With Venice touching the heart of many a world traveler and the entire city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, any quest for support of restoration and preservation efforts is generally welcomed with open pocketbooks. It was that universal spirit of generosity that led Barbara and Gerald Hines to open their River Oaks home recently for a special luncheon focusing on Venice.
The Venetian Heritage Council is seeking funding for restoration of the Jewish Museum of Venice and Synagogues of the Venice Ghetto. Project cost is an estimated $9.6 million. The Hineses are aiding in that effort.
Thus, they assembled an influential group to hear about the effort from the council's president Valentina Marini Clarelli Nasi and advisor Toto Bergamo Rossi. Among those present were Sherry and Larry Davis, who have a second home in Venice, and Museum of Fine Arts director Gary Tinterow, longtime friend of Rossi. Houseguesting with the Hineses was their personal friend, artist Alex Duncan of London, whose paintings of Venice are among his many prized works.
Tony's catering provided the luscious, Italian-themed feast that had guests swooning — Di Campo salad, seared Mediterranean branzino on a bed of Sicilian spinach, Nebbiolo (red wine) stained risotto and a dessert duo of espresso-flavored tiramisu and Torta Della Nonna (apple/raisin/pecan pie).
Savoring both the luncheon fare and the Venice info were Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Anne Duncan, Heidi Gerger, Christopher Gardner, Franco Valobra, Joyce Greenberg, George Lancaster, the Rev. Donald Nesti and more.