Itu 400 – Part 1: small town, large ambitions

19 12 2009

If you are not from Brazil, you probably never heard about Itu. Itu is a small city about 100 km from São Paulo, known by many in Brazil as the city where everything is exaggeratedly big. Well, not everything. I was born there, so all the 1.67 m of me (5’6″, generously speaking) are genuinely from Itu 🙂 .

Of course, everything being big is a marketing ploy to attract tourists, started by a local comedian in a popular TV show in the late 60s. That notwithstanding, that meme was so sticky that even today people in Brazil still call anything too large as being “from Itu”. This is my son last month, amazed by Itu’s public phone:

Here are some other X-Large oddities:

Traffic lights

Popsicle ad and chair

Popsicle ad, chair and another phone

The list goes on and on: you can get pacifiers, combs, hammers, pencils, paper clips and even condoms (!) as Itu-sized souvenirs. But there’s much more to Itu than that (in my naturally biased view, of course). On February 2nd, 2010, Itu will be celebrating its 400th anniversary:

Countdown to Feb 2nd, 2010

Founded in 1610, Itu is one of the oldest cities in the Americas. I wish I could be there for the big party, but since I can’t, I’ll settle for writing a few more blog posts about this beloved town over the next 44 days.




4 responses

20 12 2009

A nice way of celebrating 400 years for your city, very old as for American standards. Itu looks like a very nice place to live, I will wait for other extra big objects and views of the city.

30 12 2009

Hi Béné,

I’ve been lazy with the Itu posts, I need to draft a few, otherwise I have to wait till the 500th anniversary 🙂

23 01 2010
Itu 400 – Part 2: There are places I remember « The bamboo raft

[…] 400 – Part 2: There are places I remember 23 01 2010 I’ve been late with my Itu 400 series posts, and since February 2nd is around the corner, I better post at least a second installment. I […]

30 01 2010
Itu 400 – Part 3: The land that Google forgot « The bamboo raft

[…] my previous posts celebrating the 400 years of Itu, click here and […]

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