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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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The Timeless Allure of Venice

Evening Program with Tasting

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1H0436
Rialto Bridge

“There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.” —Mary Shelley

Even if you’ve only visited in your imagination, Venice can spark the senses and appetites. Food historian Francine Segan leads a virtual tour that examines the unique enchantment this city holds for visitors, focusing on its vibrant heritage of art, architecture, and cuisine.

She weaves a path through the stunning Palazzo Ducale, the Basillica di San Marco, and museums and churches filled with art by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, as well as elegant piazzas, narrow secret streets, and lagoons.

She examines Venice’s distinctive cuisine and how it reflects tantalizing hints of ancient spice routes; the local sunset tradition of stopping at wine bars called bacari for drinks and finger-food snacks called cicchetti; and classic dishes of the area like black polenta topped with baccalá mantecato (whipped cod) and tiramisu, the mascarpone-rich dessert created at a restaurant in the Veneto in the 1960s.

Discover Venetian holiday traditions like the January 6 regatta on the Grand Canal in which rowers dress as La Befana, the Epiphany witch. And of course, delve into the colorful history of Venice’s famed Carnival, which dates back to the 11th century.

Afterward, enjoy a tasting of Italian wine, Prosecco courtesy of Della Scala Prosecco, Calvisius caviar from the Po valley, chocolate from Venchi and Bonajuto , and other imported regional specialties.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)