Tag Archives: La chascona

Bella Vista, Santiago

Bella Vista
Bella Vista

Clustered in the lee of San Cristobel Hill, Bella Vista looks down across the river to the city of Santiago beyond. Bella Vista is a place apart and not just by virtue of its position.  Its low, brightly painted buildings and small sunny squares are in sharp contrast to the neo-classical stone grandeur, towering concrete and vast plazas downtown.

Bella Vista is a place of artists and artisans. It was here that the poet Pablo Neruda made his home in the beautiful La Chascona, which today is a museum.  The haunting music of the Andes echoes through streets redolent of rustic Chilean fare and lined with theatres, cafes, restaurants and tavernas. It’s a lively, yet laidback, slow-paced place.

Most mportantly,  Bella Vista is the heartland of the rare blue-green stone, found only in Chile and Afghanistan – Lapislazuli. Here, in dozens of tiny workshops, craftsmen shape, fashion and set this semi-precious jewel into exquisite and unusual, yet very reasonably priced pieces.