D’ANNUNZIO’S BANQUET IN FIUME

In 1919, Gabriele D’Annunzio led a number of rebel units from the Royal Army in occupying the Adriatic city of Fiume, over which the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had been fighting for control. The goal of the mission was to influence the International Peace Conference.

Gabriele D’Annunzio used this moment to outline his vision of Futurist progress, development and self-aggrandizement. He celebrated these exploits by throwing an outlandish banquet of fabulous flavours with a hand-written menu, signed by D’Annunzio himself: what appears to be, at first glance, a traditional list of dishes, upon closer examination reveals a bamboozling sequence of imaginary creations such as “Flik-Flok Soup” or “Lamarmora Pudding”. But the food is not the only curiosity on this carefully composed list: the drinks are equally remarkable, with “Vermouth of Honour” to open the meal and “Maraschino Zara” to close. And this is also the first appearance of the term “Asti Spumante” (a sparkling white wine), which would only reappear in the30s when the Asti Spumante Consortium was set up.

At this feast, however, the food only played a secondary role: the essential ingredient and the main event was Gabriele D’Annunzio himself with his flamboyant, imaginative and witty remarks.

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