One thing not to miss in Havana

This modernist tribute to ice cream is one of the many highlights in our newly published Wallpaper* City Guide
Share
Coppelia, Havana. From our newly updated Wallpaper* City Guide to Havana
Coppelia, Havana. From our newly updated Wallpaper* City Guide to Havana

One of the great pleasures of travelling is the way in which you can enjoy high and low culture. Take, for example, this beautiful Modernist structure, which features in our newly updated Wallpaper* to Havana, Cuba. Aesthetes can marvel at the mid-century, cathedral-like interior, while gelato-lovers can indulge in a (Castro-approved) scoop or two. The new guide explains all. 

“The ice cream sold here is one of the few post-revolution luxuries, Castro’s let-them-eat-cake gift to the people,” explains our new guide. “Fidel himself was obsessed with it (Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Márquez once saw him eat 18 scoops at lunch.) The futuristic concrete pavilion, a design by Mario Girona, was prefabricated and assembled in just six months, opening in 1966.

The vaulted upper level (above) is sectioned off with wood and coloured glass and its spidery arms stretch out into a park shaded by banyan trees. There’s space for 1,000 customers yet still there are queues for the day’s flavours (there were originally 26, but now perhaps 10 if you’re lucky); it’s an unmissable slice of urban theatre. Note that foreigners are corralled towards a van where you pay in CUC. This is the Cuban convertible peso, the currency the Cuban government encourage tourists to use). If you have local pesos, join the long line.

 

Wallpaper* City Guide to Havana

Coppelia is just one of the many places covered in the undeniably very good, newly updated Wallpaper* City Guide to Havana. You can buy your copy here.


You May Also Like


Related



ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
Read more