The love for Cuba of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Ernest Hemingway, is known. He lived on the island at different times of his life and, in addition to his family home, he previously spent time in Havana as a traveler. Concludes the post series on Hemingway’s Cuba with the itinerary for his favorite places in Havana.
The author’s favorite places have become part of Havana’s attractions, and you can follow his tracks at your own pace, without the times marked by organized trips, or large hotel disbursements. How? thanks to a popular accommodation solution in Cuba: in family homes.
The Government authorizes the rental of accommodation in Cuba in family homes for tourists; from rooms, to villas. The owners offer you their hospitality, if you also want the food, and you will enjoy the stay as a member of the family; the trip is set by you, free of organized schedules, and you can also receive suggestions from Cubans themselves about places of interest or how to get around the island.
“My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita”
This phrase, written by Hemingway on the wall of El Floridita, describes two of his three favorite places in the capitalThe Havana that Hemingway found is quite similar to the present one. The historical district, Old Havana, is a labyrinth of narrow streets where the colonial houses, in need of restoration, and buildings of the communist era are mixed without solution of continuity.
Hotel Ambos Mundos
Strolling along the boardwalk, you detour through O’Reilly Street, cross the Plaza de Armas and arrive at a five-story corner building with pink plastering. It is the Ambos Mundos Hotel, residence of the author between 1932 and 1939. Here Ernest Hemingway returned to write after a morning of fishing, or a night of fun. The lobby bar is a must to enjoy its cocktail bar.
Inside the hotel, you can take an old elevator to the 5th floor and visit room 511, the author’s favorite. Between those walls Hemingway began his work “For whom the bell tolls”. The room is decorated with a series of memories of the writer’s stay.
The Bodeguita del Medio
Hemingway moved to Cuba in 1940 with his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, and the couple frequented this bar, Calle Empedrado 206. This place is famous for being the birthplace of the mojito..
The mojito was invented by Atilio de la Fuente, the local bartender, although others attribute it to Ángel Martínez, in charge since 1942. Today, La Bodeguita is a traditional cooking bar and offers hot dishes, frozen mojitos and good music.
El Floridita is a restaurant in the old part of Havana, on Obispo Street, 557. Here daiquiri invented the Spanish innkeeper Constantino Ribalaigua, who started working in the restaurant in 1914, and acquired it in 1918. Hemingway was one of your most famous clients.
The environment of Floridita is completely different from that of La Bodeguita. It is a place anchored in the 40s, waiters with suit and red bow tie, a long bar and a few tables crowded around a small stage where local artists perform. Inside the Floridita, it is worth to enjoy a Daikiri next to the statue of Ernest Hemingway..
All these wonders, and more, you can meet at your own pace, programming the trip, if you resort to accommodation in Cuba in family homes..