The Barrio de las Letras, long favored by tourists for its clean-cut looks and its fun places to hang out, was named for the many writers and playwrights from the Spanish Golden Age (16th and 17th centuries) who set up house within a few blocks of Plaza Santa Ana. Once a shelter to los madrileños castizos—the word castizo means "authentic"—it is fast becoming one of the favored living areas of Spanish and foreign professionals affluent enough to pay the soaring real estate prices and willing to withstand the chaos of living within these lively and creative enclaves. Calle de las Huertas (full of bars and clubs), is pedestrian-only, making the neighborhood even more attractive for walking around and socializing.
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