Hemingway, Sophia Loren, Henry Fonda – If only the walls could talk!


The Byzantine Palazzo with view on the Grand Canal can boast some amazing occupants and owners.

The palazzo is thought to have been designed by Sansoverino but it’s intrigue came later when Baron Raimondo Franchetti a famous explorer and consultant to Mussolini owned the property. The Baron died in a mysterious plane crash in 1935 when his daughter Afdera was only three years old so she lived in the palazzo with her brother, the Baron Raimondo Nanuk Franchetti.

The young Baron was a friend of the author Ernest Hemingway who frequented the palazzo and spent time there. It was during this period that he met Adriana Ivancich and his book ‘Across the River and into the Trees’ was based on his infatuation with Adriana and is written into the characters Col. Richard Cantwel and Renata the beautiful Venetian. 

The one and only Sophia Loren stayed in this palazzo during the Venice Film Festival in 1955, the year she starred in “The Sign of Venice, ‘The Miller’s Beautiful Wife ‘The River Girl’ and Scandal in Sorrento. There are photos from this period featuring Sophia Loren on the balcony overlooking the canal.

But fast forward to 1956 when Henry Fonda was filming ‘War and Peace’ with Audrey Hepburn. Afreda was about 23 years old when Fonda and Afreda married. His daughter Jane Fonda was only 18 years old.

Imagine the stores this palazzo could tell.