If you had to choose one place to symbolize Rio’s Belle Époque, it would be this sumptuous café, a must-do for every downtown visitor. Built by a Portuguese family in 1894—when Rio still evinced the splendor of a former imperial capital—its art nouveau–inspired refinements like huge mirrors, imported from Europe, wood furnishings, immense chandeliers, and stained-glass transoms welcome patrons. Colombo is all so terribly majestic you could be at one of the Continent’s grand salons or even the Tortoni in Buenos Aires. Perfect for afternoons over a pastelzinho de Belém, Lisbon’s traditional sweet egg tart.
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