INDIVIDUAL DONORS (above $100) will be recognized on the Gala program, webpage, and Newsletter for one year.

Consider becoming an ICS Patron, by purchasing a VIP Table.

Your contributions help to support our SCHOOL for children, teens and adults, as well as our SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS, concerts, art exhibits and other events, in order to bring the best of ITALIAN CULTURE to Washington. A few events are free to the public because we believe that culture needs to be accessible to everybody. To do this, we need your support!

Join the ICS Board of Directors for one of Washington DC’s most memorable evenings. The ICS Gala is an occasion to celebrate the excellence of Italian culture in its many facets and includes Honorary Guests of international acclaim, recognized for their successful careers in the world. This year, our theme revolves around the philosophy and mission of Slow Food, embodying the values of sustainable gastronomy and preservation  of culture and territory. We are privileged to celebrate Carlo Petrini (joining us virtually or in person), the visionary founder of Slow Food, alongside honoring Roberta Ceretto, representing an exclusive wine cellar producer from Langhe, renowned for their commitment to excellence.

This year’s dinner is set to elevate the culinary experience to new heights, surpassing our already excellent standards. You will enjoy an exquisite selection of wines and gourmet dishes. Stay tuned for updates!

JUNE 7th 2024 – 6:30 pm (Gates open at 6:15)

Embassy of Italy

6:30 pm Italian Cocktails with Live music 

7:15 Honoring Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food & Roberta Ceretto, Video & conversation with Professor Lavinia Fici Pasquina, CUA 

8:00 Dinner, Awards Ceremony with piano performance


Tickets: $250 ICS Members – $325 Non-Members

 $4,000 – ICS Patrons, VIP Table (positioned closer to the stage)

Carlo Petrini

Born in Bra, Italy, in 1949, Carlo Petrini studied sociology at Trento University and then became involved in local politics. In the early 1980s, Petrini witnessed the speed of industrialization of food and the standardizing of taste and realized that it would lead to the disappearance of thousands of food varieties and sought to demonstrate that people had more choice than what had become supermarket homogenization. In 1986, when McDonald’s opened in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna, Petrini and other activists gathered in protest with big bowls of penne chanting, “We don’t want fast food. We want Slow Food!”

Thus, Slow Food was born with the initial aim to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure, and a slow pace of life. The movement has evolved to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognizes the strong connections between plate, planet, people and culture. Today, Slow Food represents a global movement involving thousands of projects and millions of people in over 160 countries.

Over the years, Slow Food has given birth to many programs that help preserve farmers, food diversity, and small-scale food products, for example, the Terra Madre network of food communities, which brings together and trains the many people involved in all aspects of food production, as well as the Presidia program, which goes even further in guaranteeing the survival and success of small-scale quality food products. These grassroots initiatives put Slow Food philosophy on agriculture and biodiversity into practice. In 2007, the University of Gastronomic Sciences was founded in Pollenzo, an international academic institution in Northern Italy that is the first university specifically devoted to studying the inextricable links between food and cultures. And in 2009, the Cooks’ Alliance was launched as a network of restaurateurs who uphold the Slow Food philosophy in their kitchens supporting local producers, influencing policy, and awakening diners to the rich food cultures and biodiversity of our planet.

Petrini is the author of Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, And Fair among many other books and articles translated into many languages. In 2004, he was named a ‘European Hero’ by Time magazine, and in 2008, The Guardian named him as the sole Italian to appear in the list of ‘50 People Who Could Save the World’.

Slow Food is an international organization that integrates concerns about the environment, tradition, labor, health, and animal welfare with real cooking, taste, and pleasure. It encourages cultures to uphold their food traditions as the custodians of irreplaceable inherited knowledge.

Roberta Ceretto
Roberta Ceretto leads the Ceretto wine company, upholding its legacy of innovation and sustainability. Born into a family deeply entrenched in the Langhe region’s wine and food industry, she represents its third generation committed to advancing viticulture.

Inspired by her father Bruno and uncle Marcello – defined “the Barolo Brothers” by Wine Spectator in 1986 –  Roberta and her family drive the company forward with a focus on sustainability and quality. Expanding the Ceretto vineyards to 170 hectares, they transition them to organic practices while recognizing the potential of Arneis alongside traditional Barolo and Barbaresco wines in the Roero region.

Beyond wine production, Roberta intertwines it with the Langhe’s offerings, collaborating with writers, artists, and architects to enrich the region’s narrative. Initiatives such as the glass-covered viewing platform and collaborations with Michelin-starred chef Enrico Crippa enhance the Langhe’s allure, making it a year-round destination for tourists and connoisseurs. Together with chef Enrico Crippa, the Ceretto family founded Piola and Piazza Duomo restaurant, the first one in Piedmont with three Michelin stars.

Roberta envisions ambitious projects that celebrate the region’s heritage and propel it into the future. From renovating abandoned houses to commissioning contemporary art installations amidst vineyards, she creates a dynamic landscape that captivates global visitors.

As a prominent female figure in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Roberta symbolizes the rising influence of women in viticulture. Her leadership, both within Ceretto and the broader industry, reflects a paradigm shift where women are increasingly acknowledged for their expertise and contributions.

Thanks to her dedication the family’s winemaking tradition evolves, embracing innovation, sustainability, and a profound appreciation for the Langhe’s beauty. With each endeavor, she underscores that wine is more than a product—it’s a testament to the land, culture, and spirit of its creators.


(Coming soon)

SPONSORS 2023-24:






Many thanks to our individual donors:

ICS PATRONS (VIP Tables  $4,000 +): Anonymous, Anonymous,

$1,000-$3,000: Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA), Bruce Esposito, Mark Steven Venezia, 
$500-$1,000: Elham and Joseph Cicippio, Ellen and Jack Coppley, Ranieri Cavaceppi, 
$100-$500: Pia Agostini, Cathy MacNeil-Hollinger, 

Become a Member

ICS Members get invitations to exclusive events, benefit from discounts on classes and concerts, access to our Italian Library and Video Collections… and mostly our Members are part of a society committed in spreading culture. 

The Italian Cultural Society of Washington, D.C. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. All donations to ICS are 100% tax deductible. Your contribution will help ICS to grow and improve the quality of our programs. Thank you for joining and believing in our mission!