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Supreme style in the heart of Venice A 15th-century palazzo for sale on the Grand Canal
s the city’s 73rd film festival fast approaches (31 August-10 September), a piece of fashion history has come up for sale on Venice’s Grand Canal. Although Sotheby’s International Realty has an office in Mayfair itself, a classic Byzantine palazzo that Sophia Loren used while attending the festival in 1955 is being offered through Venice Sotheby’s International Realty at €5.9m (around £5.1m). The photograph above was taken of Loren on the balcony in the same year, when she starred in The Sign of Venus, The Miller’s Beautiful Wife, The River Girl and Scandal in Sorrento – although the
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prize for best actress was not awarded to anyone that year. The five-bedroom property dates from the 15th century and is located behind the Palazzo Fortuny, moments from Campo Santo Stefano, Teatro La Fenice and Rialto Bridge. It is decorated in classic Venetian style, and extends to around 4,305sq ft with another 1,184sq ft of magazzini (store rooms). Each of its three main reception rooms look on to the Grand Canal and across to the Aman Hotel, while the third-floor apartment has a water gate, boat mooring, private lift, sunny terrace and courtyard entrance.
Ernest Hemingway was also house habitué during his Venetian “lagoon duck hunt” periods, described in his book Across the River and into the Trees, in which one of the characters, Baron Alvarito, is believed to be based on the Palazzo’s then-owner, Baron Franchetti. Afdera Franchetti, the Baron’s sister, married the Hollywood star Henry Fonda in 1957, who continued to stay at the Palazzo even after their divorce in 1961. Available through Venice Sotheby’s International Realty at €5.9m, viewings by appointment only, +39041-522 0093, venicesothebysrealty.com