The Washington Post

Phillips Collection gala: This year with added Italian seasoning

There’s just no escaping all things Italian in Washington! To celebrate the “Year of Italian Culture in America,” the nation is occupying all the big parties in town: The Opera Ball last month, and the Phillips Collection annual gala on Friday.

Valets dressed as gondoliers at the Phillips Collection gala Friday. (Tony Powell)
Valets dressed as gondoliers at the Phillips Collection gala Friday. (Tony Powell)

Guests at the museum’s black-tie fundraiser parked with valets dressed as gondoliers, viewed Italian art, and enjoyed an Italian meal curated by Italian cuisine guru Lidia Bastianich. The auction showcased a 12-carat diamond bracelet by Italian jeweler Roberto Coin, a villa rental and a Ducati. At the Italian embassy’s after-party: Fiats outside, tiramisu and espresso inside.

Italian ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and Lidia Bastianich at the Phililips gala Friday night. (Roxanne Roberts for The Washington Post)
Italian ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and Lidia Bastianich at the Phililips gala Friday night. (Roxanne Roberts for The Washington Post)

But what’s that? Booming from the loudspeakers: Tunes like “Footloose,” “1999.” “Where’s the Italian music?” shouted Bastianich over the din. Not on this dance floor, cara.

Earlier: Opera Ball celebrates Italian culture with special guest Joe Biden, 4/7/13

More Reliable Source Justin Bieber; Keira Knightley; Marion Barry; Carla Bruni; Captain America; Kissinger and Clinton; Reese Witherspoon; Paul Wharton

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