Sitting down at the table with the Venetian Nobles

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In the sixteenth century, the heyday of the Venetian Republic, the magnitude of the Republic of Venice was also visible at the nobles’ tables. The splendor of their banquets and the luxury and abundance of their food are well described by Marin Sanudo, the official historian of the Republic.

 

The banquets that accompanied costume parties or balls at the palaces were huge, with their variety of appetizers, pasta dishes, soups, vegetables, stews, roasts, omelets, fish, salads, fry food, sweets, cakes, fruit, and so much more…

 

All the arts contributed to increase the grandeur and majesty of the Venetian tables: luxurious tablecloths, beautiful and delicate Murano cups, tableware, and cutlery adorned the tables at which ladies and gentlemen, whose clothes were adorned with lace, sat. The waste was so evident and exaggerated that the Serenissima decided to limit it with the enactment of a series of laws.

 

Venetian Nobles Banquet

During this period, Venice dictated the rules of art, taste, decency, and food all over Europe. It should also be noted that the Venetian nobles were the first to use the fork. Its first confirmed use dates back to the eleventh century by Princess Theodora, the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius who was married to the Doge Domenico Salvo, who had her food cut by eunuchs and then brought it to her mouth with a gold fork. This practice, which was initially opposed by the population, spread over the Venetians in the sixteenth century, while all other countries still used forks only to keep the food still while it was being cut.

 

We should not forget that it was still in Venice that coffee was first mentioned, when the ambassador in Constantinople described this black beverage that had the ability to remove fatigue and that soon would become an inevitable ritual for every Italian.

 

Therefore, we look forward to seeing you ….. at the Caffè Centrale.