Olga Brunner (1885-1961)
Olga Brunner and her future husband, both Jewish and well-off, met in Venice when she was sight-seeing in the city and they got married on December 8th 1919, probably after negotiations between their two families as was usual at that time. Ugo Levi, was born in Venice on October 10th 1878 in Venice and had inherited both his father’s banking activities and Palazzo Giustinian-Lolin, built by the seventeenth-century architect Baldassarre Longhena, also renowned for his outstanding Church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. He studied at the University of Padua where he graduated in letters with a thesis on the study of the dialects of Chioggia and Lio Mazor. A pianist of great talent and a passionate musicologist, he played a key role in expanding the priceless music library in his Palazzo with the purchase of documents, manuscripts and prints; he was also on the Supervisory Board for the Music High School Benedetto Marcello during the war and then member of the Board of Governors from 1927 to 1930.
During the war he signed up voluntarily and was sent to defend the bridge linking Venice with the mainland. He also met and became friends with D’Annunzio, whose patriotism, generosity and love for music he greatly appreciated. The poet also regarded him as a good friend and wrote him around forty letters, which Olga Brunner donated to the Foundation "Il Vittoriale degli Italiani" in 1939.
After their marriage Ugo and Olga continued living in the splendid palazzo in white rusticated ashlar-work, with broad arches that make it look like a piece of Burano lace floating on the waters of the Grand Canal. [...]