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Il Veneto Di Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway was, without a doubt, the first citizen of the world. Long before the hippies and the cult of traveling, he led a life of discovery far from his native North America. His was a voluptuous, eager and sensual curiosity. Above and beyond his admiration for the city’s beauty and their museums, he met with locals, enjoyed the pleasures of regional festivities, made friends, enjoyed women and hunting. We know the Hemingway of the Spanish War who fell in love with bull fighting. Who, after the Second World War, was a permanent visitor to the center of the world of arts and creativity, Paris, where he was a regular at the Ritz Bar. We know the Hemingway that went fishing in Cuba, and the African hunting for wild animals. But we know less of the Venetian, passionate about this region and city where he once declared he had left his heart.

On the 50th anniversary of his death, the city of Venice is holding a photo exhibition. Rare or unseen documents will be revealed along with a rich and informative catalog. Essential and intimate moments of this great writer who, with his voracious appetite for life, found what he was yearning for in this little corner of Italy: bodily pleasures, love, friendship. In addition to hunting and wetlands fishing with this grandiose operatic setting as a backdrop. This love story began during his youth when in 1918 this kid from Illinois found himself in Veneto after joining the American Red Cross. An accidental injury kept him there for several months recuperating. These are the pictures, Hemingway as a soldier on a mission, then with crutches, that open the exhibition. It was during this early Italian period that he would meet another writer who would also become an American literary giant, John Dos Passos.

1948: Thirty years later. Hemingway returns to Venice in a Buick on a nostalgic visit to see the places and friends of his youth. A large part of this photographic story, a chronicle of long happy months in Venice with visits to Cortina d’Ampezzo, happened in the company of a young man who would on his road to stardom, architect and designer Ettore Sottsass. These pictures show Hemingway exploring the region, walking through the markets, immortalizing his devotion to friendship and to Valpolicella. He then resided on Torcello island, staying either at the Palais Gritti or befriending the Cipriani’s at their auberge. Always present were the women, essential to his life. A happy Venetian life, with a penultimate passion for Adriana Ivancich, resulting in the beautiful book Across the River and Into the Trees.

Another exhibition curiosity: photos taken by the master himself, while fishing or hunting, throwbacks of his childhood. Moving pictures, friendly or loving ties, an evident joy of life that would last until 1949. The final part of the exhibition: pictures of Hemingway returning to Venice and the Palais Gritti in 1954 after suffering an injury during an African expedition.

In 1961, Ernest Hemingway would put an end to his life with his hunting rifle. Venice, his love, hasn’t forgotten to honor his memory.

Paul Alessandrini

Mostra Fotografica
Until May 15

Il Veneto Di Hemingway

Istituto Veneto di scienze lettere et arti
Campo S. Stefano, 2945
30124 Venezia

Il Veneto di Hemingway, Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, Gianni Moriani, Antiga Edizioni (2011)

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