Near the Brera, in Milan Italy, is a hidden treasure, unknown to the public. Walls covered with books, struggling for space with numerous objects and antiques, some from nearby Venice, others from the other side of the ocean. Richard Wagner portraits, books about music help us have an idea as to whom lives there: a man whose heart vibrates to harmony and poetry. Marcel Proust's name regularly appears, likely a sign of the taste for nocturnal dreaming.
On shelves the presence of books by Dante Alighieri, of Jazz greats and countless varied objects and artefacts indicates the eclecticism of the man living between such treasures.
The smell of cigar smoke, the numerous cigar humidors, some as big as libraries, cigars boxes organised as books on shelves; some of the cigars easily as old as a first edition of In Search of Lost Time show the cuban influence on the master of the house.
The man who lives and dreams between those walls is called Paolo Jucker. Despite a Swiss origin, he is a true Milanese. Scala regulars know him as the President of the Wagnerian association of Milan. Young musicians as the man who does not hesitate to help their training.
Paolo has the typical profile of the bon vivant, a night dreamer, lost in thoughts holding a cuban artefact, surrounded by smoke, under a portrait of Wagner.
A disciple of Bacchus and Venus mixed with a intellectual, a philosopher of the Enlightenment and Hegelian school, surrounded by books and mementos. Starting his day at the Scala, then paying his respects to the ancient divinities of earthly pleasures, to then study in detail an antique, a first edition, a manuscript, and imagine the story of those who created the object in his hands.
Several times a year back in his second country, Habaneros see in him a brother returning home. Those who appreciate the history and heritage of cuban cigar see the connoisseur, doubling as a collector of insatiable appetite. Paolo even managed to combine his two passions, cuban cigars and Wagner, by helping stage for the first time in Cuba Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) at the National Lyrical Theatre in 2013.
From Havana to Europe, Paolo is always on the lookout for the rare artefact. His criteria? Rarity, history, every possible declination of a type of object, in relation to cigar, to have belonged to a notorious Cuban, as well as anything related to the fabrication and trade of cigar.
Such a passion led to the constitution of a memorial to the cuban's people artistic and artisan creativity. After such an accumulation, the collection amounts today to over 5,000 documents and 1,400 objects dedicated to cigar. A true encyclopaedia of the cuban 'puros'. This memorial being so comprehensive that now time has come to share it.