Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finca la Vigia: Hemingway's Cuban Home

   This is a part of the trip to Cuba in September that I have not taken the time to write about yet.   The home that Ernest Hemingway spent nearly 20 years and was visited by so many celebrities of the era.        Hemingway’s Home in Cuba, located in San Francisco de Paula, just outside of Havana.    Hemingway bought the house with the royalties from For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940.    The house was originally built by Spanish Achitect Miguel Pascusl y Baguer in 1886.    Hemingway purchased the house in 1940 for the sum of $12,500.     After Hemingway’s death in 1961, the Cuban Government became the owner of the property either with or without the approval of Mary Hemingway to whom his will passed the ownership of the property, his royalties, and most other belongings.

     It has been said that when lanky Gary Cooper visited Hemingway that he was too tall for any of  the beds, so he slept on the couch.  When a visiting Ava Gardener was wilting in the tropical heat, she was said to have gone "skinny dipping" in the pool, where the water usually a bit green in color, but very refreshing  anyway.   There were many other notables of the time that visited Hemingway at Finca la Vigia, like Spencer Tracy, Marlene Dietrich, George Plimpton and Jean-Paul Satre, all guests at the hilltop estate.

     The View from the back porch down towad Havana is also very spectacular.  The house has a vibe of warmth and friendliness that makes you feel very much at home there.  I can understand why all of the friends took the time to stop by and spend time with Ernest at Finca La Vigia.   This home was unique in many ways, from the cats, the cows, the tower observatory, from which he had a clear view of the pool where several of his famous guests were know to swim in the buff.   

     All in all it is a great view of the man's lifestyle and where he wrote so many of his novels and short stories.  The twenty or so years he spent here at Finca la Vigia were some of his most productive as far as his writing went, and I feel like they were some of his happiest years as well.     Seeing Pilar in the back area was also a thrill, a story I will pursue at a later time.   ;o)