The so-called Barrio Italia is a funky, up-and-coming Santiago
neighborhood where you can easily while away an entire day exploring its shops, cafés, and artists’ ateliers. The community website suggests 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 on the sidewalk to catch customers’ eyes. In Barrio Italia, seemingly ordinary doors give way to hidden courtyards with small cafés and shops amid geranium- and fieldstone-finished gardens. Almost everything you see is on offer, from panama hats or one-of-a-kind lamps to futuristic sofas and handmade shoes. Set aside time to sip a pisco sour or dine at Sombrerería Girardi, a restaurant on the site of a former hat factory whose original structure is still intact. Casona La Candelaria houses several shops in a beautifully restored mansion.