A couple of leisurely hours is enough to explore the rest of what’s left of Natal’s historic Centro. The heart of the colonial city is Praça André de Albuquerque. It is flanked on one side by the 17th-century Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Apresentação (tel. 84/3615-2808, 4–6:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 6–10 a.m. and 4–6:30 p.m. Sun.). A block away lies the pretty baroque Igreja de Santo Antônio (Rua Santo Antônio, tel. 84/3211-4236, 6 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8–11 a.m. Sat.–Sun.), which houses a small sacred arts museum.
Surrounding the Praça Sete de Setembro is the Palácio Potengi (tel. 84/3232-9727, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun., free), the Victorian-style former governor’s palace, which displays a collection of period furniture along with temporary exhibits of works by local artists. Also worth a glimpse is the city’s premier theater, the grandly neoclassical Teatro Alberto Maranhão (Praça Augusto Severo) located a few blocks west of the Palácio Potengi.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition