Myths, Legends & Cafes of Buenos Aires | Buenos Aires, Argentina | Once again in Buenos Aires, city where I was born and left, many years ago, searching for new challenges and adventures. My family still lives in this beautiful city, reason why I visit at least three times a year. Every visit to me is a new discovery, always looking to learn more about it and to find new interesting things to share with all my followers and passengers. This time, expert guide Victoria Lustig, came my way and willing to work with me, she offer to take me around, to see a different side of it. My first reaction was, well what can she show me that I have not seen yet. I was right, she didn’t show me much I haven’t seen before, BUT she made me understand things and see others I have never noticed for luck of attention or knowledge. Travel should always be and “Experience” and a “Life Changing Moment”, and this tour gave me that.
Together we customized the itinerary, prior to my arrival to Argentina, via email. She asked me …” Carlos, what do you want to see…” and I replied …” I want to learn about the myths and legends of Buenos Aires. I want to seat at a Cafe among the elders and learn from their stories…”. So we did. !!! I will only share some bits of it, since I do not want to spoil the WOW Factor of this tour, which it is filled with secrets, myths and legends of the so called “Paris of the South”.National Congress, one of the best examples of Eclectic Architecture, by italian architect Vittorio Meano. Over Avenida de Mayo, looking straight to the Casa Rosada, located at the opposite end of the same avenue.
Cafe 36 Billares, a renowned cafe of Buenos Aires. Located also along Avenida de Mayo. There is a place for men to play billiards and cards, while sipping a classic “cortado” aka. short coffee.
Palacio Barolo, this building was inspired in the Divine Comedy and just as in Dante’s book, it is divided in 3 parts representing Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, Knowing that Europe could be devastated by war, the idea of Mr Barolo (who financed the construction ) and Mr.Palanti (the architect), was to bring Dante’s ashes to Argentina, so that during the first days of June when the Southern Cross in the sky would be aligned with “Paradise” in the building, Dante’s ashes would ascend to heaven. Of course the writer’s ashes never left Italy. BTW if you happen to be in Montevideo, Uruguay, do not miss to visit its sister building, the Palacio Salvo. The story tells that Mr Barolo, planned to have the lights of the two tower to meet at night in the middle of the Rio de la Plata and together create a beacon of light that would lead to the skies and the Paradise. Unfortunately he forgot that the earth was rounded and not flat, making this impossible.
Tortoni, inspired in Cafe Tortoni on Boulevard des Italiennes in Paris, is the oldest cafe in the city (1858) The specialty is drafted beer, drafted cider and hot chocolate with churros. In the same building you can visit the National Tango Academy, the World Museum of Tango and take a lesson too!
EVITA, so what’s the story behind this portrait of Eva on the Ministry of Health building in 9 de Julio Avenue. Well this was the first time I realized what on each side of the building, facing each ends of the avenue, there is a different portrait of Eva. The one facing Recoleta, Avenida Alvear and the most refined neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, shows an Eva against the oligarchy, looking angry, shouting and complaining. The one facing Constitucion and the limits of the city of Buenos Aires, home to the middle lower classes, we see and Candid Eva, happy and sweat. Have you noticed that before ? I didn’t. !!!
El Zanjon, the most important urban archeology site in the city, a beautifully reconstructed building from the beginning of XIX century. Upon the restoration started in 1985, another building was found underneath and a series of tunnels were discovered. Some historians relate this place to the First Foundation of Buenos Aires in 1536, although there is no archeological evidence. Another unsolved mystery in Buenos Aires
Casa Minima, the narrowest house in Buenos Aires, belonged to a freed slave. When slavery was abolished, the owners decided to give a piece of their house to their former slaves.
Barracas, the other south. A district of the city not many tourist explore. It is located between the railroad of Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano and the Riachuelo River. The name Barracas comes from the word barraca, which refers to a temporary construction of houses using rudimentary materials. My favorites here are, Caseros Avenue with some great restaurants, and Lanin Street. (photos above).
El Progreso Bar, 0n Montes de Oca Avenue, an emblem of Barracas, a place that still keeps the air of the old neighbourhood and where we tasted a wonderful “cafe con leche y medialunas” (coffee with milk and traditional lard or butter croissants).
Santa Felicitas Church in Barracas, this church contains the tragic story of beauty and murder. When a young Felicitas Guerrero (16) was forced to marry Martin de Alzaga (61)
I would like to introduce my expert guide Victoria Lustig (photo above). She is the one that showed me, over a period of 3 hours, this other side of Buenos Aires, full of Myths, Legends and wonderful quaint Cafes. Thanks to her I got to access quick and easy to private sights not opened to the regular public. I strongly recommend her. She has a emphatic rather informal style, eager to share all her knowledge and customize your itinerary to your own requests. You may contact her @ email
Alvear Palace Hotel, what better way to end this experience than over Filthy Vodka Martinis at the fabulous lobby bar of this iconic sophisticated and ultra chic hotel. This is a MUST STOP for each visit I take to Buenos Aires. What a lovely way to spend my afternoon, discovering new myths and legends of the city I love. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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