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‘At the court of Ippolito d’Este’, at the cardinal’s table with the audience

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Panunto, an ancestor of our bruschetta prepared with bread, butter, mozzarella, sugar, cinnamon and rose water, spinach with raisins with pepper and cinnamon, melangole sauce and must, pancakes and croutons with mushrooms accompanied by hippocras, an ancient drink made from fermented flavored wine sweetened with honey. These are some of the Renaissance dishes served at the table of Ippolito d’Este at Villa d’Este in Tivoli in a reconstruction that evokes the luxuriant splendor and the cultured and worldly evenings of one of the Italian families who made the history of our related country, in over the centuries, with the crowned heads of all Europe, from the Gonzaga to the Guisa, from the Della Rovere to the Medici, from Pico della Mirandola to the Farnese. On the days of 13, 20 and 27 August, 3 and 10 September Coop Culture organizes and promotes guided tours in what was once the residence of Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este also through food and wine. ‘Table and Power: The Renaissance on the plate … at the court of Ippolito’, therefore, which includes aperitifs and culinary proposals of the time, is the title of the curious and unusual ceremony, open to the public, which will take place not far from the capital . The public will have the opportunity not only to visit the historic home of Ippolito II d’Este, cardinal and governor of Tivoli, but also to experience the atmosphere of the splendor and glories of its creator through one of his greatest passions, that of ‘culinary art. “The banquet I was having was all shadow, dream, chimera, fiction, mettafora and allegory”, wrote Cristoforo Messisbugo, a real superintendent of the kitchens at the service of the d’Este, in the most important Renaissance text on ‘topic dedicated precisely to his lord. The narration of a real art, of an amazing theatrical performance through which, among countless courses, interspersed with music and surprises of all kinds, the cardinal prince shines in what was an extraordinary example of political propaganda and expression of the taste of an era comparable only to the great banquets of the Roman imperial era.Declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001, Villa D’Este still represents today a masterpiece of Italian garden with the impressive concentration of fountains, nymphaeums, caves, water games and hydraulic music. Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este, after the disappointments due to the lack of papal election, revived the splendor of the courts of Ferrara, Rome and Fointanebleau here and revived the magnificence of Villa Adriana. Governor of Tivoli since 1550, he immediately toyed with the idea of ​​creating a garden on the slope of the joyful valley, but only after 1560 the architectural and iconological program of the Villa was clarified, conceived by the painter-archaeologist-architect Pirro Ligorio and built by the architect of court Alberto Galvani. The palace was decorated by the protagonists of the late Roman mannerism. The Villa was almost completed when Ippolito d’Este died in 1572. Further interventions in the 17th century followed a period of decline, until Cardinal Gustav Adolf von Hohenlohe revived its splendor by also hosting the musician Ferenc Liszt (1811-1886). Acquired by the Italian State, between the 1920s and 1930s the Villa was restored and opened to the public.

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