Published On: Tue, May 22nd, 2018

A Dispassionate View of San Miguel de Allende

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John Mariani is an author and journalist of 40 years standing, and an author of 15 books. He has been called by the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the most influential food-wine critic in the popular press” and is a three-time nominee for the James Beard Journalism Award. For 35 years he was Esquire Magazine’s food & travel correspondent and wine columnist for Bloomberg News for ten. His Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink was hailed as the “American Larousse Gastronomique”.

Three weeks ago, John came up with his “Dispassionate View of San Miguel de Allende” on… check it out (Opinions expressed by author are his own):

A few years ago I visited San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the first time and, like most people, fell in thrall to its isolated beauty, its colonial architecture and grand cathedral, and the easy-going flow of the locals in this town 170 miles from Mexico City.

Made rich as a waystop for the silver trade and overseen by a few prominent Mexican families of Spanish descent, San Miguel was an early rebel crucible for the War of Independence (1810-1821), and over the next century superb examples of churches, municipal buildings, parks, botanical gardens and artistic venues like the Teatro Angela Peralta and Mask Museum have only made the town more attractive as a tourist destination, now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Galna Dargery

The painted buildings of San Miguel de Allende extend out from the central plaza.

The grand, always vibrant Plaza, centered by the pink Parroqia de San Miguel Arcangel church (above), whose towers resemble those of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, is central to everything, and all roads lead to it. Unfortunately, most of the roads are uphill and paved with cobblestones, which makes navigation a calf-testing trek.

Other worthwhile sites include the Bibiloteca Publica, the Museo Casa de Allende and the Fabrica La Aurora (now an art and design center), and every weekend there seems to be another festival, from Three Kings Day in January to the International Jazz and Blues Festival in December.

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