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The Florentine Evening and Westminster Fair in London
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The Florentine Evening and Westminster Fair in London

Benvenuto Cellini Florence UffiziA fabulous evening took place at the Accademia Italiana Club on Tuesday night 25 November which coincided with the first day of our Westminster Fair. This was held for the Dolce Vita at our venue at 55 Exhibition Road, London SW7. Thanks to the Fiorentini Nel Mondo who sponsored this celebration of the unveiling of Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus in the very heart of Florence in 1564 in the open Loggia dei Lanzi - one of the greatest spaces containing some of the most famous statues of the western world, Greek and Roman, 15C and 16C Renaissance and Mannerist works - placed there for the free and cultural entertainment of the Florentines.  Let us just think that these were in the open space of the Piazza della Signoria, the very  centre of Florence where they still are, for the pleasure of the passers by. This could happen only in Florence because the Florentines, as we say, have a “Marcia in Piu’” (a gear plus!) . In any case, Margherita Calderoni presented just Cellini’s Perseus. This very talented historian and journalist, ambassadress of the Fiorentini Nel Mondo, presented the subject perfectly accompanying her erudition with verve and appropriate sense of fun, partly against her fellow countrymen, but totally in favour of Cellini’s genius in creating the Perseus.

This is probably the tallest bronze sculpture of the whole Renaissance, a statue good enough to stand in the Loggia not far and in sight of Michelangelo’s David placed in front of Palazzo Vecchio. An array of elegant guests enjoyed the evening, starting with our Consul General, Massimiliano Mazzanti, the artists of course, and many Italian and Polish VIPs mixed very well with the very British and English speaking public of the Accademia Italiana. The wines supplied by Vigna Grande of Odoardo Beccari, kindly donated by his two daughters, Brigitta and Orsola, were considered by the guests as some of the best wines they had tasted. These accompanied magnificently the products of the Carmazzi business, starting with their famous Pasta al Peperoncino beautifully cooked by the Chef of Ognisko’s restaurant.   All their products are enriched by their famous ‘Peperoncino’ (red pepper) starting from their famous pasta, to their biscuits and Cantuccelli, their chocolate, and their pepper sauces which were distributed among all the tables. All in all the evening was tasty, erudite and very effervescent with a really Italian flavour. A big thank you goes to the Fiorentini Nel Mondo who donated a delicious Vin Santo and Cantuccelli with which this saucy evening was terminated.

The Westminster Fair which continued on the 25th and 26th November, created great interest in the objects presented: the works by Laura D’Andrea, paintings and painted silks and siligraphed silks and velvets; the jewellery of Roberta Vestrolli and the beautiful Dolce Vita piece by Basia Kaczmarowska with a few paintings and drawings by the artist. Laura D’Andrea sold at least 50% of her cloaks and scarves and brushed steel compositions; Roberta Vestrolli’s jewellery was 50% sold out to our most attractive ladies, and Basia’s very exclusive outfit arose great interest... but given its value it is still under consideration. We welcome in Westminster the presence of these Italian and Polish Italian artists and the introduction of exquisite Italian food products like the peppered items of the Cantuccelli and the exquisite wines of the Vigna Grande enriched by their long standing Tuscan tradition. These will now become part of our Dolce Vita, adding them to our other very special Members.




Rosa Maria Letts





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