The Italian Cultural Institute of San Paolo, founded in 1950, is an official body of the Italian Government based in the historical building of 436 Av. Higienópolis. The building was built in the 1920s in neoclassical style and houses the administrative offices with a library and a multimedia room.
Brazil is home to twenty-five million Italians and Italian descendents, which means the Institute has an important and delicate task:
- to keep alive and reinforce the values of tradition and the links with the original culture of the Italian community that arrived with the first flow of migrants in the 1880s and has continued to grow every since;
- to enrich the cultural landscape with initiatives that both promote the Italian language and culture and also involve cooperation between Italians and Brazilians in the sharing of skills and experiences to encourage an effective intercultural exchange.
To present the image of Italy as both the guardian of the classical heritage and a driver of modern initiatives in different fields, through:
- the organization of events in the applied arts, such as concerts, exhibitions, architecture exhibitions, book fairs, film festivals, theatrical performances, conferences and seminars;
- a library with around thirty thousand titles, most of them in Italian, including books, magazines, newspapers and a large video library;
- courses in Italian language and culture courses with qualified and continuously updated teachers;
- an information service on Italy, the Italian language courses in Italy and scholarships awarded by the Italian government.