Saturday, February 22, 2020

Raphael and His Circle at The National Gallery of Art!

Raphael and His Circle is on display at The National Gallery of Art now through June 14, 2020.  This brilliant and quaint exhibit features four of the artist's drawings with additional drawings by Raphael's closest followers -- Giulio Romano, Perino delVaga, and Polidoro da Caravaggio.  

In commemoration of the five-hundredth anniversary of Raphael's premature death at age thirty-seven, this exhibition is part of a worldwide celebration.  The National Gallery of Art is fortunate to have the most significant group of paintings by the master outside of Europe, four of which are on permanent display on the Main Floor of the West Building -- brilliant works and a must see visit!  The Gallery's collection is also rich in drawings and prints by or directly related to Raphael.

Listen to CiaoDC Chat with Jonathan Bober, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art on Raphael and His Circle.

Join CiaoDC Private tour here on February 26, 11-12 pm.  Registration is limited!

Born Raffaello Sanzio in 1483 in Urbino, Italy, Raphael is recognized by many as the first and foremost figure of the classical tradition in Western painting.  His art, featuring balanced composition and idealized beauty, epitomizes the Italian Renaissance and was tremendously influential in his lifetime and after.  Raphael moved to Florence at age twenty-one, and from 1508 on he worked in Rome.  There he became the preferred artist of the city's leading patrons, including successive popes Julius II and Leo X, who commissioned Raphael to create frescoes and other works for the Vatican.  During his later years in Rome, Raphael broadened his activity to create designs for other media, such as tapestries and prints. 
Raphael and His Circle
On display Through June 14, 2020
The National Gallery of Art
West Building, Ground Floor
401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20565

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Comedy of Venice Promises Laughs, Masks and Good Italian Theatre by John Morogiello

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. - Irish Proverb 

"If our theatre can't provide the one, we will certainly give you the other." 

- John Morogiello, 
President/Artistic Director
Best Medicine Rep

CiaoDC Chats with President and Artistic Director of Best Medicine Rep Theatre, John Morogiello on his latest production, Comedy of Venice opening on January 31st through February 28 at Best Medicine Rep located in the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, MD.

Celebrating Commedia dell'Arte at its best, Comedy of Venice features Money, Power, Love, and a Grand Canal! Comedy of Venice is the hilarious true story of Venetian authors Carlo Goldoni (The Servant of Two Masters) and Carlo Gozzi (Turandot) battling for the soul of Italian comedy.  The city isn't big enough for the two of them!  Written by John Morogiello.  Directed by Stan Levin.  Get tickets here.

Listen here to CiaoDC Chat with CiaoDC's Publisher, Alyssa Ciccone and President and Artistic Director of Best Medicine Rep on behind the scenes of Comedy of Venice; drama in education; and what really is the best medicine.

Comedy of Venice
January 30 - February 28
Best Medicine Rep Theatre at Lakeforest Mall

Friday, December 13, 2019

Celebrate Christmas at the Italian Church in Washington, DC

To be Italian in the Washington, DC metro area one must frequent the only Italian Church in town, Holy Rosary Church.  My husband and I were blessed to be married in this beautiful jewel and both of our girls were baptized here.  Step inside this Italian masterpiece of mosaics, carvings and frescoes and immediately escape to bell'Italia.  The warmth, authenticity and history of Holy Rosary Church is what every Washingtonian Italian needs to fill their soul over the holidays.  Save the date for these two special events:
Annual Advent Service of Lessons and Carols on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 4 p.m., Holy Rosary Church with an Italian reception of light refreshments immediately following.  This service is dedicated to all of the Holy Rosary Church volunteers who selflessly give of their time and talent throughout the year; and the Annual New Year's Eve Dinner Dance on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, Casa Italiana; The cost is $80.00 per person and includes a complete buffet dinner, an evening of dancing to live music and festivities, and a toast at midnight.  Paid reservations must be made by December 22.  Doors open at 7 p.m.  The event will be preceded by Holy Mass at 6:00 p.m. in honor of the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  Buon Natale!

Holy Rosary Catholic (Italian) Church is located on ​595 Third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NIAF's 44th Annual Gala Chair, Joe Lonardo Shares Gala Highlights with CiaoDC!

CiaoDC chats with The National Italian American Foundation’s Board Member and Gala Chair, Joe Lonardo on the 44th Annual Gala coming to Washington, DC this weekend November 1st-3rd at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.  Learn about Celebrity Dinners; Expo Italia events; Gala honorees and more! Listen to interview here. 
Join NIAF at the premiere celebration of the Italian American here in Washington, DC Kick off the weekend with an Aperitivo for young Italian Americans to include cocktails, small bites and gelato by local Dolci Gelati!  

For an elegant dining experience, join TV Host/Celebrity Chef, Mary Ann Esposito at an elegant Molise inspired dinner dubbed, An Evening with Mary Ann Esposito.  Saturday, November 2, enjoy FREE events at Expo Italia and learn more about Italy.  Talk movies with a meet and greet of the renowned The Avengers directors The Russo Brothers; travel to Italy with tours and gifts from Italy on display; get your gelato on with a live demonstration by Gianluigi Dellaccio of Dolci Gelati; a Cooking demonstration by Chef Amy Riolo; Italian Lunch tastings; a Book Signing and meet and greet with Chef/TV Host, Mary Ann Esposito; and more!  Saturday evening will begin the gala dinner honoring prominent Italian Americans to include Fox Business Host of Mornings with Maria, Maria Bartiromo who will also serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.  This weekend promises to be a star-studded Italian American extravaganza that will have every Italian and non Italian singing That's Amore!  Hope to see you there!  For more information click here.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Celebrity Chef, Author, TV-Host Mary Ann Esposito Gets Cooking in Washington this Fall!

CiaoDC Chats with Mary Ann Esposito on cooking in Washington, DC this Fall; Culinary Tours in Italy and Recipes for the holidays!  Listen here.  Enjoy the delicious recipes of the longest running cooking show, Ciao Italia with TV Host, Mary Ann Esposito at "An Evening with Mary Ann Esposito, " during the 44th Annual National Italian American Foundation's (NIAF) Gala weekend.  Enjoy flavors from the celebrated Molise region served over a three-course dinner, plus guests will receive a complimentary book of Mary Ann's latest cookbook, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy!  Seating is limited, tickets may purchased here. Vegetarian and Gluten Free options are available.  If you can't make it to the dinner, you can also meet and greet Mary Ann Esposito at a book signing from 2-3 at the Expo Italia on Saturday, November 2.  For more information on these exciting events via

An Evening with Mary Ann Esposito
Friday, November 1, 2019
7:30 p.m. Cocktails
8:00 p.m. Dinner
Omni Shoreham Hotel

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Join CiaoDC's Verrocchio Tour & Lunch at National Gallery of Art!

Verrocchio Tour & Lunch:
Take a lunch break to Renaissance Florence, Italy with CiaoDC as we explore the masterpieces of Sculptor and Painter Andrea Del Verrocchio (c.1435-1488.) Private guided tour and Italian box lunch offered. Prices vary, limited registration and more information here.

About the Artist

Verrocchio dazzled Florence with his mastery of one medium after another. Trained as a goldsmith, he achieved fame as a sculptor, creating works in marble, clay, silver, and bronze, while also excelling as a painter and draftsman. Verrocchio nurtured younger artists, including his prize pupil, Leonardo da Vinci. Verrocchio's works are remarkable for their variety, namely the huge copper globe that crowns Florence Cathedral.

Florence's booming economy in the fifteenth century kept artists very busy filling great demands for sculptures and paintings to adorn churches, homes, and civic buildings. Verrocchio's skill and ingenuity won him the patronage of the wealthiest and most powerful family in Florence, the Medici, who came to dominate the city's political and cultural life.

The exhibition is the first in the United States devoted to Verrocchio's career. It includes works by his students and collaborators - Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Leonardo da Vinci - attesting to his profound impact on the art of the Renaissance.

This exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pasta and Wine Tasting Highlights at The Italian Place!

The Italian Place hosted another Taste of Italy event on Sunday, September 15, 3-5 offering Southern Italian Wines and Pasta in Box sampling with RED, WHITE and GREEN sauces!  Patrons enjoyed house-made sauces of marinara, alfredo and pesto with sparkling, crisp white and robust red wines.  It was a beautiful afternoon at The Italian Place and looking forward to next months complimentary tasting!  I stocked up on dolci gelati and pizzelles for dessert while I was there!  CiaoDC in collaboration with the Italian Place have created these boutique style monthly tasting events to offer a "taste of Italy" to everyone!  Stay tuned for more tasting events coming soon!