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La Boca

La Boca

La Boca is a neighborhood, or barrio of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. In fact the name has a strong assonance with the Genoese neighborhood of Boccadasse (or Bocadaze in Genoese dialect), and some people believe that the Buenos Aires barrio was indeed named after it. The conventional explanation is that the neighborhood sits at the mouth ("boca" in Spanish) of the Riachuelo.

In 1882, after a lengthy general strike, La Boca seceded from Argentina, and the rebels raised the Genoese flag, which was immediately torn down personally by then President Julio Argentino Roca.

La Boca

La Boca

It is known among sports fans for La Bombonera the home of Boca Juniors, one of the world's best known football clubs. La Boca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Argentina, with its colourful houses and pedestrian street, the Caminito, where tango artists perform and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs and Italian taverns.

It has also been a centre for radical politics, having elected the first socialist member of the Argentine Congress (Alfredo Palacios in 1935) and was home to many demonstrations during the crisis of 2001.

As one of Buenos Aires's 48 barrios, La Boca is located in the city's south-east near its old port. The barrio of Barracas is to the west; San Telmo and Puerto Madero are to the north. In La Boca many of the residents are of mixed European descent. Mainly Italian, Spanish, German, French, Arab and Basque.

Tourists' Review

This is the classic place that all the tourists flock to. The buildings are tiny and thin, painted in odd, bright colors, seemingly randomly selected. The story is that this area, being by the docks was used by new immigrants. The colors were used from discarded paint from the ships they arrived on.

La Boca

La Boca

The story has it that La Boca ("the mouth") refers to being at the mouth of the river, since it was the old port area. Others will say that it was named by the large number of immigrants arriving from Genoa (Italy.) Quien sabe?

La Boca, as football fans recognize, is the home of Boca Juniors, one of the great teams in this football crazed country.