Night Garden of Serenissima

Belly dancers, cocktails and more create this fairytale evening in San Francisco's Albion Castle

Sponsored by Per La Mente

Few cities evoke more wonder and mystery than Venice, a metropolis known for its music, history and art. Violinist and event curator Adriana Molello traveled to the Italian destination earlier this year, and it inspired her to create an evening of performances stateside, in collaboration with Atlas Obscura and media partner Per La Mente.

“I wanted to explore the different cultures that make up Venice,” Molello tells us. So she curated an eclectic cast of dancers, musicians, singers, and artists to create Night Garden of Serenissima: A Venetian Fairy Tale at San Francisco’s Albion Castle. A night of dancing, drinks and entertainment, guests experienced a multi-level, multicultural event with classical music, belly dancers, a Guzheng performer, a Balkan band, and much more. There was an outdoor bar serving Fernet-Branca cocktails and mulled wine, and the meal was an aromatic feast—chefs used an abundance of rosemary, basil, thyme, and other herbs.

Aside from its regal appearance, the castle features a freshwater aquifer and functioning cisterns—not unlike Venice, where water is an integral part of city infrastructure. The one-of-a-kind evening spanned a variety of cultures, musical genres, and improvised stages, blurring the lines between audience and performers.

To get a taste of Serenissima wherever you are, the Eva Perón cocktail:

3/4 oz Fernet-Branca

3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula

3/4 oz ginger liquor

1/2 oz lime juice

2 oz ginger beer

Build in a Collins glass and top off with ginger beer, garnish with a mint sprig

Per La Mente—for the mind has been created by Fernet-Branca to expand your ideas about what’s possible by being the source of discovery into the universe of creative experiences. We’re endlessly curious about underground, experiential, and elusive culture, as well as the artists who make and love it. We want to share it all with you. We seek a spark of mystery, a hint of eccentricity, a dash of staggering originality, and a tinge of chaotic genius. Think of Per La Mente as the storyteller, the enabler—your conduit to the path less traveled. So open your mind and join us for some splendid adventures like the one we have brought forth here.

Copy by Rana Good, images by Clinton Perry