In Santa Teresa one can see the beauty of nineteenth century buildings, century in which the carioca elite climbed up the hill to avoid the yellow fever epidemic that took over the city. In 1850 the elite went up the hill to benefit from the fresh air of the region, strategically located close to the Guanabara Bay and accessed either by downtown, north or south zones (via Lapa, Glória, Laranjeiras, Cosme Velho, Catumbi or Rio Comprido). Up until these days the neighborhood is structured on a single, long road without traffic signs or gas stations (somewhat isolated from its neighbors), with cobblestone and pé de moleque pavement and centenary lanterns, "something like Paraty and the colonial cities of Minas Gerais," as the writer Caio Fernando de Abreu would say.
Besides Caio F., the neighborhood was home to other illustrious residentes such as Paschoal Segreto, Laurinda Santos Lobo, Manuel Bandeira, Djanira, Nise da Silveira, counterculture artists such as the Dzi Croquettes and many others. Santa Teresa’s artistic calling remains until these days in events such as Arte de Portas Abertas and the bohemia of its pubs in old fashioned style around squares like Largo das Neves, which seems frozen in time. The neighborhood was the only place in town that kept the cable car as a means of transportation until the twenty-first century. Though it is currently more used for touristic purposes, the tram holds its charm when sliding through the old aquedut of the city.