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NEW! La Dolce Vita Lecture Series

Priority: Informational

$45 per class, $99 for the series of 3 classes


The Alchemy of Italy
| Tues. Feb 26th | 6:30 PM

What is it about Italy? Cultural Superpower yet merely a mountainous Mediterranean peninsula, Italy has exerted an outsized force on the world, Western civilization and the popular imagination over the course of millennia. Explore the special alchemy of Italy and the “cultural DNA” that has made Italy not only so influential, but also so beloved. A special edu-taining lecture through which you will discover fascinating new insights about the “Boot’s” long history of substance over size.


Leading Ladies of the Renaissance
| Tues. March 19th | 6:30 PM

Discover the lives and legacies of the Italy's “Renaissance Women” as well as those of several unheralded Italian women who inspired Botticelli, Raphael and Michelangelo and some of the greatest artwork of all time.In celebration of International Women’s Month, we will learn thestories of women such as Artemisia Gentileschiand Isabella D’Este whose lives and accomplishments can still inspire us today as well as gain fresh perspectives on some of the Renaissance’s most beloved paintings. 


Cultural “Trivia” Challenge Italian-Style
| Tues Apr. 23rd | 6:30 PM

What food was considered scandalous if consumed by women in public during the Renaissance? Why is carpaccio called carpaccio; the Bellini, the Bellini? How did the Colosseum get its name? Test your knowledge while discovering surprising new facts and insights about “The Boot”. A special interactive cultural “trivia” challenge for all those in amore with Italy and its astonishing culture and delizioso cuisine. Even the most sophisticated Italophile will discover fascinating new facts and insights. 

About Carla Gambescia

Guest lecturer Carla Gambescia is the author of the acclaimed book La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A-Z, an eclectic compendium of all things Italian: food, wine, history, architecture, art, style, anecdotes, attitude and more.

Carla was a former partner in the Ciao Bella Gelato Company, created and co-led the·Giro del Gelato·bicycle tour, which won OUTSIDE magazine’s “Best Trip in Western Europe” and for nearly a decade owned and operated·Via·Vanti!Restaurant &·Gelateria in Mount Kisco, New York. Via Vanti! won plaudits for its innovative Italian cuisine, extraordinary gelato (named “Best Gelato Shop in New York”) and on-going program of culinary and cultural events.


Praise for La Dolce Vita University


“The title—La Dolce Vita University—captures the great virtues of this reader-friendly book perfectly: it’s delicious and educational at the same time, with each virtue reinforcing the other.

It’s a complete delight to read; the research is careful and the analysis is intelligent and witty. It’s written in prose as clear, bright, crisp, and lively as a spring morning in the Dolomites.”Like an ideal platter of antipasti, it’s made of deliciously varied bites you can pick your way through or if you want, give a friend —an appetizer that will rouse up a hunger for the glory and festivity of Italy and its wonderful culture, this book is perfect.”

—Robert N. Watson, PhD. Distinguished Professor of English
Associate Vice-Provost for Educational Innovation, UCLA


“Imagine it as a dessert course of dark chocolates, filled with exotic fruits and nuts, packed with the love of history and art, food and wine, wisdom and wit. The chocolates are alphabetically listed, described and presented beautifully, and offered as something to dip into as you wish. You open it, choose the one you think you will like best, then another, and another. Suddenly it’s gone. Because Carla wears her scholarship lightly, you don't feel over full, but what a feast!”

—Denise Scott Brown RIBA, Int. FRIBA
Winner of the Jane Drew Prize for Women in Architecture


“For someone who is of Italian heritage and anyone who loves Italian food, wine and culture this is a must read. Loved it!”

—Ted Balestreri, Chairman & CEO, Cannery Row Company, Monterey, CA
Recipient of the National Restaurant Association’s Legends Award

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