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Dining and banqueting in Udine during the Renaissance

November 12, 2015 - September 18, 2016

In the same year of the Italian Expo in Milan, which was dedicated to the theme "Feeding the planet, energy for life", the Udine Museo Archeologico, in partnership with the Soprintendenza Archeologia del Friuli Venezia Giulia, launched an exhibition focusing on the day-to-day lives of the Friulian aristocracy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, most specifically with regards their dining habits.

Drawing on archaeological finds and artifacts from the city’s rich cultural heritage, the exhibition describes the food, dining ware, tableware, ornaments, books, customs and rituals of Friulian aristocrats

Among the many items on display there are two of particular note: a Platina recipe book published in Cividale in 1480 which, interestingly, was the first printed book known in Friuli, and one of the most important art works by Pomponio Amalteo - a large canvas oil painting from Udine’s Galleria d’Arte Antica (Gallery of Antique Art). The latter depicts the scene of the Last Supper inside a dining hall of Renaissance architecture and includes a number of formal features evoking certain rituals observed at the time

The theme of the exhibition, food and diet, is primarily illustrated by means of archaeological finds. These items, which include tableware and kitchenware, offer rich insights into the daily lives of the aristocracy and into how food was perceived and experienced in Udine during the Renaissance.