Although many literature lovers over the past century have found it thrilling to follow the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway throughout Havana, there’s a relatively obscure new stop travelers should take: the Museo de Ernesto Hemingway.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum lies in San Francisco de Paula, a ‘suburb’ of Havana. The museum was created in the Moorish-style house originally owned by Hemingway with his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, after 1939. The hillside estate, known as La Finca Vigía, extends over 15 acres of land and houses hundreds of species of Cuban trees to see for flora fanatics.
Hemingway wrote nine novels at this estate, including For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he was residing here when he received the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature. La Finca Vigía was Hemingway’s home until he left Cuba in 1960, shortly before his premature death.
Sneek a Peak into Hemingway's Cuban Living
Although the estate had fallen into disrepair to the despair of both Cuban and American literature scholars, Finca Vigía was restored and opened to the public in 2007. The restoration is incredibly thorough; visitors can discern Hemingway’s writing lining his bathroom walls where he documented his daily weight, look upon his Royal typewriter still sitting upon his bookshelf in his bedroom, and find insight into the writer’s mind by gazing upon his favorite bull-fighting posters and African safari trophies.
Outside, you can find Hemingway’s dry-docked deep sea fishing boat Pilar, which also served as a vessel to search for World War II German submarines. For some, the nearby pool holds the most significance as a place where Hollywood star Ava Gardner swam in the nude during her Cuban visit. This museum is truly a treasure for those who appreciate Hemingway’s works or visitors who simply want to visit the grounds of one of Cuba’s favorite expatriates.