Night Garden of Serenissima: A Venetian Fairy Tale Takes Over San Francisco’s Albion Castle

World-class violinist Adriana Molello, Atlas Obscura, and Per La Mente created an inimitable evening of performance and cocktails.

Article by: Rana Good | Images by: Clinton Perry

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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.

Few cities evoke more wonder and mystery than Venice, a coastal metropolis known for its music, history, and art. Violinist and event curator Adriana Molello traveled to the fantastic 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 makeup Venice,” Molello told Per La Mente. 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.

It was a marvelous night of dancing, drinks, and divine entertainment. Guests experienced a multi-level, multicultural event with classical music, belly dancers, a Guzheng performer, a Balkan band, and much more. An outdoor bar serving Fernet-Branca cocktails and mulled wine kept guests warm and their palates whetted. Attendees also enjoyed an aromatic feast, as chefs used an abundance of rosemary, basil, thyme, and other herbs to create delectable hors-d’oeuvres and pasta.

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. We’re sure this Venetian-inspired night will be on people’s minds for a long time to come.

Per La Mente SF

To get a taste of Serenissima wherever you are, mix yourself up a delightful Fernet-Branca cocktail:

Eva Perón

  • 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.

More event images in the gallery below:

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