- To see
- Where to eat
- Getting around
Little Havana (or La Pequeña Habana), located west of Downtown, is the Miami neighborhood that is home to the largest Cuban and Latin community in the world.
In the 50s, Cuban citizens began to emigrate here, and their numbers continued to increase after, in 1959, Fidel Castro came to power. Today this neighborhood is a real "other Cuba", and is a must for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the Latin heart of Miami.
SW 8th Street, better known as Calle Ocho (Calle 8) is the pulsating center of Little Havana. The most interesting things to see are almost all concentrated in this eclectic street:
- Cuban Memorial Plaza. Located on the corner of SW 13th Street, this square is a monument to the pain suffered by those who have had to leave their homeland to seek a better hope of life elsewhere.
Here you can find several monuments: a bust of Jose Marti, the monument commemorating the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, some statues of the Virgin Mary, a map of Cuba 4 meters long, a bust of Antonio Maceo and some small commemorative monuments of the Cuban War of Independence (1800 ).
- Walkway of the Stars. This stretch of road is a shortened version of the famous Hollywood Walkway of the Stars, which celebrates some of the most important Latin American personalities, including Sammi Soso, Thalia, Cecilia Cruz, Willy Cirino, Maria Conchita Alonso, Gloria Estefan.
- Lily’s Records. This music shop is a real institution for lovers of Latin - American and Cuban music: from classical salsa rhythms, to Latin - jazz and pop, Lily's Records is the right place for true fans of the genre.
- Murals. Outside the Guardabarranco Cafeteria it is possible to admire the wonderful murals depicting some Latin celebrities, including Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, and famous Latin and American people, such as Abraham Lincoln, Jose Mari, George Washington and Ruben Dario.
- Maximo Gomez/ Domino Park. The Máximo Gómez Park, commonly known as Domino Park, has become popular because here elderly Cuban immigrants meet to challenge each other in heated dominoes and tell each other stories about past times.
- Tower theater. This building is one of the oldest in Miami, with its Art Deco facade.
The theater opened its doors in 1926; after overcoming numerous vicissitudes, the Tower Theater has become a property of Miami-Dade CollegeFamous foreign-language films, independent films and numerous events, seminars and congresses are held here.
- The Credit Cigar Factory. A must for all true lovers Cuban cigars, this factory produces entirely handmade cigars.
Its owner, Ernesto Carillo, is an exile from Cuba who remembers with nostalgia the tobacco plantations of his land and is committed to ensuring that his products have the same quality as cigars made in Cuba.
- Futurama Building. The Futurama Building is the place to explore if you love art: inside there are 12 studios / galleries of talented local artists.
In its surroundings there are other studios and art galleries while, at number 1652, there is the studio / gallery of the famous artist Augustín Gaínza.
- Memorial Boulevard e Bay of Pigs Museum. This street, which runs parallel to SW 13th Street and crosses with it at Calle Ocho, is another monument in Little Havana dedicated to exiles from Cuba due to the Castro regime.
Along the way it is possible to admire statues dedicated to the heroes who fought for the liberation of their homeland. And, just where Memorial Boulevard intersects with SW 13 Street, the monument's flame burns fiercely Ethernal Torch, dedicated "To The Martyrs of the Assault Brigade".
Just off Memorial Boulevard, on nearby SW 9th Street, is the Bay of Pigs Museum, entirely dedicated to the failed attempt to bring down the Cuban dictatorship, the so-called "Bay of Pigs invasion", which took place in 1961.
Where to eat
Those who want to enjoy authentic Cuban food must stop for something at the Versailles, a diner with a particular decor, with walls covered with large mirrors, a favorite haunt of the Cuban community here in Miami.
For those who want to satisfy their sweet tooth, there is theSugar Ice Cream Company, where you can enjoy a good ice cream, or Los Pinarenos Fruit Shop, famous for its delicacies.
Panza Houseinstead, it is the ideal place to eat some great Spanish food while attending exceptional Flamenco shows./p
There are two important monthly events taking place on Calle Ocho: every last Friday of the month they are held i Cultural Fridays (cultural Fridays), with live music, good food and entertainment offered by local traders.
Every second Friday is dedicated to Little Avana Art Walk. On this occasion, the art galleries stay open until late. The most important event in terms of entertainment, however, is the Carnival Calle Ocho Festival, held every year in March.
Once a year, in Cuban Memorial Plaza, a great festival is held, during which the Cuban people celebrate their roots and the cultural heritage inherited from their homeland.
Little Havana can be reached by bus: for only 2 dollars you can buy a bus ticket with which you can move easily around the neighborhood.
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