13 to pursue the life of glamour, she appeared in a Victoria's Secret catalogue at 16, despite the company previously vowing they would never use models under 18. She has since gone on to feature in campaigns for the most prestigious fashion houses in the world and is one of the most recognisable individuals in the industry.