Ernest Hemingway was born on the second floor of a Queen Anne-style house at 339 N. Oak Park Av. in July 1899. Practically from the start, he longed to escape the "wide lawns and narrow minds" of the western Chicago suburbs and often accompanied his father on long hunting trips. At age 16 his first piece of short fiction was published in his high school literary magazine.


Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, moved to Paris, where he began writing feverishly and palling around with other Lost Generation writers. In "A Good Café on the Place St-Michel," Hemingway describes a process of "transplanting" himself back to Michigan while scribbling away on the Left Bank: "I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another."


Hemingway visited Pamplona every year between 1923 and 1927, timing his stay with San Fermín, the city's famously bloody bullfighting festival. The city also provided ample opportunity for the macho antics that Hemingway dearly loved, including entering the amateur bullfighting ring several times to tangle with bulls.


As a war correspondent, Hemingway spent parts of 1937 and 1938 in and around Madrid, covering the Spanish Civil War, experiences he later used in "For Whom the Bell Tolls." He returned to Madrid in the '50s to watch bullfights and eat and drink prodigiously at the city's restaurants and beer halls, like El Callejón and Cervecería Alemana.


In 1939, Hemingway moved to Cuba with his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, and wound up staying 22 years (he lived in Cuba longer than anyplace else in his life). A farmhouse called Finca Vigíaem was his home (and now a museum); it was there that he wrote much of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Old Man and the Sea."


Perhaps the best marketed of Hemingway's haunts, Key West has come close to styling itself as "Papaland," with its annual "Papa Look-Alike Contest" and the former home-turned-museum that is mostly notable for its dozens of six-toed cats (all descendants of Hemingway's beloved pet, Snow White).


Hemingway liked to visit Ketchum in the fall, when the cottonwood leaves were yellowing and the air was turning crisp. It had a bracing effect on his writing. During his first stay, in September 1939, he put the finishing touches on "For Whom the Bell Tolls." In 1947, he came back to tinker with "Islands in the Stream." Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961, at his home near Sun Valley.

New York Times