Think Rio de Janeiro, and it’s unlikely that antiques and collectibles will be the first things that spring to mind. But if trawling around an antiques fair sounds like the last word in boredom, think again – this is Rio, and things are done differently here.
The first Saturday of every month sees Rio’s historic center (the streets in and around Rua do Lavradio) transformed into a giant outdoor antiques fair, with live samba bands providing the musical backdrop as shoppers browse everything from vintage fashion and vinyl to furniture and art and, erm, coffins (yes, a coffin was one of the more unusual items I spotted at this week’s fair…).
Street theater, poetry, music and dance all combine to create a colorful atmosphere at the monthly fair, and the pavement cafes, bars and restaurants that line this historic area of Rio’s downtown are perfect places to stop and refuel with a cool drink and a plate of food as you take in the sights and sounds.
As Rio’s oldest street, Rua do Lavradio is packed with gorgeous colonial buildings, many of which now function as bars, nightclubs and restraurants, while the remainder have been transformed into antiques stores. Visitors are free to drift in and out of the stores during a trip to the antiques fair, and it’s easy to while away many an hour just poking around the wierd and wonderful contents of some of the vast, warehouse style stores.
The Feira do Rio Antigo gets underway around 9am, and keeps on going until around 9pm. Head here late afternoon, and you can enjoy a meal at the excellent Santa Scenarium before dancing the night away at one of the area’s many samba clubs. For the full on live band, packed dancefloor experience in an unforgettable setting, try Rio Scenarium.