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Visiting Buenos Aires

Part 2: Interview with Michael Luongo, Author of Frommer's Bueno's Aires.

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Visiting Buenos Aires

Guide book by Michael Luongo.

© Frommer's.
Where is the single most romantic place to kiss in Buenos Aires?

I think standing on the Puente de las Mujeres, the Bridge of Women, in Puerto Madero, as the sun sets in the evening behind the city skyline, the water of the port lit up in fiery reds and golds. Puerto Madero is the only neighborhood in a major world city where all the streets are named for female suffragists.

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What's the one dish everyone should taste in Buenos Aires?

Steak, steak, steak! The best in all the world is here. Grass-fed and free range, hormone free, no need to declare it organic, even if that is what it is. They would not make it any other way in this country. Well known Cabaña las Lilas is worth the money, and bargain restaurant Campo Bravo offers excellent cuts at very low prices. It's unlikely you will go wrong with beef anyplace.

Can a couple learn to tango on a short vacation?

Tango is a skill that takes time, but on vacation you can learn steps and become better at what you already know. I list some groups and individuals in the book. You might also want to try the Escuela de Tango in the Galerias Pacifico shopping mall. Also, all the milongas offer lessons before the real tango dancers come.

What's the secret to learning tango?

Tango is about two bodies communicating, which is what love itself is all about.

Where is the best place to shop for custom-made leather apparel in Buenos Aires?

Ashanti Leather Factory on Florida Street, and also the Rossi & Caruso in Barrio Norte. Almost any leather shop can custom-make something for you. If you're in a store and you see something you like, or want to combine ideas, ask. I do suggest doing this early on a trip, because of how long it might take.

My favorite store in Buenos Aires is Puro Diseno Argentino in the Design Mall. It has custom-made home fashion and men and women's clothing designed by young Argentines in natural leathers and fabrics.

If a couple is visiting Buenos Aires, where else nearby should they consider including in their itinerary?

Estancias in the nearby parts of the Province of Buenos Aires, for a day or more. There is also Tigre, a river delta region only an hour away but so different from the city, and great for people who like a little adventure and nature.

And consider Uruguay, just across the very wide Rio de la Plata. Colonia, a very colonial city, is great anytime of year. The beach resort Punta del Este is very glamorous in the summer, with models and movie stars from all over the world.

Is there anything you'd like to add for couples considering a visit to Buenos Aires to know?

Love is in the air, like in Paris or Rome. Unlike in the United States which can frown on a public display of serious affection, suddenly having the urge to kiss deeply and affectionately is welcome and normal in Buenos Aires.

There are also lots of romantic restaurants, particularly in Palermo Viejo. I discuss some of those in the Frommer's Buenos Aires book. The city loves newlyweds, so tell people wherever you go about this wonderful, romantic city that it was your honeymoon choice!

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Michael Luongo's work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Bloomberg News, Budget Travel, Business Traveler, Out Traveler, and numerous other publications. He has been to 80 countries and all 7 continents. Argentina remains one of his all-time favorites. For more information, visit www.michaelluongo.com.

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