Rio On Location: Lapa in Breaking Down – Part 1

Credits: Summit Entertainment

Teenagers – and some adults as well – from all over the world adore the Twilight series. However, both adolescents and grown-ups are sure to agree on the pleasures of simply enjoying life – which is precisely what the couple Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swann (Kristen Stewart) did on their short visit to the carioca nightlife.

Before going on the vampire ride through the nightlife of Rio, let’s take a step back and remember the movies of the series. They are a movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s novels, which portray the ups and downs of a love story between a young mortal girl and a handsome vampire. It all begins with Twilight (2008), in which Bella moves in with her father in the small and rainy town of Forks (Washington, USA) and meets the mysterious Edward. They begin dating, but in New Moon (2009), Edward decides to break up with Bella, since he is aware that their relationship is a danger to her life. In Eclipse (2010), they are still in love and get back together again, facing the consequences. In this movie, the members of the Cullen family must join forces with the bears of Jacob Black’s (Taylor Lautner) family, in a battle against evil flesh-eating vampires who want to take Bella’s life.

A little further down their on-again, off-again relationship, the couple gets married in Breaking Dawn – Part I (2011), and spend their honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro. In the second part of the movie, a significant battle takes place between the Cullens and their allies against the evil vampires, the powerful Volturi, all because of a misunderstanding surrounding Edward and Bella’s daughter’s birth. Things are finally settled and the happy ending arrives for the characters – including heartbroken Jacob, who ends up finding in Renesmee his soul-mate.

A scenery fit for cinema

Photo: Fran Mateus

As soon as they arrive in Rio, Edward and Bella go to Lapa, a neighborhood famous for its nightlife. What was once a venue for artists and intellectuals has, over time and a great structural reform, turned into the destination for city-dwellers and tourists alike, celebrities and common-folk, to go and have fun while listening to some good music. It is there that the vampire and his wife enjoy the contagious enthusiasm of Brazilian samba, while mingling with the locals who dance, drink, and chatter all night long. The seductive Edward seals the night with a romantic kiss on his wife’s lips. In order to shoot this scene, the crew of Breaking Dawn had to close down a whole block of the Lavradio Street – one of the oldest residential streets in the whole city – going from the streets Mem de Sá and Riachuelo.
Photo: Fran Mateus

If you’re up for partying, like Edward and Bella did, go to Lapa on a Saturday, when cars aren’t allowed on the streets and the nightlife takes over. The most fashionable venues are located on the streets where the scene was shot and their surroundings. You can listen to all types of music there: from samba, Brazilian popular music, forró, choro, gafieira and even rock ‘n’ roll. These are some of the trendiest clubs there, along with their websites for you to check out in advance what they have planned: Rio Scenarium (Rua Lavradio, 20); Carioca da Gema (Rua Mem de Sá, 79), and Lapa 40o (Rua Riachuelo, 97).

Photo: Fran Mateus

The concert arena Circo Voador, on Rua dos Arcos, is also worth the trip. Even Madonna went there! On the same street, you’ll see a famous landmark – the Lapa arches, which also appear in the movie. They are a Roman-styled aqueduct, built in the eighteenth century, measuring nearly 300 yards in length. They were used for the transportation of drinking water from the Carioca River, located in the Tijuca forest, to a fountain in the Largo da Carioca, located in downtown Rio, and were active up to mid-nineteenth century. On top of the Lapa arches, in 1896, railway tracks were laid for transporting the yellow streetcars that go up to the Santa Teresa neighborhood.

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