Ole La Boca

Perhaps best known for being the original home of soccer great Diego Maradona, La Boca is one of the oldest of Buenos Aries’ barrios, and certainly one of its most interesting.

Originally settled by Italian immigrants from around Genoa La Boca is one of the most colourful and most authentic of the barrios. In fact, La Boca has such a colourful history that in 1882 it even seceded from Argentina after a long general strike and the Genoese flag was raised instead of the flag of Argentina.

That protest didn’t last too long, and it was the Argentine President of the time who personally removed the offending flag.

The best known street in La Boca is Caminito, which means `little path’. Caminito contains many garishly-coloured houses, lots of artisan’s stalls that are filled with paintings and handcrafts. A fair is held each weekend, when you will also get to see and hear singers and tango dancers perform.

Not many visitors venture further into La Boca than Caminito, and that’s because your safety cannot always be guaranteed if you venture too far into the suburb. However, it is generally considered quite safe to stay within the main tourist areas.

Soccer is more than a sport in Argentina; it is a passion with almost religious overtones, with Boca Juniors being the local team. If you have any interest at all in soccer, and even if you don’t, it is worth visiting La Bombonera, the home ground, which also has a museum attached.

Inside the museum you will see displays of various cups and trophies that have been won by the club, t-shirt collections, there’s also a movie theatre, much memorabilia, and the great man, Maradona’s, last representative jersey.

Soccer is not the only passion in Argentina; tango is the other great passion, and Buenos Aries is the home of the tango, a dance which, in itself, personifies passion. Some even argue that tango was first given life in La Boca, but there is some conjecture regarding that claim. There are plenty of bars and clubs in La Boca where you can enjoy either watching or participating in tango.

Buenos Aries is a city which appeals to people on many different levels, and whilst La Boca may lack the sophistication of barrios such as Recoleta or Belgrano, La Boca is more about having fun and about discovering what give the city its absolute lust for life.

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