By Aitor Elua, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nestled between Flamengo, Lapa, Santa Teresa and the waterfront, Glória enjoys a superb location and views of the Guanabara Bay. Its 10,000 residents stroll through the main corridor, Rua da Glória, which connects with two important streets, Rua do Catete and Rua da Lapa, brimming with grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies and snack shops filled with ample customers and lively conversation.
Residents and visitors alike may find between its combination of beautiful, old classical buildings (Glória was once called “The Paris of Rio”) and modern, more recent ones. Another discovery in the neighborhood is one of the best pizzas in town.
Francisco Allevato is the originator responsible for such culinary masterpieces available at Pizzaria do Chico, Rua Santa Cristina (prices running between R$25-30 for a medium pizza). For a healthier choice, a street fair is organized every Thursday at Rua Conde de Lages, which is oriented mainly toward fruits and vegetables but is amply stocked with other meat and fish favorites.
Although substantial, the Thursday fair is just a prelude to the Sunday fair in Avenida Augusto Seveiro. Anything you can think of may be purchased here, from toys to TV sets, local culinary treats, fine fabrics and clothes.
After dusk in Glória, several leisure options are at your disposal as well. If you are looking to quench your thirst for culture, Cine Glória in Memorial Getulio Vargas on Praça Luis de Camões may hit the spot.
If you prefer to quench a more traditional kind of thirst, Badalado is the place. It is a quaint restaurant and bar which during the day offers menus executivos (value meals) at R$11.90 and is open every day until 1AM. Located on Rua de Catete 68, aipim (boiled mandioc pieces, seasoned, and dressed in extra virgin olive oil) with cheese is their star dish.
In order to enjoy wonderful views of the bay and colonial works of art, walking (or taking the elevator) to the hilltop of the Outeiro da Glória is a must. There stands the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Glória de Outeiro, a Seventeenth century church, designed and built by Portuguese military engineer José Cardoso Ramalho and restored in 2006.
In terms of living, prices are climbing at a rate of approximately 15 percent in recent years, the cost of a one-bedroom condo is running from R$110,000 to R$240,000 at the moment. Rentals go from R$1,100 to R$1,800 per month. At the waterfront, apartment prices rise considerably and are between R$400,000 and R$850,000.
Real Estate prices are expected to skyrocket in the foreseeable future, especially at the waterfront, mainly due to remodeling of the luxurious Hotel Glória Palace, focused on matching the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in achieving seven stars.
The main investor in this hotel is famous Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, who also has projects in the Marina da Glória and is eager to headquarter his business conglomerate in the area.