Our History

The Venice in Peril Fund was created after the great floods of 1966 in Florence and Venice. The disaster led to dozens of private citizens donating large sums of money and Sir Ashley Clarke, former British Ambassador to Rome and chairman of the British Italian Society at that time, was asked to chair a committee to raise further funds to help rescue the two cities. This committee was constituted as the Art & Archives Rescue Fund (IAARF) in 1967 and Sir Ashley was supported in his fundraising efforts by Lady Thorneycroft, wife of Peter Thorneycroft (later Lord Thorneycroft), and Mrs Humphrey Brooke, wife of the Secretary to the Royal Academy.

By the end of July 1967 it was decided that fund-raising activity for Florence should be wound down gradually and that efforts would be redirected to Venice where the serious damage had been to the structure of the city. In 1971 a new statute was drawn up to replace the IAARF with the trust fund Venice in Peril. John Julius, Lord Norwich, joined as Chairman in 1971.

The many successful fundraising efforts were helped enormously when, in 1977, Peter Boizot the founder of Pizza Express, invented the Pizza Veneziana. A percentage of the sale price of every Pizza Veneziana sold is donated to Venice in Peril and over thirty years later this initiative has raised nearly £2 million. Venice in Peril is extremely proud of this partnership.
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