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January 2011

Johnny Depp's palazzo in Venice (video)

Johnny Depp's palazzo in Venice

ABOVE: Johnny Depp's Palazzo Donà Sangiantoffetti (center) is dwarfed by its neighbors on the Grand Canal. 

Italian news media are now reporting that Johnny Depp has forked over 10 million euros (about 13.5 million U.S. dollars or 8.5 million pounds sterling) for the Palazzo Donà Sangiantoffetti, a 17th Century building next to Ca' Pesaro, a larger and arguably more beautiful palace that houses the city of Venice's Museums of Modern Art and Oriental Art.

Compared to its neighbors, the Palazzo Donà is barely more than a cottage, albeit an expensive one. Still, that's adequate for a weekend pied-à-terre, and we suspect that the actor's new digs on the Grand Canal will be more than comfortable enough for his family and entourage once renovations are complete.

Below is a video (shot today) that shows the Palazzo Donà, views from an adjacent pier on the Grand Canal, the tiny corte behind the palazzo, and the narrow pedestrian passages that connect the house and its neighbors to the heart of Venice's sestiere or district of San Polo.

(The Bearded Collie in the video is Maggie, star of the Maggie in Venice dog blog, who has been on the trail of Johnny Depp since he filmed The Tourist in Venice with Angelina Jolie last year.)


Tourists on the run in Venice?

Around 7 o'clock this evening, when we went out with our dog Maggie to the neighborhood pizza takeaway, a man in runner's togs and a headlamp jogged past us with a map in his hand. As we walked north from the Campo San Polo, other runners trotted down the narrow streets and passages, squeezing past pedestrians as they went.

Were they tourists on a "See Venice in Four Hours" itinerary? It's more likely that the runners were participating in a local "Race for the Cure," since we'd seen cancer-society volunteers selling oranges from street stands earlier in the day. Whoever or whatever the joggers were, they proved that you never know what you'll encounter in the campi and calli of Venice.

Here's a short video of what we saw. (If the video looks dark, there's a good reason: Venice's streets are lit well enough for pedestrians to avoid bumping into each other in the dark, but you aren't likely to mistake a Venetian back alley for the Las Vegas Strip or Times Square.)


Is Johnny Depp buying a palazzo in Venice?

Johnny Depp's yacht VAJOLIROJA in Venice

ABOVE: Johnny Depp's yacht Vajoliroja in Venice last year.

Johnny Depp may have bombed at the box office with The Tourist, a Venice-based thriller that he starred in with Angelina Jolie last year, but that unhappy experience hasn't dampened the actor's enthusiasm for Venice--at least if we're to believe a report in La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre, which claims that Depp is ready to offer 10 million euros for a holiday home on the Grand Canal.

According to La Nuova, Depp wants to purchase the Palazzo Donà Sangiantoffetti, a 17th Century mansion that he visited with his wife while The Tourist was being filmed during the late winter and early spring of 2010.

For a Google-translated version of La Nuova's story in English, click here.