The Port City
Buenos Aires feels more European than any other city we have visited in the Americas. Its broad avenues, its nightlife, its plazas, monuments and vast public spaces, and the warmth and intelligence of its people, all contribute to this impression.
The natives of Buenos Aires refer to themselves affectionately as “porteños,” roughly translated as “port folks.”
Buenos Aires is a capital city and a center of commerce, but its earliest and still primary identity is that of a major port, linking Argentina with the world.
The porteños are the people who live in this great port city.
The Qualities Of A Porteño
From our observations, we would say that the typical porteño is gregarious, a social creature who delights in the company of others.
A porteño loves good food and is seldom if ever a vegetarian.
A porteño most likely drinks wine or beer with dinner, and if it’s wine the wine is red.
A porteño loves music and dance, appreciates opera and good literature, and has a kindly, understanding perspective on human affection and sexual intimacy.
A porteño is not at all strange toward outsiders or visitors, but on the contrary is curious and welcoming, and wants to get to know them.
A porteño speaks Spanish in a way that sounds Italian, and uses hand gestures as much as words to communicate.
A porteño relishes a good joke and has a ready laugh.
A porteño prefers to stay up late, dining no earlier 9:00 PM, and does not willingly make appointments first thing in the morning.
Finally, the odds are better than even, probably as high as two-to-one, that any given porteño has at least some Italian ancestry.
Papa Francisco: The World’s Porteño
To the people of Buenos Aires, it is nothing short of a miracle that one of their own has become Pope Francis I.
The fact that this particular Pope is universally loved for his warmth and approachability is an affirmation for every porteño.
Everywhere we went in Buenos Aires, we kept seeing pictures of the Pope, a few of which we have captured here.
A son of Buenos Aires who appears to typify all the qualities of a true porteño has risen to global prominence. He is showing the world what it means to be a porteño.
They love the Pope in Buenos Aires!