Fodor's Expert Review Parque Lage
This lush green space down the road from Jardim Botânico was acquired by Antônio Martins Lage Jr., whose grandson, Henrique Lage, fell head-over-heels in love with the Italian singer Gabriela Bezanzoni. The magnificent palace he had constructed for her was completed in 1922; the impressive mansion and grounds were turned into a public park in 1960. A visual-arts school and a café occupy the mansion. On the grounds are small aquariums and a few caves that have stalactites and stalagmites. If you want to tackle Corcovado on foot to make your pilgrimage to see Christ the Redeemer, start in Parque Lage; trails are clearly marked, though you shouldn't go alone.