Buenos Aires

Confiteria Bristol

Confiteria Bristol

Buenos Aires, Argentina

A boy and a girl walk on via Esmeralda. At the end of February, though the summer is about to end, the air in Buenos Aires is still torrid. They have just arrived and today they have no destination. The small Confitería Bristol is the address they are not looking for. The girl orders two vegetarian empanadas, and the boy three with meat, with no hesitations. In front of the convex windows of the confectioner’s that since 1952 lives on the domestic rituals of the local upper middle class, they speak with the man at the counter – a Peruvian who learnt the trade as a boy – and with a distinguished woman whom the confectioner introduces promptly as a regular customer and granddaughter of President Avellaneda. These delicious turnovers of crumbly wavy pastry – the girl will learn to mould them with greater and greater skill – are the main course of an improvised picnic on a bench in the small park in front of the Palacio de Relaciones Internacionales. She bites them slowly, while he wolfs them and smiles with eyes wide open, as he did when he was caught doing some prank as a child. Buenos Aires was his world back then; now it is the city where he goes back and takes his new love.

Hub Porteño

Hub Porteño

Buenos Aires, Argentina

‘All happy mornings resemble one another’ – Here I am, Jonathan Safran Foer. We woke up at Hub Porteño with a discreet and innocent jolliness, which even the passing rain drumming on the veranda could not disperse. The wall garden at our back, we sat on the striped sofa and sipped coffee in decorated china, while waiting for our daily medialunas to come out of the oven, stately and fragrant. The historical neighbourhood families resumed their classic routine while the sun dried the smaller puddles. In our spare time, we exercised our idea of luxury: we idled on the roof terrace, a private Eden among building tops, lingered in the big marble bathtub and, when snack time came, treated ourselves to a portion of homemade cake and a mate, while resuming that book about enchanted estancias.

Estancia Candelaria del Monte

Estancia Candelaria del Monte

The Pampas, Argentina

Driving towards San Miguel del Monte, just outside Buenos Aires is like trying to get out of Milan on a Friday night driving on the multiple-lane main road packed with cars that are stuck or barely moving forward. For an Italian, the landscape is not dissimilar from the countryside of the Emilia region. You can feel tired and disappointed that you are not in a completely unspoiled land…

Closer to the Sky

Closer to the Sky

Buenos Aires and Salta, Argentina

When it’s our December, it’s summer in the Australian hemisphere and Buenos Aires smells of blue Jacaranda. It’s a sweet fragrance that permeates the whole city, you can’t miss it. We only remember details of the places we visit, what’s memorable about Argentina is its inebriating smell. It’s in the city, in the countryside, up to the most remote corner of its immense land…

El Obrero

El Obrero

Buenos Aires, Argentina

When we asked an Argentinian, he told us that La Boca is not in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and yet when we arrived at El Ombrero we felt as we’d come to the end of the city. The only way to get to this residential street, dimly lighted by a few streetlamps, is by taxi and you need to know the full address. At the entrance, a police officer checks everyone on the way in and out. Fried calamari, grilled sausage and mashed potatoes: the food is abundant, frugal, tasty and cheap.

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