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Today we visit Cafe Tortoni. As best we can tell, the absolute founding of the Cafe is shrouded in a bit of mystery. I don’t think anyone knows when it was first established. We do know that it was first opened on the corner of Rivadavia and Esmerelda by a French immigrant whose last name was Touan. It was moved to its present location in 1880, then in 1898 it was remodeled with a new facade opening on Aveneda de Mayo. The old-world style cafe was inspired by a cafe in Paris, France, by the same name.

Our Buenos Aires version has been named one of the most beautiful cafes in the world. Although I have not been to all the cafes in the world, I still agree.

The cafe is located a relatively short subway ride from my apartment in Palermo and then a five block walk in the  downtown area. For those who are wondering, you can ride all over Buenos Aires on the subway for the equivalent of about U.S. 30 cents! And if you don’t feel like walking that five blocks from the subway exit to Tortoni’s, you could always flag a taxi. It would cost less than U.S. $2 at the current exchange rate to be taken from the subway and deposited right at the door of Tortoni’s.

But if you’re up to the walk, it will be interesting, and the exercise is good for you!

Ahhhh here we are!

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Look at that rich wood and the vintage photographs. I love old historical stuff, and not only is Tortoni’s an old, historical place,  it is filled with old, historical stuff. The owners have majored in capturing the history of the cafe and of Buenos Aires.

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The walls are covered with photos that were taken inside the cafe in years long past. Glass display cases, located throughout, are filled with antique dishes and other treasures.

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It’ been many years since Tortoni’s made their coffee this way.

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Can you imagine the stories the old café could tell and the lives that have passed through it?  Among those lives and stories is that of Albert Einstein!  Not to mention Hillary Clinton!

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I fully intended to show you the basement but they told me I would have to come back at night for  tango if I want to go downstairs and photograph the basement.

Well . . . hmm . . . I really don’t want to come back tonight, so I will leave that for YOU to do when you get here. If you take pictures, maybe you’ll email us the photos and we will add them to this article with credit to you as the much appreciated photographer!

We hope you enjoyed our trip today to Tortoni’s. Soon we hope to take you inside the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s version of the White House.

See you then . . . .

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