Cena in Bianco
An elegant dinner in white with Turin as the backdrop
By Michelle Samson
White is the color of perfection and the equal balance of all the colors in the spectrum. Add that to the ritual of sharing a meal, an act that is at the very core of Italian culture, and you get Cena in Bianco (Dinner in White), a special dinner event in Turin.
Crystal wine glasses, white porcelain tableware, silver utensils and plates overflowing with the best in Italian cuisine…make a place at this banquet the envy of the summer. Just imagine the area surrounding one of Turin’s gorgeous monuments filled with row after row of tables covered in white linens, decorated with white candles, silky white bows and floating white balloons.
The elegance of Cena in Bianco is not limited to the table, however. All of the guests become actors participating in an unconventional dinner wearing their finest white dresses and white linen shirts, feathered white hats and classy sandals. The air is bristling with white energy, pure happiness and summertime magic. Which is exactly what Antonella Bentivoglio d’Afflitto dreamed of when she created this unique event. Her goal was to hold an evening of dining every summer that would simultaneously be dynamic, cutting-edge, traditional, ethical and beautiful. This amazing annual event in Turin, which usually takes place in July, has successfully done just that.
Much like a flash mob, participants begin to stream in and take part in all of the preparation, assembly, as well as provide food and clean up for their portion of the outdoor ‘dining room’. The exact date and location of the event are kept secret until just before the big day and social media is the principle tool used to generate ideas for food and decor, communicate event details, and share photos…resulting in thousands of people coming together at an extended dinner table as a united family to share a traditional evening meal in the most elegant manner.
The event location is coordinated with the city of Turin. No plastic is allowed and every last bit of waste must be carried out by the participant it belongs to so that no trace of the event is found the next day…with the exception of the videos, photographs and lifelong memories. Antonella recognized that the amazing beauty of Turin – regal landmarks, orderly streets lined with porticos, endless rows of trees – could set the stage and turn one corner of the city into a temporary dining room against the backdrop of a monument, a royal residence, the Po River or the Alps. Cena is Bianco has also taken place at beautiful venues just outside of Turin. One year, it was hosted at the magnificent Venaria Reale.
Cena in Bianco isn’t an entirely new concept however… years ago, Frenchman Francios Pasquier invited a handful of close friends to an exclusive Diner en Blanc in Paris and this event has spread internationally. But the Cena in Bianco has one significant difference that might surprise you; this event is open to the public and is free of charge, meaning anyone of any age is welcome to join. It embodies the true essence of Turin as it graciously blends the concepts of a warm welcome, exceptional food, wine, family and incomparable beauty.
There’s no doubt a visit to Turin in the summer would be made unforgettable by participating in the most magical event ever and it should be on your list of things to do in Turin. Make a point of having your fancy white attire on hand and a white cloth napkin to wave in the air with the thousands of other diners for the official kick-off to the Cena in Bianco.
For more info about Cena in Bianco & to find out when the next one will be held, visit: Cena in Bianco Uncoventional Dinner
Watch this video to get a taste of this special dinner event in Turin: Cena in Bianco Torino
Turin Travel Blog Guest Post by Michelle Samson: Michelle Samson is a native Californian who moved to Turin in 2000. She has a background in Communications, with more than ten years of hands-on experience in PR, marketing and event planning in both Los Angeles and Turin. Michelle’s life seems to revolve around words and how they can bridge gaps among different cultures, beliefs and attitudes. She is in the habit of collecting experiences and using them to form the basis for written, oral, and photographic storytelling. https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-samson-torino