And here is the Rio city guide of Joana, my favorite Carioca !
How would you describe Rio to someone who has never been?
Rio has some kind of magic that is difficult to explain. It has something to do with the atmosphere here. I’m not sure if it comes from the people, the mountains or from the sea. But it is a city with its own rhythm. It is all about the Carioca (a native of Rio) life style. To be a Carioca is to be happy about life, to feel free and be authentic. There are two kinds of Cariocas, the ones who are born here, and the ones who come to visit and take Rio in their hearts when they leave.
Whats your favorite date spot?
A romantic breakfast at La Bicyclette inside the Botanic Garden, or a weekend at the Relais de Marambaia.
The best place for a night out dancing with girlfriends?
Londra at the Fasano, Samba de Santa Clara and Rio Scenarium for typical Brazilian Music.
The new super cool restaurant?
Irajá, a small cool restaurant at Botafogo. Viera Souto, situated at a house in front of Ipanema Beach. And Ristorante Alloro the new restaurant at the Meridien Hotel at Copacabana Beach.
The best old and chic restaurant?
Antiquarius, the best Portuguese food ever! Try the Picadinho Carioca, a very typical dish. And the traditional Cipriani where you have dinner facing the beautiful swimming pool of the Copacabana Palace Hotel .
Where can you get the best caipirinha?
At Azul Marinho, watching the sun set at Arpoador.
What are the Brazilian foods you must try:
Açaí, Tapioca, pão de queijo (cheese bread), Feijoada (a beans dish), rodízio barbecue and brigadeiro (a chocolate dessert).
What is the best way to get around your city–bike, bus or car?
Bike. Rio has more than 300km of bike lanes, so it is the perfect way to go from one place to the other. On the weekends, a lot of people get their bikes and go on beautiful rides, like Vista Chinesa, that runs inside the forest, and when you reach the top the view is amazing. Electric bikes are very popular right now. They are a good alternative for the summer time, when it is too hot. You can still use a green transportation, but you don’t get too sweaty when you arrive at your destiny.
Is the city safe? What are some tips for traveling to Rio for the first time?
The security in Rio has improved a lot recently. It is a totally different city than it was 5 years ago. But, as every big city in the world, you must be careful. Always ask a local about the place you want to go.
What is your favorite neighborhood?
Leblon! It’s where I live and work. It really translates Rio’s life style, with the best restaurants at Rua Dias Ferreira, small cool stores only known by insiders, and the best beach to go and see beautiful people
What is the best thing to bring back from Rio?
What is the best thing to bring back from Rio? A bamboo clutch from Glorinha Paranaguá, a biquini from Vix, and a Cachaça (the famous liquor made from fermented sugarcane juice) to do your own Caipirinha drink at home.
Tell me about your favorite shops…
Via Flores, of course, is the best multi-brand store (I’m the buyer for the store!). For bikinis, ViX or Lenny. For leather clothes Patrícia Viera is amazing. Andrea Marques for women’s clothes. For accessories you should check on Virzi+De Luca necklaces. Olhar Brasil for unique pieces of decoration.
What would you say is one Rio clothing staple?
Biknis, with shorts and a t-shirt or with a white dress, you can go anywhere in Rio dressed like that.
The best hair spa?
Care Body and Soul, there you have the best hair and make up artist, Mauro Bretas. The best place to do the Brazilian wax is at the spa in Hotel Marina, the good of thing about it, is that you´ll be distracted looking at the great view of Leblon Beach.
Where are the best views of the city?
Pão de Açucar, a very touristic spot, but it is worth the visit. Vista Chinesa, to go on a bike ride. Pedra Bonita, in São Conrado where the paraglides take off. And the Fasano pool to see Ipanema and Leblon beach while drinking a good glass of white wine.
The best beach?
Leblon to meet people, Barra to do sports, like surf and kite surf. Prainha and Grumari, to be alone.
Your favorite hotel?
Fasano at Ipanema and Hotel Santa Teresa.
Best art galleries/museums?
MAM (Museum of Modern art), Museu Chácara do Céu, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Paço Imperial. Always check what exhibits are going on before you go. In 2013 we will have three new museums: MAR (Rio Museum of Art), MIS (Museum of Image and Sound) and Museu do Amanhã, a project by the “star architect” Santiago Calatrava.
Go to a mass at Mosteiro São Bento and check the magnificent baroque architecture. Have breakfast at Confeitaria Colombo, Forte de Copacabana. Drink a beer at Bar Urca.Spend a weekend in Angra or Paraty. Go visit the art school at Parque Lage, and enjoy the public park in the foot of the Corcovado Mountain.
There you go ! Thank you Joana ! As for me I can’t wait to show you the pictures of the fashion story we shot in Santa Teresa, a neighborhood you should definitely visit if you go to Rio ! Ok, kisses !
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Giorgia / Milan