Visit Asmara – The most beautiful city in the world
This isn’t Florence or Venice but it still holds all the charms and none of the mass tourism of the old country.
Nicknamed “la piccolo Roma” and situated a mere 4,000 kilometres from the Italian capital, Asmara was once the jewel in the crown of the Italian empire. It’s importance and influence have waned since the 1950’s but it’s beauty has largely remained in place. The city is still untouched by the progress of time and globalisation.
Today Eritrea is changing. Relations with Ethiopia have thawed recently which should lead to a more relaxed grip on the country by the oppressive dictatorship. For the best part of 80 years however, this country and its capital city has been left largely untouched as the government closed its borders to the outside word.
One positive to be taken from Eritrea’s recent history, it is that Asmara has kept its unique image. In 2017 UNESCO even enshrined it into a world heritage site.
The city is 2,350 meters above sea level making it the 6th highest capital city in the world. Situated in one of the world’s hottest regions, this elevation guarantees a temperate and liveable climate all year round.
The city is also impeccably laid out. Everything branches out from the main boulevard of Harnet street and it’s dominating central cathedral. From here everywhere is within walking distance. Pound the pavement and wander past an infinite number of street cafes spilling with well dressed patrons sipping cafe macchiatos.
Modernist public buildings, art deco cinema houses and still functioning theatres unchanged for 80 years delight the visitor around every street corner. Pop inside each of them and take a gander at the inner workings behind the scenes. Or just sit at a cafe and watch the city peacefully pass you by. There’s no disturbances here, people watching is an activity that could be enjoyed for hours.
Finish off your day with the best calzone in Africa at one of the numerous Italian pizza restaurants. The local “Asmara Beer” isn’t a bad drop either.
Visit Asmara now before it changes forever and opens up to mass tourism.