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If you find yourself in Rio on the first Saturday of the month and don't fancy the beach, there are few better ways to while away an afternoon than by strolling through the amassed piles of antiques and oddities that line Rua Lavradio at this monthly fair. Watch as all the shops fling open their shutters and display their often beautiful, often crumbly old furniture. You can pick up black and white photographs, antique bottles or arte naife, and try some wonderful food from any of the hundreds of stalls. Several good restaurants also line the far end of the road, offering the perfect pit stop if you're feeling a tad shopped out.
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.
Using the term nik-naks might be doing the collections of intricate potteries, jewelry and art found in this unassuming shopping mall a disservice. The sheer volume of items on display give the austere four-floor building the air of one huge antique store. Centered around a pretty, dark wood-finished café, the escalators snake elegantly up to expensive jewelry stores, boutiques, and more. Every Saturday the corridors give way to an antique fair.