Ivancich, Adriana (1930-1983)

IEMH 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.


  10 comments for “Ivancich, Adriana (1930-1983)

  1. Nilanjana Bose
    April 11, 2016 at 5:07 AM

    One of my favourite authors but cannot admire his decisions re his love life! Rather sad really, a 50 year old being infatuated with a teenager. You are taking a difficult route through the A-Z, kudos.

    Best wishes,
    Ninja Minion, A-Z 2016

    • April 11, 2016 at 5:54 AM

      Thanks for commenting, Nilanjana. I find Hemingway’s life fascinating, and since his life ended before I was born, I tend to suspend judgement. He did make some interesting choices in his relationships, but I find reading about him endlessly interesting. I also enjoy learning about the people he befriended such as Adriana Ivancich. I forgot to write that EMH and Gianfranco stayed in touch and Gianfranco went to his funeral in 1961.

  2. April 11, 2016 at 5:30 AM

    I’m learning so much from your posts, Denise! Thank you.

    • April 11, 2016 at 5:57 AM

      I am glad you are learning, Martha! Thanks for reading my posts and commenting. I am learning from your posts as well. You topic (Paris Between the Wars) is very relevant to me as Paris was the first place I visited overseas.

  3. April 11, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    What a great post. I’m glad I found you on the A-Z challenge list.

    • April 11, 2016 at 12:38 PM

      Thank you for reading and commenting, tcausten. Come back–we are not even halfway through yet!

  4. April 11, 2016 at 12:03 PM

    Doesn’t sound like he took his infatuation beyond that point, thought hard to say, and let it mostly be seen in his writing. There is nothing rational about love. I’m sure there was more than her beauty and youth he was infatuated with .. something unique about the young woman, perhaps a shared passion for the arts. Thank you for this, Denise. Interesting.

    • April 11, 2016 at 12:41 PM

      Yes, I believe you are correct, Silvia. On all of your points. When he was young he married older women. When he was older he fell “in love” with younger women like Adriana.

  5. lgkeltner
    April 11, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    It’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into the personal lives of famous writers. Thank you for sharing this!

    Stormy’s Sidekicks!

    @LGKeltner from
    Writing Off the Edge

    • April 11, 2016 at 1:35 PM

      Thanks for visiting, Laura. I will check out Writing Off the Edge and Parallels! Cheers, Denise

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