Ernest Hemingway, one of the most famous and important writers of the 20th century, loved Cuba and Cuba loved him in return. Every Hemingway fan who comes to visit the island is in for a treat. Here you can see where the great author lived and admire the same things that inspired him.
4 Places a Hemingway Fan Must See While in Cuba
1) Finca Vigia
The Cuban journey of every Hemingway fan must start in Finca Vigia, which is the most popular museum on the island. Finca Vigia was the great author’s home until he left the country in 1960. It has remained frozen in time ever since.
It was in this house that Hemingway wrote his Nobel Prize winning novel The Old Man and the Sea. The novel spoke about the village of Cojimar, located nearby, which was a place loved and frequented by the author. According to Hemingway himself, Cuba and its people played a great part in the creation of the novel.
2) El Cobre
Hemingway gifted his golden Nobel medal to the people he loved so much and it remains in the storage of the El Cobre basilica till this day. It is the same shrine that the protagonist of The Old Man and the Sea promises to visit if he can make it back home.
The medal was stolen in 1986 but recovered quickly. The shrine itself is full of other memorabilia from many famous people who visited it throughout the years. It is now a tradition among Cubans to leave small mementos and offerings when they visit El Cobre.
3) Old Havana (starting with room 511 in Ambos Mundos)
As the custodian of room 511 in Ambos Mundos will tell you, this hotel is the place where Hemingway’s love for Cuba started. This was where he stayed during his first arrival to the island in 1928 and today you can see carefully preserved mementos and artwork that resides in his old room.
The great author loved Havana passionately and the Old City has many reminders of this incredible person. To discover them all you’ll need to indulge in walking tours in Havana. They will take you to all the most famous haunts, many of which were Hemingway’s favorites.
Among those are La Bodeguita del Medio, located near the hotel and still serving some of the best mojitos on the island. El Floridita is where Hemingway enjoyed daiquiris and a statue of the author is still sitting on his favorite chair today.
Hemingway loved his bars, so prepare to have a hangover if you plan to get a drink in all of them in one night. Your next stop in Havana should be Sloppy Joes. Spend the rest of the night exploring the oldest bars in the city and asking the bartenders for stories about the famous author.
Marina Hemingway is the largest marina in Cuba today. It’s not a surprise that there is a marina named after Hemingway in the country because he was an avid fisherman and spent a lot of time out in the sea.
The Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament started by the author himself in 1950 takes place every year. Today it’s one of the most popular fishing tournaments, as well as one of the oldest. It was during this tournament in 1960 that Hemingway met Fidel Castro. The future ruler of Cuba won the tournament that time and Hemingway presented him with the medal. In his memoirs, Fidel Castro mentioned that some of the guerilla tactics he used during the Cuban Revolution were inspired by Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. Sadly, even this acquaintance didn’t change the fact that Hemingway was forced to leave Cuba when the relations between its new communist government and the US took a turn for the worse.
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