Didem Doğan

Santiago’s neighborhoods: Bella Vista, Lastarria, Barrio Italia

At both sides of the Mapuche River you will find colourful, lively, touristic neighbourhoods. The one close to the old town and the Plaza de las Armas is the Lastarria neighbourhood. The cultural centre of Gabriela Mistral is located here, with one entrance on the Libertador Avenue, other looking at to a back street of Lastarria (Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American poet to win the Nobel price, and just like Pablo Neruda she was born in a poor village in Chile and then her verses became known worldwide). The book store Ulyses is amazing. The Visual Arts Museum is also here. The Peruvian restaurant Tambo, also the Mulato restaurant with Chilean dishes are all located here. At the other side of the river we visit the bohemian neighbourhood of Bellavista where the San Sebastian University is located. During the week days lots of students make it more vibrant and lively. One of the three houses of Pablo Neruda, La Chascona (the others are in Valparaiso and Isla Negra) can also be visited; they belong now to Pablo Neruda Foundation. Close to La Chascona you will find the Mori Theatre, the Mori Square. The restaurant with terrace Matilde is always fully booked. At side streets you will find lots of restaurants, cafés and bars. Reggae clubs and graffiti art all make you smile. Another chic neighbourhood at the other side of the river is located at the Providencia district. Passing to the Italy Square you will get to Barrio Italia with expensive design shops. The La Candelaria café is located at a passage and is a nice place to have tea in a Victorian Style.