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One of the few surviving landmarks from the colonial era, this aqueduct was finished in 1750. At one time, Arcos da Lapa carried water down from Rua da Carioca; it now serves as a viaduct to the Bondinho de Santa Teresa (tram) that connects the downtown area to the Santa Teresa area. 270 meters (885.83 feet) in length and encompassing 42 arches, Arcos da Lapa is one of the most architecturally-significant structures in the area.
Named for Santa Teresa Convent from the 1750s, this neighborhood, with its winding streets and hilltop views, is a major attraction for tourists and artists alike. Although no longer the affluent area it once was, Santa Teresa is still home to some ornate mansions, one of which is the Chácara do Céu; once home to art collector Raimundo Otoni Castro Maya, it now serves as the Museu da Chácara do Céu. Visitors should definitely take the tram ride that starts at the city center and takes them through the streets of Santa Teresa.
The Escadaria Selaron, or Lapa Steps as they are widely known, were created as a tribute to the people of Brazil by Chilean artist Selaron. He has decorated the long, wide stairway between Lapa and Santa Teresa with green, blue and gold (the colors of the Brazilian flag) ceramic tiles to create a stunning mosaic. The walls of the stairway are a similar riot of color, with the artist using tiles from around the world as a base on which to paint his own, unique images - a recurring theme is a heavily pregnant woman. U2, along with Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, are among the famous artists to have filmed here.
At the heart of Rio Antigo, the city's historic center, Rua Joaquim Silva is home to scores of bars, restaurants and nightclubs as well as interesting stores selling antiques and collectibles. On the second Saturday of every month, the street comes alive with street theater, live music, poetry readings, food and drink stalls, and a lively market selling everything from new and vintage clothes to antique furnishings. The proceedings start in the afternoon and continue well into the night. Pull up a chair at a pavement café and relax with a drink and a bite to eat as you absorb the colorful atmosphere.
The first residential street to be built in Rio de Janeiro, Rua do Lavradio is a long cobbled road flanked by tall and handsome colonial buildings. Many of these have been transformed into bars and restaurants, while others are now, fittingly, antiques stores. It is in Rua do Lavradio that you will find the excellent Feira do Rio Antigo, a bustling clothes, arts, and antique fair held on the first Saturday of each month. The bars and restaurants all have pavement tables and chairs, making this a wonderful spot to enjoy a cold drink and a bite to eat as you watch the world go by.
Parque Das Ruinas was restored at the end of the last century for use as a cultural center and occasional outdoor music venue. Have a cup of coffee at the neighboring cafe and be awed by the the magnificent view that this place has to offer.
Rio de Janeiro is known for its feisty ambiance thanks to the colorful fests and activities it features the year round. It is the ideal place to unwind, if you are looking for a vacation where you want to shake a leg to some Brazilian music, or participate in the famous Rio carnival. Those looking for recreation and fun can explore the famous Tijuca forest, or simply laze around on the famous beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema. Although Rio is a place where the fun doesn't seem to stop, visitors must be careful while touring the city, as it is known to have a high crime rate. Some of the famous tourist spots in Rio are the Christ the Redeemer statue on the beautiful Corcovado mountain, the Maracana football stadium, and also the cable car at Sugarloaf Mountain.
Finished in 1909, the Theatro Municipal was built along the lines of the Paris Opera. It is home to the city's orchestra, opera and ballet ensembles. It is built in the Neoclassical style, all in marble, granite and bronze, and is one of the most prestigious venues in the country for big performances. There is also a bar and restaurant, the famous and imposing Café do Teatro, decorated with Assyrian-style mosaics.