EMH went hunting in 1948 in the Veneto region of Italy with the son of Italian ship-building nobility, Gianfranco Ivancich. He met Gianfranco’s little sister, 18 years old, and was immediately infatuated with the young Adriana. EMH was almost 50.
EMH’s infatuation with the young woman inspired him to write Across the River and Into the Trees, one of his least acclaimed novels. EMH was married to Mary Welsh Hemingway at the time, his fourth and last wife.
EMH escorted young Adriana around Venice to places such as Harry’s Bar and Hotel Gritti, and even to Cortina (near the Austrian border). After he and Mary returned to Cuba, EMH invited Adriana and her mother to Cuba and they visited the Hemingways at the Finca Vigía for three months. Adriana even created the cover art for Across the River and Into the Trees. The Hemingways returned to Italy again the next year and Adriana once again accompanied EMH out socially. After the two plane crashes in Africa that he and Mary later survived, the Hemingways recuperated in Italy and for the last time he got to see Adriana. After winning the Nobel prize in 1953 and communicating via letters for many years, EMH and Adriana last communicated in 1955. She had also done the cover art for The Old Man and the Sea.
Adriana later was married and had two sons. She even wrote a memoir entitled The White Tower (after the tower at the Finca) about her relationship with EMH published in 1980. Sadly, during a nervous breakdown, Adriana hung herself from a tree in her front yard in Ortobello, Italy in 1983. She had also published a book of poetry.
One of the most interesting essays about EMH and his relationship with Adriana Ivancich I found was published in 2011 and can be accessed HERE.