Caminito (“little path” in Spanish) is a traditional alley, located in La Boca, the colorful neighborhood of Buenos Aires, which used to the city industrial and commercial harbor.
During the 1800s, a small stream flowing into the Riachuelo River ran along the route where Caminito is now. When the stream dried up, tracks for the Ferrocarril Buenos Aires y Puerto de la Ensenada were installed.In 1954, the rail line was closed and the area where Caminito is now was abandoned and became a landfill.
Over the following three years, artist Benito Quinquela Martín painstakingly applied pastel colors to the walls facing the abandoned street, giving it the appearance we know now. The artist was a friend of composer Juan de Dios Filiberto, who in 1926 created the well-known tune by the same name.
In 1959, Caminito was officially opened and Tita Merello, Marta and Waldo de los Ríos and the municipal symphonic orchestra, among others, played.
While the Caminito of la Boca is associated with the song written by Filiberto and Penoloza, the little path that Penoloza referred to in his verses is most probably a little road in the riojano vilage of Olta in Northern Argentina.
You can listen to the song and read the lyrics below.
A beautiful version sung by Libertad Lamarque
A classic… with Carlos Gardel
| Caminito que el tiempo ha borrado,
que juntos un día nos viste pasar,
he venido por última vez,
he venido a contarte mi mal.
Caminito que entonces estabas
Desde que se fue
Desde que se fue
Caminito que todas las tardes
Caminito cubierto de cardos,
| Little path forgotten by time
where we used to stroll together,
I have come for the last time,
I have come to tell you my pain.
Little path, you were then,
Since she left,
Little path, in the happy days,
Little path covered with thistle,
Translation by Tanguito
Nati & Bruno