Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Andre, 48
Co-Founder, Instituto Infnet
see his Rio De Janeiro city guide

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a bit about Andre

What do you do and why do you do it?

I am one of the founders of an IT, communications and business College, called Instituto Infnet. It was an IT training startup in 1994 that grew into a college in 2006. Now we offer more than 20 undergraduate and 25 graduate courses in computer engineering, software programming, communications, graphic design, game design, business administration and other areas. That's what I do on my weekdays - but I also like to travel as much as I can. In the last 3 years I've been to Dubai, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, United States, Poland, German, Estonia, France, Denmark, Russia, Mexico, Finland, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and more.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

I've been working with Instituto Infnet since it's foundation in 1994. It has been a thrilling and joyful experience to build it from scratch. I was 21 at that time, and I started two other small companies before, at 19 and 20 years old. Fortunately, all "jobs" I've ever had were fantastic experiences. Infnet is a most fantastic institution: we offer high quality courses and we change lives. We deliver top notch professionals to the market. I've been working through many challenges there: from marketing to teaching, from finance to human resources.

Were you born and raised in Rio de Janeiro? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Rio de Janeiro?

Yes, proudly born and raised in Rio! A 100% Carioca, with a 100% Polish look. But I want to travel the world. My next destination will be Bali, Bangkok and Singapoure in New Year´s eve.

What’s your current hood in Rio de Janeiro and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

I work long hours, but I do enjoy the city a lot. I eat in restaurants every day and I explore new places in every opportunity. The best in Rio is the informal flair, the "botecos" and "pé limpos": places to eat, chat with friends and meet new people on sidewalks. The worst is the rising price of the food at most restaurants.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

O love Brazilian Popular Music, called MPB. The best composer is Chico Buarque. I don't like Axé and Sertanejo music, other Brazilian styles.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

My heart is strong.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

I say Big Bang Theory, or I can be cast out of the nerd secret society.

Name some spots in Rio de Janeiro that are good for a Tinder date.

Find a spot that reflects your taste, budget and mood. The place will say something about you, and you want to be honest in dates. It will save you time. Make sure to reserve, if possible, or to arrive early and get a good table. For me, I would choose "Birreria Escondido": excellent pizzas, fantastic craft beer, easy to find a table before 7:00 PM and it is just in front of a Subway station.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

Our politicians are a shame.

Who’s your hero and where in Rio de Janeiro would you take them out for a serious hang?

My hero is Bill Gates, who built a company, got billionaire, and used his money to help change the world where it is most needed: Africa. What a fantastic example. But he is a family guy, as far as I know. I am not very good at family style hangout.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I buy all my clothes in only five brands, but they are not in Rio: Ted Baker (England), Charles Tyrwhitt (England), Uniqlo (from Japan, but in many countries), Jim Thompson (Thailand) and Celio (France). Brazil is expansive for buying clothes and sizes are non standardized.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Most of the northern area of the city is off-limits for tourists and people who live in the South zone. It's poor and dangerous. The exception is Tijuca and Praça da Bandeira, with some good options for food and beer.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I do everything I love.

Where do you go in Rio de Janeiro for a casual night out?

I would go to one of the many "pé limpos", street bars with nice Brazilian food and informal environment.

Where would you go in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate some freaking good news?

I would go to Oro, the best restaurant in Rio, in my opinion.

What’s your choice of transportation in Rio de Janeiro and why?

Uber and Cabify. It's cheap, convenient and safe. My car stays in the garage 99% of the time. And forget buses, they are dangerous, slow and confusing.

What are the Rio de Janeiro spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

To experience Rio they should should walk on the streets of Ipanema, including a long walk on the seaside on a sunny weekend.

What are the Rio de Janeiro spots tourists should run from screaming?

Buses. Just don't use buses. Use Uber, Cabify, Metro (Subway) and VLT (tram).

Tomorrow’s your last day in Rio de Janeiro. How do you spend it?

I would eat the best shrimps on O Caranguejo bar at Copacabana and then walk to Pavão Azul for beers and the most amazing cod cakes. On the afternoon, I would sit in a quiosque at Ipanema Beach. At night, I would call my friends for some craft beer at Birreria, together with the best Pizza in town.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

It varies with my mood and with whom I am traveling with, but It would be London, Amsterdam, New York or Bangkok. Amsterdam is the cutest capital I've ever seen, and is one of my favorite places in the world. But vibrant cities like London and New York are amazing for vacations. And Bangkok has the best SPAs in the world. It's a difficult choice.

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photos by

Giulio Paletta