Galaabend auf der Piazza in Matélica

Havana in Central Italy

At the beginning of July, once again the Italian town of Matélica transformed into Cuba’s capital: the Encuentro Amigos de Partagás was held for the thirteenth time and was a bigger success than ever before.

Once a year, Matélica, a small town in Umbria, becomes a paradise for cigar smokers. Together with the umbrella organization of the Italian clubs, the Cigar Club Association (CCA), the Matélica Cigar Club organizes the event with the energetic input of CCA’s current president, Francesco Minetti. Over four days, Cuban cigars are smoked, and rum is tasted and celebrated.

Torcedor Cueto lehrt Zigarre rollenVarious seminars are offered during the day; this year, passionados were, for example, able to learn how a cigar is rolled, guided by the famous torcedor Cueto.

Ron Cubay Verkostung in MatélicaUnder instruction by the experts Alejandro González Pollán, Maestro Julio, and Cosimo Attanasi, Ron Cubay was tasted, including special bottlings that were launched for the first time.

All seminars were already sold out in advance.

Oldtimer Show in MatélicaThe highlight of the four days was the gala evening on the Matélica piazza, prior to which a vintage car show was held in the town.

The Encuentro saw 1,500 cigar lovers descend on Matélica. Outside Cuba, this is the biggest cigar festival for Habanos lovers.

In 2019, the 14th Enuentro Amigos de Partagás will take place from July 3 to 6.


She learned her journalistic skills from scratch at a regional daily newspaper, for which she wrote articles for many years. Through working for the magazine Der Spiegel in Rome she had the opportunity to increase her professional knowledge in the field of media. Katja studied art history and Romance studies in Heidelberg, Palermo and Rome and, during the course of her studies, spent many years in Italy. The country was her teacher in things related to pleasure and lifestyle. She has been working for Cigar Journal since 2004. In 2010 she became editor-in-chief.


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