Sítio Roberto Burle Marx
The idyllic Sítio Roberto Burle Marx (Estrada da Barra de Guaratiba 2019, tel. 21/2410-1412, tours by appointment only, 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun., R$5) is another attraction worth the time and effort to get to.
Between 1949 and 1994, this bucolic country estate was the primary residence of renowned landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, whose most famous projects in Rio include the Parque do Flamengo and Copacabana’s iconic black-and-white mosaic “wave” promenade.
The surrounding nursery/gardens—featuring more than 3,500 plant species collected from Brazil and around the world—were designed with great flair. Indeed, it was said about Marx—who was also a painter—that he used plants as other artists used paint.
The colonial house (originally part of a coffee plantation) and adjoining atelier have been transformed into a museum where you can admire the artist’s works, possessions, and rich collection of Brazilian folk art. If you don’t have a car, take the bus marked “Marambaia-Passeio” that passes through the Zona Sul.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition