Beautiful surroundings and seriousness of purpose: these are the qualities of the venue where FERMA will welcome participants to the FERMA Forum 2015 on Sunday evening 4 October. From the Lido, we will go by boat to the Giorgio Cini Foundation set in a former Renaissance monastery on the Island of San Giorgio for our opening reception.

The foundation looks directly across the water toward St Mark’s – but this magnificent building is not a Venetian tourist attraction. Instead, it is a non-profit cultural institution which for more than 50 years has hosted important international events including G7 summits, UNESCO conferences, major scholarly gatherings and smaller specialist meetings.

“All registered Forum participants are invited to the reception, so we will meet our colleagues in a place that will set the tone for the rest of our work – a beautiful historic building that is also a venue for distinguished cultural and scientific events,” says Alessandro De Felice, FERMA Vice President and President of the host association ANRA. “We are grateful to the Forum diamond sponsor Generali for making it possible.”

Following its foundation in AD 982, the Monastery of St Giorgio became a theological and cultural centre of European importance. In 1223, however, the buildings were severely damaged by a strong earthquake, and the glory of the monastery today is the reconstruction work started in the mid-16th century by two famous architects: first Andrea Palladio and then Baldassarre Longhena. After the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the monastery began a period of decline culminating in a century of military occupation.

In 1951 the Italian Government granted the monastery to the Cini Foundation, created by Count Vittorio Cini in memory of his son Giorgio who had died in an airplane accident in 1949. Count Cini’s aim was to restore the monastery and reintegrate the island into the cultural life of Venice.

FERMA looks forward to welcoming all registered Forum participants to the welcome reception at the Cini Foundation.
There will be shuttle water busses from the Forum venue, the Lido, to San Giorgio. This being Venice, there is also public transport by water. The Actv 2 route will bring you to San Giorgio from San Zaccaria in three minutes or down the Grand Canal from the train station in about 45 minutes.

Drink the true Venetian experience
To add to the truly Venetian experience, the catering at the welcome reception will be by the famous Harry’s Bar and the Cipriani Family. This means we will be able to enjoy a true Bellini, the mixture of Prosecco and peach nectar invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of Harry’s Bar. Apparently he chose the name because its pink colour reminded him of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.