Beyond avenida Joaquim Nabuco start a barrio of Olinda.
Ask to one of young guides of touristic center (in rua 4 cantos)to bring you there to visit Escola Rotary of Olinda. Is an elementary school where, in the evening, some local voluntary meet children of the Barrio to teach them Capoeira and maracatu. This is a way to take them far from drug, pushers and tricky family situations. We went there and they arranged a special performance of capoeira just for my husband and me.It was an amazing experience and they are very skilful dancers!
If you can, help them with a donation to keep on doing this important project of give children a safe space to enjoy and learn roots of their culture.
The small Museu do Mamulenco exhibits scores of puppets used by traveling troupes to entertain children (of all ages), especially before the age of cinema and television.
There's a R$2 admission charge. A handsome booklet is provided and photographs are allowed.
The museum is on Rua do Amparo near its intersection with Rua Prudente de Morais.
I missed carnaval in Olinda by a few days -- having chosen to spend a night in Rio's sambadromo -- but preparations were everywhere.
The stalls in my picture were set up by vendors on Rua do Bomfim, just up the street from Praca do Carmo.
The "Arte Sacra Museum" shows religious style arts,if you visited this kind of museum in Salvador or Sao Paulo,you can be a bit disapointed here!
The very steep "Da Misericordia" street,leads down towards the "Do Amparo" street.
This is the most beautiful and interesting street ,in my opinion, in Olinda,featuring small brightly collorful colonial houses,packed with galleries,restaurants and shops.
The "Largo Do Amparo"square,gives the feeling of a little mexican square.
Living the square and following "Amparo"street,it becomes "Treze De Maio" street,than you'll find the "Mamulengo Puppet Museum.
The small 3 floor museum assembles puppets used in Northeastern folk dramas,the guide explains the puppets and than let you fiddle them.
Almost next door,the Comteporary Art Museum,what is cool but a little poor in its exhibitions,it's built in a former prison house.
The good news is that a large nbr of churches and monasteries in Olinda are undergoing needed renovations,but,due to limited funding and sometimes poor planning,can take years to complete,leaving the buildings closed for visitation,devoid of arts and altars in the churches!!
The only and/or best and truly way to explore Olinda is by hitting the cobblestones and setting off on foot.
It's hard to get lost in the Historical part of the city:West - "Da Se" church
Most attractions are open daily,churche usually from 8:00 to 17:00,closed from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch.
Sunday and Monday it's pretty quiet,if you like it more live and bustling,visit on Friday and Saturday.
Buses from Recife will drop you off at "Do Carmo"square,dominated by the lovely "Nossa Senhora Do Carmo" church.
This 400 years old church is finally undergoing some much needed renovations.
It may be closed,but if not,it' worths peeking in to see the huge ornated "Jacaranda" wood altar.
Outside the church,"Da Abolicao" square(abolition square),with a statue of Princess Isabel,who was responsable for abolishing e slavery in Brazil,in 1888.
Follow "Da Liberdade" avenue,and you'll pass by the 1590's church of "Sao Pedro Apostolo".
San Franscisco convent also worths a visit,built in 1577,this was the first Franciscan Monastery in Brazil,done in Portuguese ble tile,with a beautiful white and gold altar.
Before the advent of television -- and even today -- puppet theatres are popular entertainment, especially in rural areas (like the sertao) of Brazil.
This stage is in the Puppet Museum.
Though I missed carnaval in Olinda, at several sites I saw figures that are used in the street parades.
The picture is of one among three who stand in the windows of a house on Rua do Amparo.