Florianopolis (nicknamed Floripa) is the capital city of Santa Catarina State in southern Brazil. It is composed of one main island, the Island of Santa Catarina (Ilha de Santa Catarina), a continental part and the surrounding small islands.
The island, which in the beginning of the colonization period was an important whale hunting centre, is today a technological pole of the IT industry.
A State Capital of interest to tourism, Florianopolis is currently inhabited by 421.203 people, a number that triples every summer. The metropolitan area has a population of 1.012.831.
Florianopolis' economy is heavily based on tourism and services industries. The city has 42 beaches and is a center for surfing activity. Rowing, sandboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing and tennis are also popular in the island, which is the hometown of tennis player Gustavo Kuerten.
Newsweek included Florianopolis in the "Ten most dynamic cities of the world" list. Veja, a Brazilian magazine, considered the city as "the best place to live in Brazil." As a result of this publicity, Florianopolis is growing as a second home destination for many people from Sao Paulo, Argentina, U.S. and Europe.
Most of the population lives on the island's northern half. The southern half is less inhabited. The island is connected to the Continent by three bridges.
The Hercilio Luz Bridge was built over 70 years ago and is now closed to traffic; it is a symbol of the island and often appears on postcard images.
The fishing boats, lacemakers, folklore, cuisine and colonial architecture attract tourism and resources that more than compensate for the lack of large-scale industry.
Hercilio Luz International Airport serves the city which is 430 mi south of Sao Paulo. Florianopolis is home to the Federal University of Santa Catarina.