Located on a hill from which one can get a distant view of downtown Havana and the Bay of Havana (see left), the Finca Vigía served as the Hemingway household from 1940 to 1960. The roughly 20 acre estate is located in San Francisco de Paula,just southeast of the capital, and is now a museum that was donated to the Cuban people in 1961 after Hemingway committed suicide. The estate is in the exact condition in which the Hemingways left it in 1960. Included inside the house are thousands of books and magazines from Hemingway's private library, works of art by Picasso, animal heads (see photo at left of the Finca's tower) and furs from Hemingway's hunts, and Hemingway's famed typewriter, on which he wrote Islands in the Stream (published in 1970), The Old Man and the Sea (1952), and A Moveable Feast (published in 1964).
Outside, on the estate grounds, is a giant swimming pool, graves of Hemingway's dogs, and the Pilar , the fishing boat immortalized in The Old Man and the Sea . The boat was actually given to the real Old Man, Gregorio Fuentes, but was returned to the Finca upon his death in 1999.
Today the Finca is a popular tourist attraction frequented by Americans and non-Americans alike. Admittance into the house is forbidden, but the staff of women assigned to work indoors gladly take the cameras of tourists and photograph the Hemingway house and its belongings for a tip of American dollars.