Recife (The "R" is pronounced as an "H") (Portuguese for reef), 2005 population 1,501,000 (3,599,181 in the metropolitan area) is the third largest city in the Northeastern Region of Brazil and the largest metropolitan area. It is the 5th largest metropolitan area in Brazil and the capital of Pernambuco. Recife is also where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Recife is served by Guararapes International Airport.
Surrounded by rivers and crossed by bridges, Recife is full of islands and mangroves that magnify its geography. It is known as the Brazilian Venice, thanks to its fluvial resemblance with the european city, and is considered one of Brazil's cultural capitals.
Recife is the birthplace of poets and writers Manuel Bandeira, Carlos Pena Filho, Saulo Moreira, Sebastião Uchoa Leite, Nelson Rodrigues, Gilberto Freyre, Paulo Freire and João Cabral de Melo Neto; and of such composers as Lenine, Fred Zero Quatro, Otto, Pochyua Andrade, Don Tronxo, Valença Brothers, Antônio Nóbrega, Naná Vasconcelos, Jorge du Peixe, Paulo Diniz, Fernando Lobo, Antônio Maria and Chico Science. Canadian ice hockey player Robyn Regehr and footballers Rivaldo and Juninho Pernambucano were also born in Recife.
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