Alexandria News

Wendy Abbruzzetti, Alexandria Restauranteur and Antiques Dealer, Dies at 81

Co-founder of Trattoria da Franco and owner of Trastevere Antiques and Collectibles

Lady with dog siting on steps
Wendy Josephine Abbruzzetti, NOVEMBER 27, 1942 – JUNE 24, 2024. (Family photo)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Wendy Josephine (née Harding) Abbruzzetti, 81, of Alexandria, Virginia passed away on 24 June 2024 at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. She was born on November 27, 1942 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom to Joseph Harding and Mable Leaman (née Harding).

As a child Wendy was a talented athlete and a passionate animal lover, spending her time with her brother Ian in the New Forest in Hampshire, United Kingdom with their beloved Aunt Sue and Uncle Michael Trevett. In 1960 she moved to London met and married Francesco Abbruzzetti and raised four children (Marcello, Paolo, Max, and Catherine) in November 1977 the family immigrated to the United States. Wendy and Franco were married for 34 years.

Pink building a night
Trattoria da Franco, 305 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (Photo: Josephh Olivia)

In 1984, Wendy and Franco opened the Trattoria Da Franco Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia located on 305 South Washington Street. Wendy was the driving force of the business, renovating the building, designing the menu, and managing the daily operations until 1994.

From 1995 to 2002 Wendy operated the 1850’s almshouse farm at Mt. Pleasant Plantation, Chestertown, Maryland. In 2003 Wendy returned to Old Town, Alexandria and until 2019, operated Trastevere Antiques on 303 Cameron Street. Wendy’s discerning taste and passion for antiques established the business as a destination for locals and visitors alike. Scout, her cherished Westie, greeted every customer, adding to the shop’s small-town appeal.

Trastevere Antiques at 305 Cameron Street. (Family photo)

Wendy loved England but lived in the United States. Wendy was an artist and an antique expert balanced with a reputation as a spirited and fiercely, liberated woman. Wendy’s legacy is one of creativity, entrepreneurship, and resiliency. She leaves behind her four children, and her grandson (Michael Abbruzzetti). Wendy Josephine Abbruzzetti will be remembered as a sophisticated entrepreneur who was fearless and lived her life to the fullest.

Wendy Abbruzzetti and her beloved Westie Scout. (Family photo)

A memorial service will be held on July 14th, 12pm at Demaine Funeral Home located 520 Washington Street. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity for Dementia Alzheimer’s Association in Wendy Josephine Abbruzzetti’s memory.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to any individuals, caregivers, or organizations who were particularly helpful or supportive.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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