Skip navigation and go to Contents
Logotipo de San Fermines e ilustración de un mozo y un toro

San Fermín

Ernest Hemingway

Much of the worldwide fame of the Sanfermines is due to the references made by Ernest Hemingway in his articles as a reporter and in his novel "The Sun Also Rises", known as "Fiesta" in the Spanish-speaking world.

The future Nobel Prize winner first visited Pamplona on July 6th 1923, accompanied by his wife, Hadley Richardson. The Sanfermines made such an impression on him that he returned on several occasions, the last in 1959. During his visits to Pamplona he usually stayed at the Hotel La Perla in the Plaza del Castillo.

In those years it was quite common to see him on the cafe terraces of the Plaza del Castillo, running the bulls or avoiding the young bulls in the bull ring. These frisky animals gave him quite a few scary moments!

A great admirer of the corrida and bullfighters, Hemingway never missed a bullfight. He was a regular in restaurants and bars such as Casa Marceliano. He tasted the traditional dishes of Navarrese cuisine here, and always kept the recipe for ajoarriero with prawns that his friend Matías Anoz gave him.

Despite his tight festive schedule, he always found time to enjoy his favourite pastime, fishing, in the trout rivers of Navarre. One of these 'escapes to the countryside' is told in 'Fiesta' in the trip that Jake Barnes and Bill Gorton took to the Pyrenean valleys.

Since Hemingway's' first despatches, many North Americans have come to Pamplona for San Fermín. Among them is David Black, who came 40 times; Matt Carney, who became a great bull runner thanks to his great friend and mentor, Jerónimo Echagüe; Alice Hall, Joe Distler, Ray Morton and the playwright Arthur Miller and his wife, the Austrian photographer Inge Morath. James Michener also portrayed the presence of foreign visitors to San Fermín in "The Drifters".

Together with so many famous figures, people from all over the world follow the steps of Hemingway and come to Pamplona to get to know la Fiesta in situ.