As the great Bahian singer and songwriter Dorival Caymmi once said: "Anyone who doesn't love samba, is not a good person” He is bad in the head or sick in the foot". In Brasil, samba is recognized as a genuinely brazilian popular music, and the Wonderful City, Rio de Janeiro, is the stronghold of this musical style. Wherever you go, the sound of the surdo, pandeiro, and tambourine invite you to see, hear and dance samba.
Samba is part of the carioca’s essence. Crowds gather in the samba blocks during the samba school rehearsals, on weekends, and in small and large circles, samba can also be heard on every corner in the beaches. Anyway, in Rio de Janeiro, the song from Caymmi is very true.
Samba is linked to life in the hills, and its lyrics speak gently and with a touch of humor, about urban life, workers and the everyday life of the Brazilian. Samba is also one of the symbols of black culture in the country, as it has in its origins African dances and popular cultural manifestations of Brasil.
To listen to samba in Rio de Janeiro, you don’t need to have a carioca soul, neither know its story. Simply go to Lapa, the bohemian cradle of the city. Walking there is an attraction that must not be missed. At night, its stories and samba, of course, are the main attractions. All over the neighborhood you will find bars, restaurants and venues that over rule the colorful mansions. Sit in one of the many bars decorated with pictures that tell the story of the city, have a delicious rib pie and a cold beer.
On the next morning, take a more traditional and tasty tour that Rio can offer you: stroll through the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Between streets and narrow slopes, you'll find nice shops and craft workshops with many products you can take as a souvenir. To enjoy all the charm of the neighborhood, don't forget to take a ride on the bonde (street tram). Once in the Bonde de Santa Teresa, from above, on the famous Arcos da Lapa, you will have one of the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro, with its beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Enjoy.
As every musically rich city, Rio de Janeiro is also the birthplace of one of the world's most famous styles, bossa nova. With the influence of samba and American jazz, bossa nova is the style that best represents the charisma of the city and is, in fact, delightful to hear. With a colloquial tone and themes that speak of everyday life and love, bossa nova is sung like a whisper, delicate and sentimental.
One of the most striking and world-known bossa nova songs is the "Girl from Ipanema", written by the great composers and singer Vinícius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The song is considered the bossa nova anthem, and was inspired by Heloísa Pinheiro, a brazilian model while she walked to the beach of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, in the 60’s. On border of the beach, near the Arpoador, get into the bossa nova mood and take a picture next to the statue of Tom Jobim, a beautiful tribute from City Hall to one of the biggest names in Brazilian music.
To relive the excitement of the those days, you can enjoy the tropical colors of Ipanema on a beautiful walk on the boardwalk, and don’t leave until sun set: extend a colorful canga in the sand and dazzle yourself with the sun’s farewell to another day in the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. A tip: near Posto 9, the staff usually applauds the the sun set ;)
During the night, it's time to try one of the most famous snacks in town, the cod cakes. On the edge of Copacabana, there are countless bars that serve this delicacy of Portuguese origin. Add a few drops of lemon, ask for your favorite drink, and be happy.
The restaurants of Copa also invite you to taste the most carioca dish of all: the famous feijoada. Set aside a day to experience this delight that is made with black beans and several selected parts of the pig, accompanied by white rice and a special farofa. If you prefer, you can also enjoy two Brazilian passions, samba and feijoada, in a delightful afternoon in one of the many samba schools of Rio de Janeiro - there's no way you will feel more carioca.