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The place to start a tour of Recife is at the Zero Marker in the heart of Old Recife. Gaze out towards the ocean from here, and about 90m (300 ft.) offshore you'll see the long low reef from which the city draws its name. On the reef sits a strange tall green pillar capped with something that could charitably be said to resemble a tulip.

This more than slightly phallic monument is the work of an eccentric ceramics artist named Francisco Brennand. If you're interested in seeing more, he has a large estate on the far edge of town (Oficina de Ceramica Francisco Brennand, Av. Cachangá, Varzea; tel. 081/3271-2466; Mon-Fri 8am-6pm) brimming with weird and wonderful ceramic creations, many of them long, hard, and potent-looking.

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Zero Marker

Zero Marker

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