While Santiago, with its glass towers and progressive mass-transit network, may seem modern and minimalist in some neighbourhoods, if you peel back a few layers of history, the sometimes more dive-y origins of the city begin to reveal themselves. Santiago’s old-school atmosphere can best be found in a picada, the traditional drinking dens that dot the city with cheap drinks to pair with heavy meat and potato dishes. Be on the lookout for the Terremoto, a combination of a young wine called pipeño, with a scoop of ice cream and a few other ingredients. Parts of the city retain the neo-classical architecture of the past century, inspired by nineteenth-century Europe. There’s intricate ironwork throughout the 1872 Mercado Central, while neighborhoods like Lastarria or Bellas Artes feature townhouses with stone façades and iron light posts that, despite being restored in recent years, seem much like they did decades before. As Santiago becomes more refined and contemporary, the old city is becoming more obscure, like the cafes con piernas, coffee shops with provocatively dressed female wait staff, which are getting pushed further and further out of public view. Yet, with the right set of eyes on the tree- lined cobblestone streets of Bellavista, you can still enter the world of Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and senator who won the Noble Prize for literature in 1971, and who served wine to his guests at his home in kitschy coloured glasses that he picked up around Chile and on his travels abroad.