This is THE postcard of Buenos Aires, the typical porteño district, with its tango dances and bandoneon melodies, although it is actually very touristy. The famous Caminito (little path), sung by Juan de Dios Filiberto in a famous tango, but written by Gabino Coria Peñaloza, stretches over a cuadra.
This district owes its current appearance to the many immigrants, mainly Genoese, attracted by the port activity and arrived in the mid-19th century. Without housing, they began to build makeshift houses made of wood and tin around Pasaje Caminito. These were the conventillos, places organized around a central patio where several families were crammed together in precarious conditions. The facades of these houses are then painted with the surplus paint used for the boats. Nowadays several of these conventillos have been restored and are home to shops, restaurants and art galleries. Don't miss, among others, the Conventillo Histórico of 1881 in Magallanes Street, today an art gallery (free entrance). It is a fine example of the architecture of the time and you can admire the neighbourhood from a viewpoint. These atypical houses with their bright and vivid colours have made the street famous and have turned it into a must for tourists. This small street used to be the route of the General Roca train. You can see the rails along the square, behind the Caminito, where the local kids organize their football games, sometimes interrupted by the rare passage of a locomotive. Finally we go around it quite quickly, just enough time to have a look at the stands of the painters who exhibit their works in the open air, to walk through the different colourful alleys and to take a pose with a tango dancer while taking a picture. Despite everything it is good to stroll there for half a day if the weather allows it. La Boca, the mouth of the Riachuelo, is above all the port and one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the centre of Buenos Aires. It is the only one where you will be advised to follow more strictly the usual rules of common sense to avoid unwelcome adventures (no ostentatious signs of wealth, especially if you are far from the tourist route). Also avoid wearing red and white, which are the colours of River Plate, Boca Juniors' rival club. Also not recommended in the evening.
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