Thursday, March 29, 2012

La Dolce Vita....

Robbie Myers, the editor-in-chief of Elle

Photo credit: Alfredo Flores

The gates of Villa Firenze opened to guests attending ELLE Magazine's "Capital Dames: 10 Powerful Women in DC" soiree at 7 PM.  From that moment on you were transported to Italy, sans Alitalia.

Nestled in 22 secluded acres of Cleveland Park, the residence of The Ambassador of Italy has all the charm and magnificence of the real deal.   The historic mansion was first occupied by Amb. Roberto and Carla Gaja in 1977 and has since then been a mecca of high profile social activity.

Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"We are celebrating an outstanding event: The Washington, D.C. Power List 2012," said current Amb. Claudio Bisogniero, "and tonight we are going to recognize ten incredible women who have distinguished themselves in the nation's capital; extraordinary individuals, each with their own leadership and vision." 

Julianna Smoot, Heather Podesta, Juleanna Glover, Sheila Johnson, Jennifer Hing  Front row – Mrs. Laura Denise Bisogniero, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Roberta Armani, Robbie Myers, Secretary Hilda Solis

Giorgio Armani and Elle Magazine presided over the evening, represented by Roberta Armani and Robbie Myers.  Ambassador Bisogniero assured us that by the year 2013 Italy would "present the biggest intersection of Italian culture in The United States: Art, Design, Innovation and Fashion which are going to be essential components."

 Jennifer Hing, Roberta Armani and John Scofield

"We are really here tonight to celebrate women who are change agents in the best sense of the word," responded Robbie Myers.  "We are delighted because our mission is to honor women from both sides of the aisle for being influencers who don't take extreme positions just to stick to the other side, but continually inspire others with their ideas.

Judge Bill Newman & Sheila Johnson  

Most powerful Dames:  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jennifer Hing, Christiane Amanpour, Norah O’Donnell, Sheila Johnson, Ambassador Susan Rice
Juleanna Glover, Heather Podesta, Julianna Smoot, Secretary Hilda Solis. 

And yes, romance was in the air, sans hot tub.

Christopher Reiter and Juleanna Glover

Take the dinner tour:

 Take the Villa Firenze tour:

"The house is really a meeting point of two traditions and two cultures,"  former Italian Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata and now Minister of Foreign Affairs said while here until 2011.  "When Americans come to the house, they love it, and so do Italians."