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The World of the Gaucho
Texto: María Inés Pizzo | Photos: Francisco Gualtier
In the town of San Antonio de Areco, general stores, antique bars and dedicated silversmiths take visitors back to a bygone era.
A plaza surrounded by cobblestone streets, wide sidewalks and nostalgic manor homes offers a trip back in time to the magnificent cultural past of the pampa. Located just 68 miles from Buenos Aires, San Antonio de Areco is a town that honors Argentina’s rural traditions.
El Boliche de Bessonart
The town’s general stores are some of the most intriguing relics. Scattered throughout the pampas, these pulperías once did double duty as bars and general stores where the gauchos shopped and socialized. At El boliche de Bessonart and Los Principios, you can view period furniture and centuries-old bars, cash registers and posters that recall another era. One of the most famous general stores is La Blanqueada, the setting for Ricardo Güiraldes’ classic novel Don Segundo Sombra. The 150-year-old building, located at the entrance to the Parque Criollo and the Museo Gauchesco Ricardo Güiraldes, has been restored to its original splendor.
As you explore the streets of Areco, you will also find workshops where artisans produce the various items that define the gaucho aesthetic. Don’t miss the Museo Draghi on the main plaza, which offers a chance to see examples of work by the country’s original silversmiths, including pieces made by the Draghi family. At the Museo Las Lilas, visitors can admire a valuable selection of original pieces by well-known artist Florencio Molina Campos.
The simple streets of Areco are like a time capsule that preserves Argentina’s history, art and traditions.
Free, guided tours run by the Tourism Board leave from the Palacio Municipal every Saturday, Sunday and holidays at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.www.pagosdeareco.com.ar
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