Celebrating Rio

By | Category: Travel destinations

RIO-DE-JANEIROOn St David’s Day this year, Rio was 450 years old.

Portuguese settlers founded the city on March 1st 1565 naming it Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro in honour of the patron saint. In time it became the capital of Brazil, only ceding that role to the newly built Brasilia in the 1960’s.

Too many people though, Rio is the capital. It oozed glamour, music and appeal so carnival time means Rio. In the 1930’s when they set the first Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire film in the city, the music that Vincent Youmans wrote and which was deemed too hot for the American band to play was called “Carioca” – the name given to a local from Rio.

Today Rio is more famous for the fact that it held the football world cup last year and the olympics are due there next year. This year, the tourist board argues, should be a great time to explore the city and join in the celebrations.

Each district of the city has something on offer and each month has something. March, for example, is focussing on traditional Brazilian music. In July, the emphasis is on the city’s children whilst November and December are given over to the African roots that many cariocas have. September means Rock in Rio time and this year will be the thirtieth anniversary of the seven day festival.

Whether you explore the famed beaches of Ipanema or Copacobana, Sugar Loaf mountain, Lapa which has become the place for nightlife or any of the other suburbs, expect to see the Brazilian tourist board urging you to visit the city in its anniversary year.

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