During our visit to Buenos Aires, we did our best to explore as many of its diverse neighborhoods as we could. In addition to its trendier and more modern areas like Palermo and Belgrano, other sections of the city reveal its deeper history. In the case of San Telmo, one of its oldest neighborhoods, we found a community that once housed the city's dock workers who earned their keep in nearby Puerto Madero.
Much like Puerto Madero, San Telmo has had its renaissance in recent years. Enough of its historic buildings have survived the turbulent years of the 19th and 20th centuries to attract attention from both tourists and locals, and a slow but steady regentrification of the neighborhood has been taking place. Located just blocks from the Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo, San Telmo is a living reminder of Buenos Aires' past, in the heart of the city's urban center.
The sellers have another advantage to begin with, as any visitor to Argentina invariably has some special purchase in mind during their stay in its most famous city, be it well-aged malbec, jewelry, leather, literature, clothing, local pastries, or simply a token reminder of their time there.
San Telmo, only about 10 blocks long and even fewer wide, is one of Buenos Aires' smallest neighborhoods. You could walk from one end to the other, have lunch in one of its restaurants, and feel as though you'd seen it all in just a couple of hours. Nonetheless, this neighborhood of many layers of history and as many hidden corners and corridors will reward the more patient explorer with a more profound understanding of what the city is, what it once was, then leave you to imagine where it might be headed, and when you might return.