Have you ever wondered what the city where Leo Messi was born and lived is like? Rosario is the third largest city in Argentina and where Lionel Messi, “the best football player in the world,” was born and lived during his youth.
He grew up in the southern part of the city, in a two-story house. A very quiet neighborhood so he was always on the street playing ball. Currently, the block where his house is located is decorated in white and light blue, the colors of the Argentine flag. In each corner, murals of the player, recreating moments of his childhood or important soccer matches detail his career when he played with the Argentine national team.
His house also contains, on one of its side walls, a large painting of him. The image depicts Messi with a gold medal hanging on his chest. All are tributes that the neighbors have given him over the last years, a way of thanking him for all the beautiful moments he made given them. Many international tourists pass through there to walk the streets of the neighborhood, take pictures with the murals and also know part of the history of the player's childhood.
To escape and relax in contact with nature, in the city of Rosario you can enjoy the Parque España, located along a gully of the Paraná River. Walk along the riverbank to reach the northern part of the city. In that area the gastronomic housing complex called "Puerto Norte" is located. Becoming very popular in recent years due to its riverside location and scenic views. Walking in the opposite direction, towards the Rosario Fluvial Station, you can find places to do a boat tour and navigate the Paraná River. Tourists and locals can even walk around the great Flag Monument, visit its flag museum and enjoy the area and its history. It is significant monument for the country, since it’s the location of the Argentine flag’s creation.
From the Flag Monument you can see the largest mural created in Messi’s honor. The artwork is more than 70 meters high and faces the river. It is seen from different parts of the city, welcoming the boats that navigate the river.
La Ribera reaches, through the Oroño Boulevard, one of the largest and best-known parks that is located in the heart of the city, Parque Independencia. It was the first park inaugurated in the city and it contains a rose garden, a French garden, a floral calendar, museums and an artificial lake where you can ride in pedal boats. In the park, you can also visit the famous Newells Old Boys soccer club, the team for which Lionel Messi played as a boy and where he took his first steps in the sport.
Regarding gastronomy, Rosario has an extensive menu. The VIP pub of the Messi family is located in front of the Flag Monument. Waiters are very attentive, and the warmth of the space makes spending time a real pleasure. They sell typical Argentine dishes such as milanesa sandwiches, a sandwich with breaded fried beef. Another seller is the Carlito especial, consisting of toasted bread with ham, cheese, egg, red peppers and dressings. "Chocotorta," a cake made with dulce de leche, is a traditional Argentine sweet, with cookies soaked in coffee. The food is plentiful and very tasty. They also sell beer, wine and cocktails.
Rosario has countless activities for both tourists and residents to enjoy. From enjoying the day outdoors to spending the night in bars. For football fans, it is an ideal place to visit since the whole city pays homage to Messi in different ways. So, if you want to enjoy a large and culturally rich city, Rosario has to be on your list of cities to visit.
By Marina Chauffaille