The so-called Barrio Italia is a funky, up-and-coming Santiago neighborhood where you can easily while away an entire day exploring shops, cafés, and artists’ ateliers. The community website suggest several walking routes by theme (design and decor, culture and heritage, gastronomy and galleries, for example). Or you can wander on your own, checking out antique furniture set out on the sidewalk to catch customers’ eyes. In Barrio Italia, seemingly ordinary doors give way to hidden courtyards with small cafés and shops set into geranium- and fieldstone-finished gardens. Almost everything you see is on offer, from a Panama hat or a one-of-a-kind lamp to a futuristic sofa or handmade shoes. A unique spot to sip a pisco sour (or dine) is Sombrerería Girardi, a restaurant opened on the former site of a hat factory, the original structure still intact. Casona La Candelaria houses several shops in a beautifully restored mansion.
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