Discovering Buenos Aires

Who I am
Martí Micolau

Author and references

Raise your hand if you don't associate Buenos Aires with Mafalda, Maradona and the tango, symbols par excellence of the city? doors? a: a walk through the streets of the center is enough to realize this.

Capital Federal, as Argentines often call it,? a lively and welcoming metropolis, chaotic and orderly at the same time (at least in the central areas), European but also typically South American. The city? properly said it has about 3 million inhabitants, which for? they become 13 million if we consider the Gran Buenos Aires, the bonaerense hinterland, where many of the largest neighborhoods are concentrated. difficult, often consisting of tin shacks and mud roads. It is in fact one of the twenty cities? pi? largest in the world, the third largest in Latin America.

The center of Buenos Aires draws our attention to the splendid avenidas, wide avenues flanked by elegant buildings and gardens of which certainly the most? emblematic? the very central 9 de Julio Avenue, characterized by the Obelisk and the building of the Ministerio de Obras P? blicas (currently the headquarters of the Ministries of Health and Social Development) with the face of Evita Per? n in relief on the two main facades. The city architecture is very inspired by the French one but there is no lack of old colonial buildings from the Spanish era, including the Manzana de las Luces and the Cabildo, dating back to the th century. The major sites of interest in the city? they are located in a fairly limited area and are all easily accessible.

1 day

We arrive in Buenos Aires by bus from La Plata, where we are hosted by Luciano's grandmother. Our hostel? very central, a few steps from the Obelisk, and we take the opportunity to immediately visit Microcentro, the heart of the city: it recalls Madrid, with its skyscrapers, elegant European-style buildings and theaters along Avenida Corrientes. ? also the center of political life:? where is the famous Plaza de Mayo? where do the Madres meet every Thursday? afternoon to remember the disappeared sons -, a strategic place as the Casa Rosada overlooks it, seat of the Argentine President's offices. Around the square there is also the Cathedral, which preserves the remains of General San Mart? N, a hero dear to the Argentines, and the Cabildo. After having walked around for a few hours, we have dinner in one of the most popular pizzerias. famous in the area and go to the hostel.

2 day

Let's go to the discovery of the Congreso area: separated from Microcentro by Avenida 9 de Julio, there is the Teatro Col? N, the largest important of Argentina, so imposing that it occupies an entire block. One of the most popular buildings beautiful in the area? without doubt the Palacio Barolo, a tribute to the Divine Comedy: the height (100 meters) is equivalent to the number of canticles and? divided into 22 floors, as many lines as there are for each song, and in three zones corresponding to hell, purgatory and paradise. For a long time it was the largest building. high of the city? and currently houses offices whose rent seems to be very cheap why? the bathrooms are located in the corridors. In the building there are six original wrought iron elevators, which lead to the lower floor. tall building, which with its eight balconies allows a 360 degree view of the city center. At the top of a narrow spiral staircase? also placed a splendid lighthouse of Italian manufacture. The visit to the palace? a little? expensive for Buenos Aires prices but definitely worth it.

In the afternoon we go to Puerto Madero: east of Microcentro, reachable in a few minutes on foot from Casa Rosada,? an exclusive neighborhood characterized by skyscrapers and old brick buildings converted into offices, shops and restaurants. In the past it was a port, but now? the ideal place for walking, cycling or skating. The main attraction? represented by the Puente de la Mujer (note that the streets of the neighborhood are all named after famous Argentine women), the work of the Spanish architect Calatrava, a revolving pedestrian bridge that should represent a couple dancing the tango (with a good dose of imagination). In Puerto Madero there is also the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, with an extension of 350 hectares, excellent for birdwatching, which unfortunately we have never been able to visit.

3 day

The third day we dedicate it to San Telmo: one of the most? famous and characteristic neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, with its old-time atmosphere, colonial buildings and vintage shops. The Mercado de San Telmo, built in 1897, ne? the symbol: the interiors are in wrought iron and the antique shops located there are a collector's paradise. Plaza Dorrego, the most? famous of the neighborhood,? the "P? ancient after Plaza de Mayo :? the ideal location to enjoy a tango show while drinking a beer with a side of fries and ravas (fried squid rings) in one of the many open-air bars, as well as being the heart of the feria which takes place every Sunday along the ? of 20 cuadras (blocks) in the neighborhood, crowded with tourists and porte? os in equal measure. The San Telmo Fair? one of the most? large street craft markets: on the stalls? You can find antiques, clothes, jewelry and various odds and ends. For Mafalda lovers like me,? It is a must to go in search of the famous bench where you can take a picture with the nice little girl and created by the pencil of Quino and his friends Manolito and Susana. La Panchina di Mafalda is located inside the Paseo de la Historieta, a promenade that winds between San Telmo and Puerto Madero dotted with statues of the pi? important characters of Argentine comics.

4 day

We finally visit La Boca: a proletarian neighborhood traditionally considered infamous,? famous for its colorful sheet metal houses and for the Caminto, the main street, which has now become extremely touristy, with souvenir shops, a handicraft market and tango dancers. The many Italian and Spanish immigrants who arrived in Argentina at the end of the th century in search of a better life found a home in this neighborhood. La Bombonera? the cancha (stadium) of the Boca Juniors team, one of the most? important of the city. Many inhabitants of the neighborhood, hearing us speak in Italian, do not miss the opportunity to tell us about Maradona (whom everyone seems to know personally) or about some Italian immigrant relative in Buenos Aires.

5 day

On the last day, before taking the bus who will take us back? in La Plata, we dedicate it to the exploration of two of the most? chic of Buenos Aires. Palermo, one of the most? elegant cities, home to embassies and museums,? divided into various areas, including Palermo Viejo, Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood. The beautiful Parque 3 de Febrero? really immense: inside there are the Planetarium, the Zoological Garden and the Japanese Garden, the latter with graceful bridges suspended over ponds where? It is possible to feed huge carp. Recoleta? the upper class district, famous for the Cemetery where the tomb of Evita Peru is located, a destination for real pilgrimages. Another of the attractions? represented by the splendid bookshop El Ateneo, the most? famous of the city, considered one of the most? most beautiful in the world and located inside a period theater, the Gran Splendid. Reluctantly do we leave this city? splendid that won us over with its elegance and vivacity, hasta ready Buenos Aires!

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