Encuentro Amigos de Partagás XIII: Final Thoughts
Now that the post festival blues have dissipated, we’re left with several glowing memories of the XIII Encuentro Amigos de Partagás and we’d like to give an overview of the Festival and the things we gained from it.
Obviously, as an online retail store that specialises in Cuban cigars, we were very much looking forward to attending the event. Particularly at the promise of meeting with old friends, of making new ones and creating new relationships with people who share our passion for cigars.
Foremost one of our favourite things about the festival was where it was set. Anyone who attended, even those who are averse to cigars, tobacco and smoking, would have been bowled over by the venues the organisers used as the backdrop. As aforementioned in our previous posts on our Cuban cigar blog, it took place in the beautiful medieval town of Matelica, Italy, with its rolling hills, clear blue skies and beautiful brick buildings it was the ideal setting for the encuentro.
The venue looking golden and glowy as dusk descends upon Borgo Lanciano.
The Friday of the festival, our first evening there, was a particularly fun and entertaining one and has become a fond memory of ours. Primarily, because of the company we had, with fellow guests introducing themselves and beginning conversations with us about what we do, discussing Cuban cigars in general and talking about their Cigar brand, Sigaro Italico amongst other entrepreneurial endeavours. Later we enjoyed smoking our Cuban cigars whilst dancing to Cuban music until the early hours.
Guests are entertained by Cuban singer Haila Mompie and Senoritas de Partagas.
Saturday, also had its perks as we got to meet and speak to Habanosommelier World Champion of 2017, Felipe Rojas Brunas, Amigos de Partagás director, Francesco Minetti and the very charismatic Milagro. C. Morales to name but a few. (Keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be sharing these later).
Once again, Cigar Club Matelica did an excellent job on the choice of venue, with the Gala dinner being held in the Piazza Enrico Mattei, of Matelica, a truly magical square cordoned off for the evening. The décor and displays were elegantly arranged, with floral centre pieces on every table and gifts from the sponsors, including Albergo Miramonti, delicately placed for every guest. The standout moments from the evening, was when Cuban singer, Haila Mompié, began singing a cappella from the centre of the square amongst the tables, giving guests an intimate and powerful performance, as well as when Felipe Rojas Brunas showed us how to cut and light the Partagás Series No.1 Edicion Limitada Cigar like an absolute boss. We felt very lucky indeed.
As is customary of a festival dedicated to some of the finest Cuban cigars, we were very pleased with the selection of cigars gifted to us over the course of the festival and felt the food, wine and rum complemented them perfectly.
We as a team saw the festival as an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture of Cuban cigars, which is exactly what we did and what the festival provided, with a glorious side of Italy too, what’s not to love!
As it was the second time we have attended, we did feel as though there could be some improvements to be made, as did the event directors, voicing their doubts about the festival’s format and promising to shake things up a little next year.
Overall though, we enjoyed the festival very much and will surely be attending for years to come, particularly with the promise of improvements and expansions.