Valentin Nicolas Anselmino presents his hometown

Buenos Aires takes pride in its heritage and has high hopes for the economic boom.

There’s one really easy way to make an enemy in Argentina: just compare their traditional asado to a barbecue. Because an asado is so much more than that – it’s a piece of the country’s national heritage.
At weekends especially, people here spend a lot of time grilling often giant portions of sausages and steaks over an open wood fire, preferably accompanied by a robust red wine. Argentinian beef, particularly from cows reared in the Pampas lowlands, is some of the best in the world. So it’s no surprise that, at an average of 61 kilos per person per year, the Argentinians are the top beef consumers in the world.

“All Across the country you’ll find parrillas, restaurants that serve nothing but asado. But it always tastes best at home on your own grill,” says a passionate Valentin Nicolas Anselmino. The 25-year old loves playing head chef and master of ceremonies for his friends and family at his own gaucho-style asados. Valentin Nicolas Anselmino was born in Buenos Aires. “I’ve always lived in Buenos Aires and I honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else. My family and friends are here, and we Argentinians are a very family-oriented people”, he laughs. Like many of the residents of the South American metropolis, he lives in one of a crescent of suburbs surrounding the heart of this stunning city on the River Plate. Castelar and its pretty houses, gardens and well-established trees, is around 20 kilo meters from the city centre. “It’s a wonderful place to live”, says Anselmino. He has worked for Hapag-Lloyd’s Area Argentina since August 2015, starting out in the Operations department before moving on to his current role as Sales Coordinator.

Photo credit: © Javier Pierini

Many of Buenos Aires’ top attractions are very close to the Hapag-Lloyd office, including the Casa Rosada presidential palace, the architecturally stunning Teatro Colón and the MALBA Art Museum. The now somewhat run-down and admittedly not altogether safe La Boca portside neighbourhood, famed for its colourful houses and tango dances, is not far away either. The area is home to the country’s most famous football club, Boca Juniors, and their “La Bombonera” stadium – the venue of many legendary football matches. Anselminos heart never belonged to football – instead, he is a big fan of rugby, which has been soaring in popularity in the country in recent years. With some three million inhabitants, Buenos Aires is the largest city in Argentina and the sixth-largest in South America. The metropolitan region is home to 14 million people. Compared to other international metropolises, parks and green areas are very sparse in this city. So it’s perhaps no surprise that many residents love to take trips out to the nearby countryside and coastal towns. Anselmino has his own favourite place to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital. “When I want to relax, I like to go to the coast at Vicente López. The tourists haven’t discovered it yet”, he reveals. Situated to the north of Buenos Aires, Vicente López boasts generous green spaces to relax in, plenty of leisure activities and good restaurants.

But if Vicente López is still a hidden gem, the town of Tigre is the crown jewel. “Anyone who comes to Buenos Aires for a few days should take some time to visit Tigre”, recommends Anselmino. The picture-perfect little island city lies in a delta around 30 kilometres to the north of Buenos Aires, and it can easily be reached by bus, train or car. “The delta and its islands create a beautiful landscape and provide a stunning contrast to Buenos Aires. There are plenty of nice hotels and good restaurants that make it a great place for a weekend getaway.” The residents of Buenos Aires can also take some time out from their hectic daily lives back in the city in some of the metropolis’ hottest nightlife spots. Palermo is one such neighbourhood: formerly a magnet for the city’s bohemian and alternative scenes, it has undergone extensive renovation in recent times, but is still just as lively and full of little restaurants, bars and trendy clubs. “Palermo is the place to go out. It’s a great place to eat. You’ll find traditional Argentinian cuisine rubbing shoulders with culinary influences from all over the world”, says Anselmino.

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