|Supporters of Venetian Heritage, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Venetian art and architecture, gathered in Venice June 3-6 for its Biennale gala weekend. Those in attendance included the TSH Prince and Princess Pierre d'Arenberg, who were Chairmen of the weekend. On the first evening, Marchese Alberto and Marchesa Barbara Berlingieri gave a welcoming cocktail party at their Palazzo Treves di Bonfili, overlooking the Grand Canal.
The group's activities included a private visit to the newly restored Fondazione Querini Stampalia, housing a spectacular library, then a tour and lunch in the courtyard of Palazzo Grimani, also recently restored and not yet open to the public.
|The next day, after a refreshing stop at Villa "La Malcontenta," home of Count and Countess Antonio Foscari Widmann Rezzonico and called "the most beautiful house in the world", the group went on to Padua for a concert, a walk through the dazzling Basilica of St. Anthony and especially a view of the Chapel of St. Anthony, recently restored by Venetian Heritage, under the guidance of Toto Bergamo Rossi, which revealed the exquisitely carved marble wall panels representing the miracles of the Saint. Every year over six million people visit the Chapel, one of the holiest sites in Christendom.|
|Other private events scheduled, which kept the group hopping and also away from the tourist crowds, were a preview visit to the Biennale, a concert under the glowingly lit golden dome of St. Mark's Basilica and a tour of the new Francois Pinault museum, the Dogana della Punta, the former customs house on the tip of the Dorsoduro section of Venice.|
|On Saturday, stalwarts braved the acqua alta in St. Mark's Square and visited the Church of San Salvador to see Venetian Heritage’s restoration work in progress and to learn about its future restoration of the 14th century silver altarpiece. Then, off to luncheon as guests of Roberta and Luigino Rossi in their Grand Canal Palazzo Valmarana, where their collection of Andy Warhol drawings was on view.|
|The weekend's highlight was the ball at Villa Pisani, in Strà, just outside of Venice. The villa, called “the Versailles of the Veneto,”, was built by the Pisani family in the early 18th century to celebrate the election of Alvise Pisani as the 114th Doge of the Venetian Republic.
|After drinks on the terrace, a quick stroll through the enfilade of rooms, including the dining room recently restored by Venetian Heritage, dinner was served in the ballroom, under Titian’s magnificent ceiling fresco of “The Glory of the Pisani Family”. And late into the night, lit by a full moon and colored lights on the Villa's facade, guests danced and danced. In such an atmosphere no one wanted to go home!|
|Back in wacky New York ... The Arts Corporation and the Acettes came together this Tuesday to host a party at the newly opened High Line.
|For years it was abandoned and gradually grew New York shrubbery, that is until Mayor Michael Bloomberg got involved. The southern section has since been developed and was re-opened on June 9, as a public use elevated park. On Tuesday, the Acettes gave a live performance under The High Line at W. 25th street.|
|Two Saturdays ago up in Washington, Connecticut, The Library Luminaries, supporters of the Gunn Memorial Library, held their annual fund-raising event. Now in its 13th year, the Library Luminaries brought out more than 200 in support of the Library. Patrons made a contribution to attend a dinner with one of the several Luminaries.|
|Photographs by Mary Hilliard (Venetian Heritage); ©PatrickMcMullan.com (Acettes).|