Santos, where football is a faith

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This year, for the second consecutive season, Santos, second most important city in the Sao Paulo State, in Brazil, hosts the Campeonato Internacionale de Tenis, a $35,000 Challenger event. Santos has the biggest seaport and the busiest container harbour in Latin America, which handled over 72 million tons in 2006. In Santos, seat of the local Roman Catholic Diocese, football is a religion and many people play improvised matches, night and day, on the numerous beaches (prajas). Others come here to catch the perfect surf.

Venue. The ancient Tenis Club de Santos, near the praja, has indoor and outdoor, hard and clay courts. The Challenger tournament is played on 3 courts, with two indoor ones used in the case of rain. The club features also a swimming pool, a volleyball court, a gym and a sauna. Security carefully controls every entrances. Every people can eat and drink at the local restaurant and the bar where the prizes can be compared to the ones in other locals in Santos, generally lower respect to Sao Paulo.

Ticket. People can enter freely during the tournament. Sponsors and local personalities have a VIP zone available.

Hotel. The official hotel for the tennis players is the Atlantic, a 15 walk away from the courts. Other options are O clube dos ingleses, the Ibis Santos and the Mercure, just few hundred metres away. Generally, it's better to chose hotels part of international chains because they offer higher standards.

Transports. The nearest airport is the Guarulhos internacional in Sao Paulo. From there, you can reach Santos by comfortable buses offering wi-fi internet connection on board. The travel lasts to the club lasts about 2 hours and costs 25 reais (approximately €10). Otherwise, you can go by taxy paying ten times more.

Food & Drink. Near the Clube Tennis de Santos there's an Italian pizzeria. Not so far away there's a Churrascaria and some Japanese restaurants. Along the coast there are different restaurants but the prize/quality ratio isn't recommended.