A Taste of Italy

10 Mar

Each month the IWC (International Women’s Club) hosts an event at the residence of one of the ambassadors to Israel. This month the event was held at the residence of the Italian ambassador. This is a popular event and attendance is limited, so I RSVP’d early to ensure I’d make it to the guest list. Four of us from Herzliya carpooled to the residence in Ramat Gan. We arrived a little late as finding parking was a bit of a challenge. The large reception room was full of women and the sound of conversations reverberated off the walls. Chairs had been set up in front of a projection screen for a presentation to be made by an Italian scholar specializing in the history of the Middle East and of the Jewish people.

I admired the impressive array of art hanging on the walls then made my way to the table laden with food. I had just filled my plate when we were asked to please take a seat for the presentation. I attempted to take my plate of food with me but was told sternly that I could not. I managed to grab a few bites before relinquishing my plate.

The subject of the talk was “The Making of Modern Italy and the influence of the Risorgimento on the rise of Zionism.” Hmmm, I thought, interesting subject. Unfortunately, there was no subject intriguing enough to overcome the poor presentation we witnessed. The speaker sat down during most of the presentation. The slides were too small to view from any but the closest front rows. The slides kept jumping back and forth, often displaying images unrelated to what the speaker was saying. The speaker somehow made the subject boring. To top it all off, the sound system was wonky and made my ears hurt.

The nearly hour-long talk finally drew to a close and we all gathered around the table again. The eats were pretty good: mini pizzas, foccacie topped with sauteed mushrooms and zucchini, mozzarella balls, mini arancini, good strong Italian coffee and tiramisu. I saw my Italian teacher there and she introduced me to the ambassador’s wife. She was quite friendly and I managed to say a few things to her in Italian. As parting gifts everyone received a package of Tortina Mini by Loacker and a small glass souvenir from Murano glass factory Venini. I’m still trying to figure out the function, if any, and design of the Venini glass.

Venini Glass

What Is It? This glass disk is 2.25 inches in diameter and .125 inches thick. The etching on top says "Venini 2011". Too small to be a coaster. And just what does that design represent?

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3 Responses to “A Taste of Italy”

  1. Alan March 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I see:

    (1) Christ before Pilate.

    (2) Minnie Mouse hunting Kodiak bear.

    • Lenora Genovese March 12, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Hmmm… and I was thinking it looked like someone took a bite out of the moon.

      • Alan March 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

        I was also going to say a horsey and a ducky — but your description’s more poetic.

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