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Soap and Alpine-Style Crafts in Monte Verde

Bauernmalerei plate from Alpina, Monte Verde.

Patricia Ribeiro

Tart, sweet and relaxing scents waft through the doors of Alpina, one of the best places to buy handcrafted soap and hand painted plates in the Brazilian Southeast.

The store located in the central area of Monte Verde, a town 5,000 feet high in southern Minas Gerais, was founded in 1978 by Miro and Angela Ferro, a couple of Italian mountain climbers who had moved to Monte Verde. Their daughter Fiorella has continued the family business and its tradition in fragrant and colorful products.

One of the most famous soap scents is green apple (Maçã Verde do Brasil), the first one sold by the founders. Other favorites are lavender (Lavanda) and frost (Geada), which intensifies in cold weather. Many of the soaps are made of glycerin. The shop also has fragrances and incense.

As you step into the store, which resembles a European chalet, your attention is likely to be drawn to the walls covered with plates painted in Bauernmalerei, or Bavarian folk art style. There are dozens of patterns to choose from. Alpina also sells Hungarian pottery, beer mugs, and wool-lined slippers to beat the Monte Verde cold.

At the delicatessen, choose from several imported items such as Tibi chocolate or Zwack (formerly Unicum) liqueur from Hungary. MV, another store on the same property, sells climbing and winter outfits.

Alpina Hours:

Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address and Contact Information:

Av. Monte Verde 946
Monte Verde - MG
Phone: 55-35-3438-1436 (Monte Verde)/ 55-113744-7491 (S. Paulo)
E-mail: alpina@alpinamonteverde.com.br
Website: www.alpinamonteverde.com.br

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