Born on July 21, 1899 in Illinois, Ernest Hemingway was one of the most important figures in twentieth century literature. A true icon and world celebrity, as well as winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize, his adventurous life is linked to places like Spain, Cuba and Florida, but also to Italy.
His first contact with the Belpaese was during the First World War, when
the young Ernest was enlisted as a Red Cross ambulance driver. Shortly after
being transferred to the banks of the Piave, Hemingway was struck by fragments
of a mortar and, in spite of being wounded, did his best to rescue the
neighboring soldiers, an exploit that subsequently earned him the honor of a
silver medal for military valor from the Italian state.
His convalescence in a hospital in Milan and the failed love story with the
nurse Agnes von Kurowsky went on to become the inspiration for his novel
"A Farewell to Arms", written 10 years after the events.
This first taste, intense and tragic, of Italian life remained forever
indelible in the writer’s heart: he returned to the country several times
during his turbulent life.
The elegant seventeenth-century Venetian residence was abandoned during the
First World War and occupied by American Red Cross troops, and it is here that
Hemingway was seriously wounded on the night of the 8th of July, 1818. An
exhibition housed in the rooms of the villa retraces this experience and the
links that the writer then developed with the territory.
Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees
Still convalescing from his war wounds, Hemingway obtained some days of
leave that he decided to spend at leisure in the natural beauties of Stresa and
Lago Maggiore. He stayed at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in room 106, now
renamed the Hemingway Suite, spending the day socializing with guests and
imbibing the ever-present cocktails in the hotel bar. Hemingway would later
return to the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees in 1948, signing the guest book as
"An old client".
Hemingway arrived in the heart of the elegant and worldly Cortina in 1923,
staying, like many other celebrities of the time, at the Hotel Bellevue. It was
in its rooms that he would write one of his debut works of the series "Out
Kechler de Asarta
He arrived for the first time in Venice in 1948 and wrote another of his
masterpieces "Beyond the river and among the trees", staying in
picturesque Torcello. It is during this period that Hemingway made friends with
the Kechler brothers, with whom he loved to go fishing or hunting for ducks in
the lagoon of Caorle. He was a frequent guest of the Villa Kelcher, among the
poplars of the Friulian countryside that he loved so much.
Venice and Harry's bar
In the mid-'50s Hemingway became a regular in Venice and its most iconic
places, such as the Gritti Palace and Harry's Bar, where a table was reserved
for him. Between dinners with friends and wines that Giuseppe Cipriani, the
owner of the bar, introduced him to and which he came to love, such as
Valpolicella, Hemingway became a permanent presence at the historic bar, so much
so that he himself launched a new cocktail, the Montgomery, inspired by the