How to fall in love with Cusco

The end of May has arrived, and my unforgettable Argentinian experience has come to an end. But before going back to Italy, I still have a few places to tick off from my endless South American bucket list – I definitely need to come back here soon! 🙂  I am starting from the archaeological capital of the…

A practical guide to Argentina

This post is a brief guide that will help you with practicalities when on your Year Abroad or travelling in Argentina. Argentinians are lovely and super friendly, especially around Buenos Aires. Here they share many cultural aspects with Italians, due to the massive Italian immigration wave Argentina experienced during the second half of the 19th…

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, is this even Bolivia?

To be honest, I didn’t fall in love with Santa Cruz at all. I can’t explain why, maybe it was my mood, or the way people drove their SUVs, or just the fact that people weren’t as friendly and lovely as I had previously experienced in Bolivia. Apart from this, I am still convinced that…

My 10 favourite things to do in Salta

As you probably already know I am spending my Year Abroad in Salta, a city at the foothills of the Andes Cordillera. Here, right next to some of the first peaks of the Andes, it’s a totally different world compared to Buenos Aires, which has a huge European influence. Salta la Linda, as people call it, is…

Cochabamba, an unexpected Easter surprise

Cochabamba, the city of the eternal spring, is not a common destination for travellers in Bolivia. The valley is the main agricultural heart of the country for its climate, while Chapare, in the northern part of the Cochabamba district, is the illegal hub of coca plants cultivation – this practice is only allowed in certain…

Mother nature at its best: visiting IguazĂș Falls

As travellers, we are always looking for intact places, the ones locals go to, “secrets” that our beloved Lonely Planet has yet to discover. Nevertheless, there’s a list of places everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Sometimes, must-see attractions take over, and there is no time for hesitation: you have to go there,…

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK: DISCOVERING BUENOS AIRES, PART II

Even if full of tourists, the Sunday San Telmo Flea market along Calle Defensa doesn’t lose its charm. A never-ending street where you’ll find all sorts of items, as well as street food. If you need to buy presents, or have some room for cool souvenirs, this is the place to go to. However, the…

BEYOND THE GUIDEBOOK: DISCOVERING BUENOS AIRES, PART I

Forget London, Rome, Paris or Madrid. Buenos Aires does not follow an architectural script like most standard European cities do. If you happen to visit the Argentinian capital, you will struggle to find the historical heart of the city – in fact, there isn’t one -, and no logic rules seem to have been applied…

The dark page of Argentina’s history

If you visit Argentina, you will probably know about the darkest page of this country’s recent history, the military regime of the ‘70s. To discover what happened during those years, the ex-ESMA (Escuela MecĂĄnica de la Armada), now called Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos, is the perfect place to visit. It’s somewhere Argentinians tend not…

The mountain that eats men

The journey continued, as the day after we passed the border at La Quiaca into the Bolivian town of VillazĂłn. It felt immediately like being in another country, especially for the cholitas, women wearing traditional dresses, a growing grass-root movement against the Spanish imposed European fashion (if interested you can read this article). When walked into…

On my way to Bolivia

‘In the time of our old ancestors a powerful and prosperous tribe of Indians lived on one side of the valley , and on the opposite mountain slopes an equally strong and well-organised tribe had settled. At first these two tribes were the best of neighbours and traded honestly and freely, but, as time went…