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Hemingway Adventure

Venice (second day)

Venice, Italy 
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The Old Man and the Mask.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureBreakfast at the Gritti Palace. Or, more accurately, breakfast-time at the Gritti Palace. Guests at this most exclusive of Venetian hotels are filling their faces in the dining-room whilst we, who have feasted more economically at our hostelry opposite the station, are setting up to shoot on the terrace.

Someone shows me a copy of Il Gazzettino, one of two Venetian morning papers, which carries a report of our filming activities up in Fossalta. The Italian language bathes our mundane efforts in a Dante-esque glow. I come out as ‘Il cinquanta-cinquenne attore Inglese’. It may only mean ‘fifty-five-year-old English actor’, but it makes me sound like the Renaissance.

We are here to recreate the true story of Hemingway sitting on this very terrace forty-five years ago, reading newspaper reports of his death after a plane crash in Africa. I put down Il Gazzettino and pick up a copy of the New York Daily Mirror for 25 January 1954 with the banner headline: ‘Hemingway, Wife, Killed In Air Crash’.

He wasn’t killed but he was badly hurt, sustaining injuries to his skull, shoulder, spine, liver and kidneys. As soon as he was well enough to travel he took a boat to Europe and, for the second time in his life, found himself recovering from serious injury in Italy.
Venice, Italy 
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A glass of champagne on the terrace of the Gritti Palace hotel where Hemingway read his own obituary after his disappearance in Africa in 1954.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Venice (second day)
  • Country/sea: Italy
  • Place: Venice
  • Book page no: 58

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RELATED LINKS

  • Italy
  • Day 2 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 3 
  • Around the World in 80 Days

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