“Country Made for Poets”: Pablo Neruda’s Other Homes

Pablo Neruda wrote that. He was talking about Chile and was so right; especially, when you see Chile through his artistic abodes. I was lucky enough to see all three of his estates this trip to Chile and travel outside Santiago. I visited Sebastiana and Isla Negra today: the final two of his homes.

Located in lovely Valparaíso, Neruda finished this masterpiece after the original, Spanish designer died before its completion. He named the Sebastiana after its first creator. Neruda wanted to see the sea and bought this building specifically to do so. He designed this place to fit his best interests. Having his eccentric, wacky personality, he had a bathroom with a see through door, giant rock murals of local stones, and his own bar that only he could operate. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Neruda’s last house is located in a region called Isla Negra (Black Island). Despite its name, Isla Negra is not an island. ¡Qué sorpresa! This house is actually more of an estate and encompasses a large portion of this tiny town. Like all of his abodes, it is now a quaint, cosy museum with a very nice audio tour.

Neruda wanted a house where he could see all of Val. He got this wish and spent his time here with Mathilde, his beloved wife.
(Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

I took mine this time in Spanish, so I only understood about 30% percent of the speaker. What I did pick up was that Neruda again wanted to see the mar (sea) from his home, collected a crazy amount of artifacts from around the world, and loved to arrange his collectibles to face each other.

Honestly, Isla Negra is my least favorite of his homes. It is beautiful; though, the scenery is less than desirable (for me at least). Today was especially grey, and the sea was dark and sea weedy, which made the views out the multiple windows look … depressing.
(Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

He would accompany objects with one another (at times) to even prevent them from feeling lonely.

Isla Negra boasts rooms for his varied collections. Examples include horse memorabilia, sea shells, and masks. Neruda could probably be considered a pack rat, but with his style and not-so-self conscious nature, he’d be cool with that.

Neruda and Matilde are buried here. The audio tour described it as the tomb of the poet and his woman. Here lays one of the most famous Chileans in history, a Nobel Prize winner, and an artist. Neruda was a believer in love, and I think he would
like that he was buried next to his lover for their internal slumber.
(Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

From what I gathered from the tours, Neruda did everything with purpose. Whether arranging furniture, finding collectible glassware, or building a house for his woman, Neruda had it planned. He was sentimental: a quality I appreciate. He was a poet, diplomat, and continues to be a Chilean icon. I am glad I ended my adventure with Neruda. Walking through the poet’s houses, you can sense that greatness once strolled, joked, and lived between the decorated walls.

If you are interested about Neruda’s other home, La Chascona, follow this link: Let’s Get Into Gira

If you are in Chile, definitely check out these locations. It’s a mere day trip that will last a lifetime. The addresses are Ferrari 692, Valparaíso. and Poeta Neruda s/n, Isla Negra, El Quisco for Sebastiana and Isla Negra respectively. I said good-bye to Neruda today, and he said good-bye to me as well. (He is a personal role model if you can’t tell). Soon, I must give my regards to Chile too. Let’s see how that goes.

*The title was coined by Neruda himself