The original lyrics were written by Vinicius de Moraes in a restaurant/bar, past which the eponymous Ipanema-ista walked. Today, it's unpretentious and you can still sit by the pavement and watch the pedestrians. They serve a great steak + papas fritas and sell the best Rio souvenir - a T-Shirt bearing the opening bars of the famous song. By the way, the bar is on Vinicius de Moraes Street (in Ipanema). But when you fly in or out of Rio, you will pass through Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. That's the guy who wrote the music.
Calle Vinicius de Moraes, Ipanema
Which is to say, anywhere along Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. On Sundays the coast road that joins them all is pedestrianised and it seems that the whole city comes out to walk. The beach – because it is free – is the most democratic area of Rio and you see all social classes and ages.
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