Three places in Old Havana are very much linked to American novelist Ernest Hemingway. The Hotel Ambos Mundos, on the corner of Calle Obispo and Mercaderes, at Room 511, was Hemingway’s home on and off throughout the 1930’s, and it was where he shaped the plot of For Whom the Bell Tolls. His room has been preserved as a museum and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
A few blocks down Calle Obispo, it’s the restaurant and bar called Floridita, founded in 1819 with the name Piña de Plata. Hemingway immortalized the place and the house drink, the daiquiri, in his novel Islands in the Stream. His seat is preserved as a shrine and his statue watches over from the corner of the bar. Another favorite place for the novelist was La Bodeguita del Medio. The place was originally the coach house for the house next door. Years later, it became a bodega, a grocery store where its owner served food and drinks over the counter. But the owner came up with the idea of giving writers credit by letting them write their names on the wall, attracting writers and intellectuals from around the world. The house drink is the mojito, which Hemingway brought to light and turned into a national drink. The most famous graffiti in the house was written by Papa Hemingway: “Mi Mojito en La Bodeguita, Mi Daiquiri en El Floridita.”