Let’s Go to The Fine Arts Museum ?

30 April 2013

Sacred Works from Italian Museums  at the Museum of Fine Arts

Imagem_110AWe are a blessed people because with  the arrival of Jornada Mundial da Juventude, once again our ‘Wonderful City” will win because the “Cariocas” will have the opportunity to see something else besides the beautiful collection from Italian and Vatican museums.
From June 11th up to  September 15th, the National Museum of Fine Arts, will show rare pieces of Brazilian Baroque and Rococo period. The pieces are from the Oratory Museum of Ouro Preto.





Orat_110AAmong these pieces , the little chapel of the eighteenth century , where  Pope John Paul II prayed in 1997 will be in exposition together with the other pieces.
For sure, we are a very lucky people!



Rio de Janeiro won a new stadium

27 April 2013

The New Maracanã Stadium

novo maracanaAfter 3 years of restoration and a big expectation and curiosity was launched today , April 27th the new stadium of Maracanã.

The opening was celebrated with a friendly football match between the teams assembled by Bebeto and Ronaldo Fenomeno. Twenty-seven thousand people were invited to the inauguration attended by authorities, press, workers and their families. The streets that surround the Maracana stadium in the north of Rio, were interdicted from 16h to 22h today for the inauguration.

cores_maracana_janirjunior-5Before the match begun, a light show delighted the audience. There was also a presentation of famous singers and the match ended with 8 x 5 victory for  Ronaldo Fenomeno’s  team. In May, another test event will be held at the stadium. And on June 2nd will happen the first game with ticket sales for the crowd, the friendly match between Brazil and England.

Good news is in the air for the trail lovers

25 April 2013

New Touristic attraction will be opened by 2016parque-tijucaThe track is called “Transcarioca Trail”. With 180 km long will connect Barra de  Guaratiba to  Sugar Loaf. The ecological corridor will cross five conservation units, Parque Natural Municipal Grumari, Parque da Pedra Branca,  Tijuca National Park, Parque Lage  and the Parque da Catacumba. The administration is being made by municipal, state and federal levels and is the result of a partnership between the three spheres to make the signalization and demarcation of the entire trail. They expect to deliver the new attractive to visitors until 2016.
In this long journey, only four kilometers will be covered in asphalt.

Read more at….http://vejario.abril.com.br/especial/trilha-que-cruza-o-rio-vai-virar-atracao-turistica-739556.shtml?utm_source=redesabril_vejario&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=redesabril_vejario&

Cassino da Urca – The Golden Years of Rio de Janeiro

23 April 2013

Joaquim Rolla – The men who won the Urca Casino playing cards.

joaquim RollaThe book “O Rei da Roleta – The Amazing Life of Joaquim Rolla” written by João Perdigão and Euler Corradi, give us a picture of the golden years of Rio and about the great character that Joaquim Rolla was  in social, cultural, business and politic life of the city.
Joaquim Rolla was born in 1899 in Minas Gerais. He was a very simple man who had several occupations. He was a cowboy, a butcher a driver and a road builder before trying his luck in Rio. He was seen by locals as a  low profile and uncultured person.

In 1933, playing cards, he earned a part of what was the Cassino da Urca a poor and unattractive house of games. In a year he became the only owner of the place and decided to turn the venue into something much more upscale and luxurious than the best casino in Latin America. After Cassino da Urca, Joaquim Rolla built countless casinos in Rio and Minas Gerais.
Cassino da Urca, was originally built to be a hotel resort but was unsuccessful. In 1933 with the remodeling of its dependencies, the hotel was transformed into a Casino.
Undoubtedly, Cassino da Urca was the most representative Casino of the time and after an extensive renovation, in 1936  it reopened with much luxury. It had several  salons and a glamorous theater.

21_mhg_rio_cassinoThe casino was supported by a refined French cuisine with its gorgeous silverware, cups and glasses of Czech cristal, tableware of French limoje and white linen tablecloths.

Its 3 gambling saloons  had a panoramic view of Guanabara Bay, whose scenery enchanted visitors from around the world. The  roulette and card games rolled freely  at  the sound of the  good golden years music. The Cassino still had a VIP room where the millionaires gamblers could  raise their bets to the maximum level that was allowed.

For the VIP players the treatment was unbelievable in terms of services. Those customers parked their cars at the front  door of the casino and had at their disposal a boat  to take them, anytime,  to the Casino  Icaraí in Niterói.

Cassino da Urca became a luxury point frequented by the highest cream of the Carioca society and celebrities such as Walt Disney, the actor Grande Otelo, Patricio Teixeira and Carmen Miranda. On the stage of its theater sparkled national and international stars such as Bing Crosby, Josephine Baker, Orson Welles, Tito Stewing and Carmen Miranda that appeared every week until 1940.

With the prohibition of gambling during the military dictatorship in 1946, Cassino da Urca was closed down. In 1950 it was bought by the biggest TV network of the era – TV Tupi which ran it until 1980.

Cassino da Urca stood empty for many years, and in 2006 the municipality  of Rio de Janeiro rented the construction to  the European Design Institute, who restored it  to open their offices.



Maria da Glória – Brazilian Princess who won the Portuguese throne

22 April 2013

Dna. Maria da Gloria – Daughter of Emperor  D. Pedro I

maria IIPortuguese writer and journalist, Isabel Stilwell, specializing in historical novels, launched in Brazil her first book on the history of Maria da Gloria, the Brazilian Princess who was crowned Queen in Portugal.

The writer worked on historical facts strictly ascertained by historians and she  highlights that although little known in Brazil, Maria da Gloria, was a gentle and humorous person. She loved nature, enjoyed a very close relationship with her children and had an uncomplicated attitude in relation to the body, which contrasted with the Puritanism of the season. She was a close friend of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom with whom she had an intense exchange of letters.

The Portuguese Queen was the daughter of the emperor D. Pedro I (Peter IV of Portugal) and Empress Leopoldina of Austria, and was born in Rio de Janeiro in April 1819.

With the death of the King D. John VI of Portugal in 1826, D Pedro I abdicated the Portuguese throne in favor of his 7 year old daughter, D. Maria da Gloria. To his brother D. Miguel to became prince, he ordered him to get married to D. Maria da Gloria. D. Miguel did not fulfill with  the agreement and  in 1828 he declared himself absolute king of Portugal and the marriage did not come to be realized.

D. Peter I moved back to Portugal in 1834 and after  overthrowing  D. Miguel from the throne, he crowned  his 15 years old daughter, Queen of Portugal and died.maria 2

D. Maria II ruled Portugal in  a particularly difficult period of history, because it was a time of transition from absolutism to constitutionalism. She received a country ravaged by the French invasions, numerous revolutions, civil war and on a serious financial crisis.

In January 1835, at the age of  17th, she  married Prince Augustus Leuchtberg, who died two months later. By political needs,  on April 1836, she got married in second nuptials with  prince D. Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha who despite having only 19 years old, was a sun ray on the troubled life of this queen. She loved her prince and turned her political  wedding into a lovable marriage with eleven children.

D. Maria II, besides ruling the country with iron hands, she was also  known as the “Educator” and  “Good Mother”, because of the brilliant  education she provided to her many children.

After a troubled reign of 19 years, in November 1853, Dona Maria II  died in Lisbon  at age of 34  victim of her  11th delivery.



27th. Edition of the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro

21 April 2013

JMJ – World Youth Day … 93 days missing

JORNADA MMUNDIALRio de Janeiro is getting ready to host the 27th. WYD  that will begin on July 23rd, when the archbishop of Rio, Dom Orani Tempesta, will celebrate a Mass  to  welcome the pilgrims on the stage in Copacabana, next to Leme.

The story of the World Youth Day began in 1984 at St. Peter’s Square – Vatican on the occasion of the Holy Year of Redemption when it was celebrated the International Meeting of Youth with Pope John Paul II where he gave to the youngs the Cross that would become one of the main symbols of WYD, known as the Cross of the Journey.

In 1985 the United Nations declared “The International Youth Year”  and in March there was another international gathering of young people in the Vatican and in the same year the Pope announced the institution of World Youth Day.

Every year this day happens inside the diocesan environment and is  celebrated on Palm Sunday and with  intervals ranging between two and three years, large international meetings are made.

The first World Youth Day, took place in Rome in 1986 and had as its motto “Always be prepared to answer to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3: 15). The celebration took place at the diocesan level but, in 1987, the first meeting outside Rome took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the motto “We know the love that God has for us, because we believe in it.” (1 Jn 4 16). A million  people attended this event.

The following meetings were held in Santiago de Compostela, Poland, United States, Philippines, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Australia and the last journey in 2011 in Madrid with the participation of 2 million youth.

JMJWith the participation of Pope Francisco, Rio de Janeiro expect  the participation of an audience of more than 2.5 million pilgrims, half a million more than what was being  estimated by organizers. The meeting will take place in Rio from July 23rd to 28th and if the expectation is confirmed, it will be the second largest in history, surpassed only by the 1995 edition, in Manila – Philippines, with 4 million participants. The Pope Francisco ‘s visit to Brazil will be his first apostolic journey.

The event calendar’s journey begins in Copacabana on July 23rd with a Mass welcoming the pilgrims. On the 24th there will be activities throughout the city. On the 25th, also at Copacabana, young people will welcome Pope Francisco on the stage that will be set up on the beach.

On the 26th there will be a Via Sacra, in Copacabana, with the presence of the Pope, watching and praying with young people. On the 27th there will be a vigil  at Guaratiba, with the presence of the Pope and on July 28th, Pope Francisco will pray the outside Mass in the morning and after he will return to the Vatican. The Pope will be staying at the home of the Archbishop, on top of Sumaré mountain, same place Pope John Paul II stayed when he visited the city.


Land of Saint Sara, the gypsies and the artists

19 April 2013

Tempted to learn more about the gypsy culture?

provence (1)saint maries







So, come with Andrea Stoppe, to join the biggest gypsies party  on Saint Sara’s day and  to meet the charming Provence, in southern France. This whole area is full of different cultures and traditions, much religiosity and unspeakable nature.The colored region in southern France has long served as inspiration for many artists, especially painters and writers. It is not difficult to understand the reasons. The light is special. The colors are different. Provence is fragrant.
Are wonderful places with incomparable beauty. The divine magic of nature side by side  with historic landmarks, religious and lots of art.
You will pass by beautiful buildings of baroque and medieval architecture that is  part of the pilgrimage routes since the sixth century and are considered assets of UNESCO.
According to tradition, the three Marys, Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobe, Mary Salome, accompanied by Sarah, Lazare and Maximin, left the Holy Land and the Mediterranean Sea and  miraculously crossed the ocean  in a boat without rowing and sailing  and arrived at  the banks of the small town, known  today, as  Saintes Maries de la Mer. (which means the holy Marys of the Sea). A blessed place, surrounded by a natural park and an ecological reserve where flamingos, bulls and horses mark constant presence in its landscape.
Andrea is the owner of Tourism La Carte and specialized in French culture. She will offer you eight unforgettable days of pilgrimage and visit to Provence. From May 22nd to 29th, you will live a Roadmap of dreams.

Here is the  indescribable itinerary.

Ø  May 22nd – Arrival at Marseille Airport (Montpellier, Nimes or Arles train station- to be determined)

Reception by our guide. Transfer to hotel in Saintes Maries de la Mer. After the accommodation, a map will be offered  with the  key points and town  tips.  We will go for a short walk and after, to have  dinner at the sound of one the best known Gypsy families’ group – Negrita and Boy *.

Ø May 23rd – Free day in Saintes Maries.  Aigues Mortes and Montpellier – Optional

We can stay in Saintes and enjoy the day  riding  horse, chariot, walk through the beautiful and small streets or decide to relax a bit and enjoy the beach or optionally  to get to know  the beautiful surroundings of Provence. Also, leaving after breakfast  a visit to Aigues Mortes the beautiful medieval city with its ateliers and  galleries with  the Camargue  art. After lunch we’ll head to Montpellier, an  university town with a youthful spirit and a tempting shopping center. On the way back, a stop to visit a winery. We’ll be back at the end of the  afternoon to Saintes. In the evening a visit to a gypsy camp *
* Dinner on May 22nd, as well as the visit to  the gypsy camp on May 23rd, may change date and / or time due the  flight’s arrival  and disposition of the gypsies.

Ø May 24th –  Pilgrimage to Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

10:00 am –  Opening Mass
03:00 pm –  Ceremony of falling relics boxes
04:00 pm –  Procession of Saint Sara with visit the top of the church.

Night free once the whole town is in party.

Ø May 25th –  Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Free day – To get to know a little more about the camarguesa. There are beautiful train  and boat rides,  or traditional carriage ride.  At 10:00 am happen the Solemn Mass of Saint Mary, Saint Mary Jacobe and Mary Salome. At 11:00 am the procession to the beach and the sea blessing . At 03:00 pm happen the boxes of relics’ rise ceremony.
Transfer to Arles in the afternoon and  Free Evening.

Ø May 26th –  Saint Remy de Provence and Baux de Provence
At 09:00am, after breakfast, we will leave to  Nostradamus hometown, the famous poet of the 16th century. St-Rémy is the essence of the Provence. It is surrounded by its  lavender fields  and with one of the most graceful historical center of France, with narrow streets closed to vehicular traffic. Wherever you look the scenery is beautiful, including the butcher, the toy store with carts and artisanal woodwork and the bakery with its baguettes and croissants. We will  leave the city to visit the  Roman ruins and the ancient monastery of St Paul Maosolé with its beautiful gardens of colorful tulips and surrounded by an arcaded building which houses a collection of over 200 works of artists inspired by Van Gogh. There Van Gogh spent his last years of life.

After, we will go to Baux de Provence, a medieval citadel, considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. With its 12th century castles  built with strong and imposing walls, where we will  walk by  as if we were in a movie,  where a rider with its iron armor may  arise at anytime. At the end of the afternoon we’ll return to Arles to visit the arenas and the ancient theater. Evening free.

Ø May 27th  Avignon and Gorde

At 09:am we will leave to visit another UNESCO heritage, Avignon which was the city of the popes in the fourteenth century. Worth spending part of the day within the walls surrounding the historic center to see the Popes  Palace and walk  around its gardens with a beautiful view to the medieval bridge. Lunch- Free. After, we will travel 40 km by car to reach the high  village of  Gorde, a labyrinth of narrow streets that surround the tall houses, all in stone. The combination of  its harmonious buildings corresponds to the cities of our dreams. The imposing castle dominating the village dates back to the tenth century and it  connect  the medieval architecture to the new art of the Renaissance when it was refurbished. Passing  by fields of lavender and sunflowers we will return to Arles.

Ø May 28th Arles – Free day – Marseille optional

For those who have not visited the arena and the  ancient  theater, this is the last day. Also a free day to walk around  the streets to see the  balconies full of flowers, feel the charm of the traditional Arlesianas  robes and admire the Roman  pearl founded by the emperor Cesar. How about enjoy seeing the yellow bar from the painting “Café, le soir”, one of the most famous works of Vincent van Gogh? The coffee shop is still there, almost the same way as it was in 1888. Only the name has changed.

Ø May 29th  Transfer to the airport . End of  Services

What is Included:
Hotel  –  double and / or triple room with breakfast
Transport and transfers **
Everyday assistance of a Portuguese speaking guide in Saintes
Visit to the top of the Church in Saintes
Dinner : appetizers main dish, dessert, glass of wine and show of a Gypsy musical group
Tickets to the Arenas and Ancient Theatre in Arles

Portuguese speaking guide on the tours outside the city of Arles May, 23rd (optional), 26th,27th

Tickets to Van Gogh’s hospital  in Saint Remy de Provence
** Transfers will be made from Saintes to Arles on  May 25th and to / from  Marseille airport or Arles railway station  on May 22nd and May 29th respectively

Prices ( per person) *

Category gold (2 stars)
–  R$ 2900,00 or R$ 3185,00 with  the optional of May 23rd

Category gold plus + Master (2 stars w / pool in Saintes   & 3 star in Arles) – R$ 3290,00 or R$ 3580,00 with  the optional of May 23rd

* Prices subject to change due to daily value of exchange rate


Bank deposit or credit card through PayPal or Pag Seguro

For more options and details :

Turismo à la Carte – contato@turismoalacarte.com.br   Skype: andreastoppe – (21) 8016-4528

Let’s Dance the Samba?

17 April 2013

A Little about our Samba 

579015_4694899329893_654061803_nSamba is an African-Brazilian  rhythm  born in the house of Hilaria Batista de Almeida, known as “Aunt Ciata”. It was developed in Rio de Janeiro in the early decades of the twentieth century and was released by the blacks who settled in neighborhoods of Saúde, Gamboa and Praça Onze.
Initially the samba was not accepted by society because related the music to the sensuality of the dance and was therefore persecuted and considered a “police case”. Up from 1930 was accepted as a musical genre and genuine representative of our cultural identity.
Over the years, the well-marked rhythm, cheerful and sensual enchanted  the world and now everyone wants to learn the ” true Brazilian ginga “and how to dance the real Brazilian samba.

flyer_gringo_engTo meet this expectation, Royal Rio is  proud to announce a new service to please our  customers.
We now have a joint venture with the samba dancer Ana Arruda.
Besides being a samba dancer, Ana is also a choreographer. She has performed several successful shows in the United States and Canada.

Ana also teaches samba and with her special way and skills she teaches her students the secrets and  magic of  how to dance  the real Brazilian samba.

How’s  about  a look?  http://youtu.be/OIRz-s57YaA


Gypsy Caravan in Rio

16 April 2013


2013-04-16 21.01.23A Caixa Cultural do Rio de Janeiro, is promoting The Gypsy Caravan Shows from April 16th up to 28th, 2013 whose main theme is to talk about the  exclusion and prejudice suffered by the Roma and their customs, as the music – one of the most striking features of Gypsy culture.

The gypsies were always covered up by the unknown and mystery and they are a set  of  nomadic populations that have in common the Indian origin and language (Romany)  originating from the northwest, they are ethnic minorities in many countries of the world including Brazil.


Across five continents, with great emphasis on the Roma living in Europe, it is estimated they are about 15million.They are the largest minority officially recognized by the United Nations, with the unique distinction of being a stateless people. Originally from northeastern India, they migrated in large waves especially for Central Europe, where they constitute a significant portion of the population in countries such as Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

The purpose of the Caravan is to show through the movie a new look at Gypsy culture, including the display of long, medium and short films, documentaries and fictions. Some of the films were made ​​between members of the Roma community in Budapest, and offers a vast panorama  on the subject, allowing the public to know the conditions of Roma from various countries and thus have a broad view of their condition, offering the opportunity to undo the negative image that still accompanies them.

Castelo de Papel – The other side of our history

15 April 2013

Princess Isabel

princesaWas one of the women most cited in Brazilian history. Isabel Cristina Leopoldina of Bragança, Imperial Princess of Brazil was the daughter of Dom Pedro II.

Dona Isabel is venerated in Brazil as the Redeemer of the black race because, on May 13th 1888, she put an end to one of the greatest shame of the country – The slavery. With the “Áurea Law”, she declared Brazil free of slavery.

For her accomplishments and her Catholic compassion, in October 2011, was officially opened the beatification process of the Princess, delivered to the Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, at the request of Brazilian monarchists. The justification for the request for beatification of D. Isabel was the Princess throughout her life has demonstrated a deep Catholic faith, and had been responsible for the liberation of slavery in Brazil.

But things are not so romantic and every story has its “B side”.

Considering this side B of our princess, the historian Mary Del Priori based on documents from the archives of the Historic and Geographic Brazilian Institute and Imperial Museum  de Petópolis, wrote and released this month, the book ” Castelo de Papel” which shows that the Princess was a woman more concerned with family and royalty issues than with National Politics, that she treated as an unknown  subject, something tiresome and boring. She did not defended social causes, did not get angry against the lashes received by slaves, did not care about the sufferings of her servants, she even called  them blacks and  mocked at the abolitionists.

escravosThe true history of the abolition that history books do not tell our students is that the end of slavery was being discussed in the world since the Enlightenment. With the industrial revolution, Brazil needed to create a process of adaptation to replace the manpower of slave labor into the manpower of the wage slave for the bankrupted farmers do not suffer big losses.

Then, in 1850, under pressure from the English Imperialism, Brazil signed the Law ”Eusébio de Queiroz”, prohibiting the slave trade. No more African slaves could be brought to the country.

In 1871 was signed the Law of “ Ventre Livre” declaring that all children of slaves born since then would be considered free. In practice, little changed, because a child could only get away from the slave mother when completed adulthood.

In 1885 was signed the ”Sexagenarian Law” who declared free all slaves over 65 years of age. Again, the situation has not changed since, in the nineteenth century, a slave working about sixteen hours a day, with many physical punishment, a diet of beans and flour and unhealthy sleeping in the slave quarters ever reached this age.

When the “Áurea Law” was signed, the situation was even worse because the black work  was replaced by the work of European immigrants that accepted any kind of work. It was much more interesting for  the farmers  to pay a starvation wage for emigrants, than having to sustain a slave.

When blacks were set free, they were expelled from the farms and they no longer had jobs, homes, food, they were forbidden to occupy the vacant land within the country and due to repression of the Imperial Government they were also expelled from the city center. Without alternatives, without knowing how to read and write, slaves made improvised shelters  on hillsides near the city center where they needed to go every day in search of odd jobs to support their families and those who could not even  find these small jobs, lived in gambling, petty theft, sale of illegal products, etc.
The B side of history shows that in fact the slaves were never freed.


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