Conference Dinner and Award Ceremony

Ridotto di San Moisè - Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Conference Dinner and the Award Ceremony will be held on Wednesday 11 October 2023 at the Ridotto di San Moisè in Palazzo Dandolo, now Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, at 7.30 pm, and offers conference participants an excellent chance to enjoy delicious food in a magnificent venue.

Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal is a 4-minute walk from Piazza San Marco, and a 10-minute walk from the "San Marco-San Zaccaria B" vaporetto stop; see Google map at the bottom.

This is a ticketed event and there are a limited number of places (maximum 200), so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for the Conference Dinner are included in the Registration Packages or may be added to your Registration Fee during the registration process.

Please visit the Registration page for more details.

Figure 1: The Ridotto of San Moisè in Palazzo Dandolo


Figure 2: Palazzo Dandolo, now Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal


What is a Venetian Ridotto

The word Ridotto (Assembly Room), in every sense of the term, was used in Venice from 1282 onwards. It designated a place to which nobles in particular, but also all kinds of other people (adventurers, prostitutes, sharpers, travelers, and so on) "reduced" themselves or “withdrew" for various reasons: to gamble, to enjoy the favors of courtesans or to engage in social and political relations. Of course, there was also a ridotto, in the sense of a foyer, in the theatres, and there were even intellectual ridottos, in the sense of salons, at the end of the 16th century. Gambling in Venice is first said to have taken place in the open area, between the columns of St Mark and St Theodore, and then it took such a hold in the city that the government was only too glad that the players "reduced themselves", or withdrew to indoor premises. The most important public ridotto is the Ridotto of San Moisè, which is also the first to be founded by the Serenissima in 1638.

Figure 3: The great hall of the Ridotto of San Moisè, Francesco Guardi, 1746, Ca' Rezzonico, Venezia


The Ridotto of San Moisè

Venice was the undisputed capital of entertainment, the hub of European cultural and social life, famous for its magnificent balls, parties, and theater performances until the mid-18th century. But it is in the casinos or "Ridotti" that the most secret vices and virtues of the beau monde of the time were consumed. The Ridotti are more intimate and easier to heat than the large halls of palaces and arise from the need to remedy the prohibitions imposed by the Government of the Serenissima to limit gambling and, when bars and public places did not yet exist, to be able continue to have fun even late in the evening after the theater. Gradually they become a real status symbol, in 1744 there were 118 of them, and the noblewomen of the time competed to show off a private Ridotto in the central area of Piazza San Marco, where the theaters were concentrated. The success was such that in 1638, in an attempt to control the phenomenon, the Government granted the license for a “public” Ridotto to the noble Marco Dandolo in whose homonymous Palazzo Dandolo (today Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal) the Serenissima established the first “public” Casino of Europe. Its halls are celebrated in the famous paintings by Francesco Guardi (see Fig. 3) and Pietro Longhi (Fig. 4) where beautiful courtesans are depicted entertaining with gentlemen of fortune (Casanova was a regular customer of the Ridotto di San Moisè, and even had his correspondence delivered there). All those who went there were required to wear a mask with the exception of the nobles who kept the gaming benches, chosen from among those belonging to less well-off families, the so-called Barnabotti. The Ridotto Dandolo, managed directly by the State, acquired an incomparable fame since its opening in 1638 because it remained open during the months of the long carnival of that time: from December 26th to Ashes Day. It soon became a place frequented by many travelers attracted by the cosmopolitan sophistication of the city, which offered the wildest parties and entertainments. The long period of celebrations, which brought with it gambling, usury and prostitution, however, took on the appearance of scandal in the eyes of the people.

Fig. 4: Ridotto of Palazzo Dandolo in San Moisè, circa 1750, oil on canvas by Pietro Longhi, Venice 1701 – 1785


Thus, it was that on 27 November 1774 the Council of Ten decreed the definitive closure of the Ridotto Dandolo. The moment of great splendor which lasted 136 years ended, and since then it has been used only during the now short period of the Carnival. In 1936 the Palace was restored to house the Venice Casino, but the Curia objected, therefore the place became the seat of the movie theater the "Modernissimo". In 1947 it underwent the last transformation before becoming part of the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal, welcoming a small theater for which the name of Ridotto was revived. Today the sumptuous halls of the Ridotto owned by the Monaco & Grand Canal hotel host international events that bring the glories of the past back to life in these spaces.


Itinerary from Piazza San Marco to Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal


Piazza San Marco

Head southwest on San Marco toward Sotoportego del Cavalletto

130 m

Turn right onto Salizada S. Moise

Take the stairs

89 m

Turn left onto Calle Ridotto

Destination will be on the left

110 m

Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal