Today I got to make a presentation about Carnevale, gondolas, and Casanova! Yes, a group of people actually paid to hear me speak to them about this stuff. (And you get the blog for free!)
It was actually a luncheon that was auctioned off as a fundraiser for my school. Jenny prepared all the food; she was inspired by Venetian cookbooks and served a seafood risotto, an arugula salad, chilled carrot prosecco soup, bellinis (with actual fresh peach puree), and prosciutto and melon. Everyone who attended got a copy of Free Gondola Ride.
I talked for about 45 minutes and ran photos. It was so much freakin’ fun. I wish I could do this all the time. I even brought my little 100-year-old velvet gondola model so I could show the felze and parecio and ferro. All of the women had been to Venice before and knew lots of stuff, but it was fun to expand their knowledge. Liz stumped me once when she asked what “sandolo” means. Anyone know? I know the topolino, a small Venetian boat, means “little mouse.”
But the biggest hit was Casanova. I only told the stories about Malipiero & Teresa Imer (and can you believe I left out the bit about incest??), about Grimani, about Bragadin, and then about Caterina and Marina. There’s soooo much more! I had slides for nearly all of my 80 Casanova sites but reined myself in and stopped after only 5 or 6. Jenny’s lunch was waiting, and it deserved our attention.
I’m ready for a side career as a presenter on this stuff. Please make my day!