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Gramado (Brazil)

Gramado isn't as sexy as Ipanema or as alluring as the Amazon, but this tiny mountain resort, which bills itself as ‘naturally European,’ is one of Brazil's

nicest. It does indeed feel like a Swiss mountain village – boutiques sell avant-garde glassworks and gourmet chocolate, local restaurants specialize in

fondue, hotels are decked out like Swiss chalets – while infrastructure, safety and scenery all meet the standards of similar size towns in North America or

Europe (pedestrian crosswalks are respected!). At times the insistence on fahrvergnügen crosses over into kitsch, and there is very little in the way of

culture, but the overall effect is pleasant, and the standard of living in this little piece of Alpine paradise is unparalleled in Brazil.