Find out what to do in Venda Nova do Imigrante, how to get there, where to eat, where to stay and much more!
If you have never heard of Venda Nova do Imigrante, today is your lucky day! Now you can add it to your bucket list. The town, located in the mountains of Espirito Santo State, is considered Brazil’s Agrotourism Capital and is – indeed – a paradise for those who seek to have a taste of some delicious traditional cuisine and relax close to nature.
With an estimated population of around 25,000 people, the city colonized by Italian immigrants attracts tourists every year to its famous event, the Polenta Festival, which takes place on the first two weeks of October and helps preserving the Italian culture – so present among the locals.
In this article we are going to tell you how to get there, what are the top things to do, where to stay and give you some good tips of where to eat and enjoy the local gastronomy. Let’s start?!
Where is it located and how to get to Venda Nova do Imigrante
Venda Nova do Imigrante is located in the countryside of Espírito Santo, 114 km away from Vitória (the capital), which is about 2 hours by car. It takes the same amount of time to get there from Guarapari via the BR-262 highway, which is 127km away.
Domingos Martins, on the other hand, is only 65 km away, just a little over one hour drive.
Venda Nova do Imigrante on the map:
Renting a car is the most flexible and autonomous way to get there. Coming from the capital, you just have to take the BR-262 (Governador Mário Covas highway) and drive straight ahead.
If renting a car is not possible, you have nothing to worry about, you can go by bus to the Venda Nova do Imigrante Bus Station. The company that offers this trip is Aguia Branca, and it takes about 2.5 hours to get there from Vitoria for less than R$40.
The Tourism in Venda Nova do Imigrante
It’s been nearly 33 years since the region went from monoculture to agrotourism, with the intention of generating their own jobs by offering local products and services. In order to celebrate their rurality and catch the attention of tourists, the community has created attractions that turned into traditions and in the end they have accomplished their goal.
The best time to visit Venda Nova do Imigrante
If you want to enjoy the city’s most famous event, we highly recommend you to get there in the first two weeks of October, when Polenta Festival takes place.
However, if you are looking for a quieter and less touristic time, you should plan your trip for between April and September, when the chances of rain are low and the temperatures are pleasant, between 15°C and 26°C.
Things to do in Venda Nova do Imigrante
Enjoy every minute of Polenta Festival
The famous Polenta Festival is now a 42 years years old tradition and takes place at the Polentão. It is organized by the Polenta Festival Association (AFEPOL), and gathers about 1595 volunteer workers that use wine as their fuel, according to themselves.
The event that lasts for 3 days happens in the first two weeks of October, it welcomes around 40.000 visitors who celebrate Italian culture and enjoy the local cuisine comprising pastas, sausages and, of course, polenta.
The highlight of the Festival is the Fall of the Polenta, when a 1-ton cauldron containing the cornmeal mixture pours within an enormous baking tray, to the tune of the song “La Bella Polenta”. It then and goes straight to the kitchen to be served to the public at Venda Nova do Imigrante.
Besides the wonderful gastronomy, the celebration also includes local musical attractions, such as Cantarola, made up of members from the Santa Cecília choir, which have been singing at the St Peter Church’s every Sunday, at 9am, for 66 years straight. There is also Casa da Cultura, where they keep it going and singing Italian songs until 00am.
Taste local craft beers
Venda Nova do Imigrante is home to one of the greatest craft beer manufacturers in the state of Espírito Santo, Cervejaria Altezza, located 1.100m above sea level (not by coincidence, Altezza means altitude in italian). The brewing process is made in a very special way, mainly for the water used on it, with its high mineral quality and purity, and for the fact that it’s neither filtered nor pasteurised.
The visit is really worth it if you’re a beer lover (and it’s a plus if you also love amazing landscapes) and can be booked from Monday to Thursday or during weekends and holidays, from 10am to 5pm.
Booking contact infos: (28) 9 9989-3311 or [email protected]
Socol is an exclusive treat from Venda Nova do Imigrante and has won the Geographic Indication certificate, in 2018, which recognises it as an original and exclusive product within its market. It is a pork sausage, seasoned and stored for about 4 to 6 months to be cured by a benign fungus, just like the italian families used to do in the past.
The manufacturing of Socol has to take place in cold weather and high altitude, and exactly what was essential for the Lorenção family to be so successful in their production.
The family’s ranch, can be visited from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm.
Família Lorenção contact info: (28) 3546-2677 or [email protected]
LMTM tip: Besides Socol, the family also sells many kinds of antipasti. I bought one made of dry tomatoes and apricot, it was amazing!
Drink Jacu’s Coffee
Did you know that Jacu Bird coffee is the rarest coffee in Brazil and the fifth rarest in the world?
Jacu is a native bird from the Atlantic Rainforest and it chooses only the best coffee beans to eat. Due to the fact that it doesn’t have a stomach, the bird expels the beans in its feces, giving the coffee beans unique characteristics and making them world-renowned for the high level of purity and for the fact they are cultivated with no human interference.
P.s.: For all of us that seek sustainable tourism, the good news is that these animals are free in the nature 🙌
You are able to find the coffee at different places spread around Venda Nova do Imigrante, but you gotta open your wallet because this award-winning delicacy’ price is not very friendly: 1 kg of Jacu Bird coffee costs R$700. However, if you can afford this luxury it is, for sure, an unique experience.
To get to know better about this process, you can plan a visit to Camocim Farm, famous for producing this type of coffee.
Fazenda Camocim contact info: (27) 3248-1072
Escape to Domingos Martins
If you have any time left to spare, I highly recommend a visit to Domingos Martins, a town right next to Venda Nova do Imigrante, where Parque Estadual da Pedra Azul is located. Covered with stunning vegetation and displaying a rocky area, it will surely take your breath away.
Where to eat in Venda Nova do Imigrante
Nossa Vida Restaurant
If you fancy digging deep into the local gastronomy, the restaurant Nossa Vida is the perfect choice. The antique farmhouse perfectly fits in the traditional atmosphere,and the food is mouth-watering (not to mention the fresh jabuticabas that you can eat straight from the trees).
The average cost of a meal per person is R$59.
Contact info: (28) 99944-0268
Ana Venturim is Amadeu’s great grand-daughter, the first Italian immigrant to arrive in Venda Nova do Imigrante.
Família Venturim is the perfect mix between Italy and Brazil, with plenty of options of flavoured pasta (beetroot, pumpkin, Socol and so on), crostinis, coffees, homemade polvilho (starch) biscuits and a lot of other delicious treats.
Contact info: [email protected]
This tip is for those who love craft cheese tasting, buying treats for the afternoon’s lunch or just taking some delicious souvenirs home. Carnielli Farm, besides being a very pleasant place to visit, owns a little shop that serves homemade products such as coffee, cheese, jam, Socol and a lot of other local options. It’s really worth sparing some space in your luggage for them.
LMTM tip: don’t leave the place without trying some Morbier cheese.
Contact info: 28 3546-1272
Where to stay in Venda Nova do Imigrante
Find below a few options that Booking.com offers in Venda Nova do Imigrante and nearby towns.
Due to their proximity, it is possible to book a place in Domingos Martins or Pedra Azul, both of which end up having more options, such as the gorgeous Pousada Rabo do Lagarto:
Pousada Rabo do Lagarto
With a stunning view of Pedra Azul, Pousada Rabo do Lagarto is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful accommodations I’ve ever visited in Brazil.
It focuses on adults (the hotel accepts children above 14 years old, only) and each bedroom is different and unique. Every detail was carefully thought out, each of them based on the trips that the owner, Lília, took around the world.
The authorial lodge, as Lília cassifies it due to its authenticity and originality, was projected in an environmental responsible way.
Address: Geraldo Sartório Highway ES 164, Km 70, Domingos Martins
Contact info: [email protected]
Airbnb options in Venda Nova do Imigrante
If you really want to stay near downtown, it is possible to find a few options on Airbnb. Check it out:
I think you can already tell why this place is a treasure, can’t you? Each and every little corner in Venda Nova do Imigrante is lovely.
Prepare your camera and your appetite and enjoy your trip!
A very warm and special thanks to Secretaria de Turismo do Espírito Santo that, along with Sebrae-ES and ABAV, have invited us to get to know this paradise.