HOLLYWOOD, THE MOB, AND HEMIGWAY
Prior to the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Havana, Cuba was the Las Vegas of the Western Hemisphere. The city was a tropical hub for Golden Age Hollywood celebrities, the most notorious mobsters of the age as well as future Presidents - often creating strange bedfellows. Visit the hangout spots of such luminaries as Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and Frank Sinatra. Visit hotels and nightspots frequented and/or owned by Al Capone, Josephine Baker, Meyer Lansky, Ernest Hemingway and “Lucky” Luciano. Visit the home of literary giant Ernest Hemingway in Cojimar where he wrote the classics “The Old Man and the Sea” and “Islands in the Stream.” See or even ride in the vehicles these legendary figures saw themselves (or maybe even drove themselves) all over the streets of Havana. This course will focus on the history of the growth of the city of Havana into a booming tourist capital in the early 20th century as well as the effects of the Revolution in shutting down its “party atmosphere” and finally the reintroduction of tourism in the 1990’s due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing Special Period.
This year's program dates: January 6, 2018 to January 13, 2018
to go on this trip!
Depart from Montreal, Canada and arrive at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba. Check into your hotel and get your first taste of Havana by participating in a sunset tour of Old Havana with an experienced English-speaking guide from the Jose Marti Center. Enjoy dinner with your colleagues at a restaurant in Old Havana and evening of leisure.
See and meet ordinary Cubans in Havana by visiting cultural sites such as El Morro fort, meet people at the Malecon sea wall, talk to attendees at a baseball game, get a salsa lesson, explore vibrant Havana neighborhoods or spend your day in Old Havana.
Arrive by shuttle to the Jose Marti Center, a beautiful historic colonial mansion where you will be taking your courses on the impact of pre-1960’s society on Cuba. After a tour of the facility and a welcome reception, attend a lecture focusing on the life of Jose Marti, known as the father of Cuba. Understanding Marti’s life allows for a greater understanding of the causes and origins of the Cuban Revolution and the changes sought after by the new government. After lunch, attend a lecture given by faculty from the University of Havana covering the history of old Havana prior to the Cuban Revolution.
(B) (L) included
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Hotel Nacional de Cuba in the Vedado district of Havana. This historic hotel with a storied past was built on a colonial era battery and served as the headquarters for Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in defense of an aerial attack during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was also one of the most glamorous places frequented by Old Hollywood and the Mob. Site of the infamous Mob Summit of 1946 dramatized in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II. Following the Revolution, the Hotel never lost its charm and allure by hosting international dignitaries, movie stars, athletes and musicians. Take a guided tour of the on-site museum, tunnels and lookout points preserved since the Cuban Missile Crisis. After lunch, visit and meet the operators and employees of some of the local spots frequented by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s characters from his Cuba period were often based on actual individuals he met on the streets and locales of Havana. Visit La Floradita, La Bodeguita del Medio, Dos Hermanos and Ambos Mundos all classic Hemingway spots. Evening at leisure after returning to your hotel.
(B) (L) included
Visit Hemingway’s Finca La Vigia in Cojimar, a small fishing village outside of Havana where Hemingway wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning classic, The Old Man and the Sea. Tour the grounds and meet people who live lives not very different from the characters in that classic book. Visit Las Terrazas, a favorite hangout spot of Hemingway. Evening at leisure after returning to your hotel.
(B) (L) included
Visit locations in town such as the Hotel Sevilla a favorite of Al Capone where he would rent an entire floor as well as the Plaza Hotel, a favorite of Babe Ruth. After lunch, visit the Riviera Hotel and learn about its storied past filled with appearances from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Participants will learn about the effects of gambling and organized crime on Cuban society and the abrupt changes brought on by the Cuban Revolution. Evening at leisure after returning to your hotel.< br /> (B) (L) included
Visit a tobacco factory and rum distillery to learn about the production of these highly sought after symbols of Cuban sin and just two of the reasons Cuba became so attractive to high society America prior to 1960. Meet the operators and employees of these plants and learn about production as well as the lives of these hardworking individuals who pay attention to maintaining the quality of their products.
(B) (L) included
Bid farewell to Havana and leave for an early morning departure to Jose Marti International Airport and catch flight to Montreal.