Coyoacán is one of the 16 delegaciones (boroughs) into which Mexico's Federal District is divided. Coyoacán also is commonly used to refer to the neighborhood at the heart of the borough. The name Coyoacán comes from Náhuatl Coyohuacan, meaning “place where they have coyotes”.
In precolumbian times, Coyoacán was a separate altepetl (itself made up of four constituent altepetl) and a major centre of trade on the southern shore of Lake Texcoco; its people were largely of Tepanec ethnicity. After the Spanish conquest, Hernán Cortés made his residence there.
It remained a separate town until 1950, when it was swallowed up by the burgeoning conurbation of Mexico City. Centred on two busy squares, Plaza Hidalgo (the district's main square) and Jardín Centenario, today's Coyoacán is known as an upper-middle-class suburb, with a lively bohemian and artistic culture. An important street in Coyoacán is Francisco Sosa, beginning at Avenida Universidad and ending in Coyoacán's main square. This street features large houses with beautiful colonial architecture, and is also lined with bookstores, cafés, and clubs. The Italian Institute of Culture “Instituto Italiano di Cultura” is located on this street at number 77.