Mexico City’s literary history straddles reality and fiction. The most densely populated city in Latin America has attracted international writers, many weaving real stories between the lines of their novels.
Plaza Luis Cabrera, La Roma
In Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Mexico City is a road trip's final stop: illness and deserted travelling companions mean narrator Sal Paradise must head home. Kerouac visited William S Burroughs, an icon of the Beat Generation, in the city’s La Roma neighbourhood in the early 1950s, where he allegedly wrote the poem ‘Mexico City Blues’. In La Roma, stroll down Plaza Luis Cabrera, where the two writers went on some of their famous intoxicated romps.
Related article: On the Road, BAM, New York — FT review
Café La Habana
More recently, Roberto Bolaño, the Chilean novelist, celebrated the avant-garde literary scene of Mexico City in his 1998 book The Savage Detectives. It focuses on a group of South American poets, the “visceral realists”, based on his own avant-garde literary circle. Bolaño pilgrims can visit Café La Habana, on Calle Morelos, which inspired the buzzing Café Quito of the novel.
Casa Refugio Citlaltépetl
As Bolaño’s novel shows, Mexico City has a long history as a sanctuary for exiled writers and intellectuals. Those curious about the city’s famous émigrés can visit the house of Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary assassinated here on Stalin’s orders in 1940, in Coyoacán.
The museum is a bus ride from Casa Refugio Citlaltepetl, which shelters writers persecuted in their home countries, and hosts poetry readings and workshops.
Residencia La Toscana, Paseo de los Laureles, Federal District
Contemporary design and high-tech gadgets such as a top-end security system are the signature elements of this property in the Bosques de las Lomas.
It has three bedrooms opening on to a terrace, lush gardens and an outdoor jacuzzi.
Within walking distance of the new financial district, this property is a short drive away from the city’s historical centre and the museums of Coyoacán.
Available through Guadalajara Sotheby’s International Realty, $6.5m
Cuadra San Cristóbal
Indoor meets outdoor in this house, showcasing the modernist geometry of Luis Barragán, a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
This four-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom residence has its own stables, and open vistas on to its landscaped grounds from floor-to-ceiling windows.
The colourful abstract structures and fountains of this large estate are a 35-minute drive from the Plaza Luis Cabrera.
Available through Christie’s International Real Estate, $13m
Photographs: John Mitchell/Alamy; Keith Dannemiller/Alamy; migstock/Alamy; Greg Vaughn/Alamy