With the iconic white arches of the aquaduct as its symbol, Lapa has a place in the heart of the vast majority of people that have visited, whether by day or ever-bustling night. The essence of bohemian living - in a rather more ramshackle way than the Santa Teresa hillside above - samba halls and bars dominate the streets. The last ten years have been kind to an area once overrun by prostitutes and drugs, and while an element of danger still hangs in the air on certain of its street corners, its regeneration has been gradual but important. Police now close the main road on Friday nights and the barracas (stalls) selling cans of beer and cocktails have been regulated, but despite losing some of the anything-goes magic it remains a pretty essential Friday night out.
21 Oct 2011.