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Michael Luongo

Michael Luongo Argentina Travel Blog

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Walking Tours in Buenos Aires, Argentine Films and More

Sunday March 30, 2014
DIRECTORY-OF-WORLD-CINEMA_ARGENTINA.jpgWe've added several new walking tour itineraries to the About.com Argentina Travel site, and I am planning to add more as time goes on. For now, find three great tours you can do in one day or space out during your trip to Argentina. One is a walking tour of Florida Street in downtown Buenos Aires. Another looks at the Plaza San Martin area, adjacent to Calle Florida. On the other side of Nueve de Julio, I also have a walking tour of Plaza Lavalle which includes Teatro Colon, the Jewish museum and the Obelisco. I also have a new article looking at some of my favorite overlooked buildings in Buenos Aires, which are also on some of these walking tours. Many of these locations are also used as scenes in movies. I cover a new book looking at Argentine cinema called called the Directory of World Cinema: Argentina, edited by Spanish native Beatriz Urraca and American Gary M. Kramer. I contributed to the book, reviewing the film Mia, about a transgendered woman in Buenos Aires. The book looks at some of the country's most important films, and the interview with the editors also looks at how you can visit iconic Argentine sites from many of these movies.

Favorite Books on Argentina and More News

Sunday February 23, 2014
As a writer, I love to read. And there are few places I love to read more about than Buenos Aires and Argentina. Fortunately, a wealth of books has been written on Buenos Aires, both by Argentines and foreigners fascinated by the city. Many have also been made into movies with some of your favorite stars. This month, I discuss many of my favorite in this article, and reading these will help you learn more about the country. We have also looked at romantic Argentina and Buenos Aires this month for Valentine's Day, with a focus on hip Palermo and classical Recoleta. Remember though, no matter when you visit Argentina, it's sure to be romantic! Earlier in February, we also took a close look at Belgrano and the Chinatown area, just in time for Chinese New Year. No matter the time of the year though, it's an exciting and underexplored part of the city.

January and February Heat Up the Romance in Argentina

Friday January 24, 2014
Room 14 in the Home Hotel, photo courtesy of Home HotelLate January and early February is certainly when things heat up in Argentina, and I mean that in all ways! It's time to think about romance and Valentine's Day. We'll have more in mid-February, but if you're thinking of coming at that time, we have a variety of new posts all about romance in Argentina. From romantic stays in Buenos Aires in Palermo and Recoleta, to traveling to Mendoza, Patagonia and the north of Argentina, too. Have a look. And remember, I might be the expert on Argentina, but the real expert here at About.com on romance and honeymoons is Susan Breslow. Make sure to visit her site wherever you plan to travel for Valentine's.

Rolling Stones, Uruguay Side Trips, Apartments and Assorted News

Tuesday January 21, 2014
Michael Cooper's Photos of the Rolling Stones at Centro Cultural BorgesIt's been an exciting time here at About.com Argentina Travel, with the holidays, and the hot weather in January in Buenos Aires and other parts of Argentina. Did your hotel suffer a power outage as many folks did in Argentina? Still, that's all the more reason to get out of your hotel and explore. We have a ton of new content for your trip from a new Rolling Stones exhibit in Centro Cultural Borges, to sidetrips to Uruguay for a long weekend, done in Part 1 and Part 2, a guest blog by Lynn Carlton about renovating her dream apartment in Buenos Aires, and a piece about Argentine highlights in the Museo de Bellas Artes which will help you learn more about the history of Argentina. Comment on the articles or send me a note. I would love to know how useful they have been for you!

It's Christmas Time: Midnight Mass in Buenos Aires and Other Cities

Saturday December 21, 2013
Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I,holding the Baby Jesus during Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve 2010.It's Christmas time in the city - the city of Buenos Aires that is. One of the best ways to enjoy it is with the Catholic tradition of Midnight Mass, called Noche Buena in Spanish. In Buenos Aires, that means heading to Catedral Metropolitana, once the home of Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now better known as Pope Francis.

The new Archbishop is Mario Aurelio Poli, who will lead the church mass on December 24, beginning at 10:00pm, blessing the flock who come to the church, and bringing the representation of baby Jesus to the cathedral's manger and announcing Christmas to the world. Argentina is a majority Catholic country, but there is very little in the way of ritual on view. Midnight Mass is the exception in Buenos Aires and other cities throughout Argentina. If you are here on vacation at the time, make sure to put it into your schedule. While dressing up is nice, many churches will have a come as you are policy. It's hot in Argentina in December, so don't be surprised to see locals as well as tourists in shorts and t-shorts during the ceremony.

I highly recommend coming to Midnight Mass. Photographing it over the years is how I can now personally claim to know the Pope. You never know whom you might meet at Midnight Mass in Argentina. Maybe another future Pope of the Pampas.

Also, take a look at some of the other recent postings here at Argentina Travel, Shopping Malls in Buenos Aires, Kosher Wine and Dining in Argentina, November is the Gayest Month in Argentina, Jewish Cultural Sites in Buenos Aires, and Leather Shopping in Buenos Aires, among many others.

November and December Highlights of Argentina

Sunday November 24, 2013
The month of November is an excellent time to visit Argentina, with the gorgeous jacaranda trees in their purple gloried bloom. The weather is also ideal in Buenos Aires and much of Argentina before the summer season begins. Hotels will begin to fill up fast, so make sure to book your hotels. We have a lot of great listings. There is a lot of new material on the About.com Argentina Travel site. With the holidays coming up, don't forget that Chanukah is celebrated throughout Argentina by its large Jewish community. You'll find new postings on Jewish cultural sites and on kosher dining and wine. Holiday gift giving is also easy with our guide to leather shops in Buenos Aires. And we've got great advice from children's book author Ricardo Liniers on where to take your kids when traveling in Argentina.

Argentina Sweeps Conde Nast Travelers Readers Choice Awards

Thursday October 17, 2013
Argentina ranks high on the Conde Nast Travelers Readers Choice Awards for 2013. Buenos Aires itself was ranked the number one city in South and Central America.

We've got a whole article looking at the awards in detail, with several hotels in Buenos Aires and resorts in Mendoza and Bariloche figuring in the awards.

Take a look through the article and then figure if you can include some of these properties in your upcoming Argentina vacation.

Don't forget some of our other articles - a look at a new book on Evita, shopping for men's clothing in Buenos Aires, Pope tours and Catedral Metropolitana, fishy restaurants in Buenos Aires, hotels you already love and many others!

Argentinaís Hotel Fierro on the Fodorís 2013 100 Best List

Thursday October 3, 2013
Travel book publishing company Fodor's recently released its list of the Top 100 Hotels around the world. It's their third annual list and Buenos Aires' Hotel Fierro in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood is on it. We know there are tons of great places to stay in the Argentine capital, but it is the sole Buenos Aires hotel to do so. The Fierro won in the category 'Culinary Gems.' That's no surprise considering the hotel calls itself the 'Hotel for the Gourmand' and is famous for its restaurant HG, taking its name from chef Hernan Gipponi. Fierro Hotel Dining HG Restaurant Read More...

New Fishy Flavors in Buenos Aires

Sunday September 1, 2013
Floreria AtlanticoBuenos Aires cuisine is dominated by beef. That's great if you love all things from a cow, but it can make it difficult if you want a little more variety in what you eat. For those of you who love fish however, 2013 saw the opening of two fabulous new restaurants giving visitors great seafood choices.

Chipper opened in March of 2013 in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood, bringing a touch of Great Britain to Buenos Aires. One thing that makes it special is that Argentines have long had a love-hate relationship with the British ever since they brought railroads along with pubs and tea houses, forgetting fish and chips. Susan Kennedy, the owner of remedied that. Strawberry blonde with piercing green eyes and a Dublin accent, Susan calls her new restaurant, "an Irish Fish & Chips place," avoiding the often present anti-British sentiment pervading Argentina.

Read More...

Argentina's Founding Father General San Martin

Wednesday August 21, 2013

General San Martin

Every country has a founder. For Argentina, it's General José Francisco de San Martín.

San Martin is up there with Simon Bolivar, both important liberators for South America during the wars of independence against Spain in the early part of the 1800s.

The date of his 1850 death, August 17, is celebrated as a holiday in Argentina, and one many locals use for their winter vacations.  Visit any Argentine city, and you'll find a San Martin street or avenue, often a major thoroughfare.  In Buenos Aires, Calle San Martin runs past Plaza de Mayo, the heart of the city.  It's where you'll find Catedral Metropolitana, the city's most important religious building, and the former home cathedral of Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I.

Inside of Catedral Metropolitana, you'll find the mausoleum of General San Martin, built in a gorgeous elliptical side chapel adorned with polychrome marble and bronze and guarded by soldiers in revolutionary uniforms. A sarcophagus holds his remains, brought over in 1880 from France at the end of the Argentine Civil War. Read More...

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