Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.
Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation ranging from advances on battery range for the futuristic Formula E cars – following tests on the Rome circuit earlier in the day – to a new green-screen soundstage being built at revamped Cinecittà Studios. Electro swing and deep house tracks pulsated in the background.
Drinks segued into a meal that mixed typical Roman dishes with international fare such as sushi and steamed dumplings and desserts of all sorts.
The event was co-hosted by Jay Penske, chairman and CEO of PMC (Variety’s parent company) and owner and team principal of the Geox Dragon Formula E Team, who attended with wife Elaine Irwin (pictured below), and Francesco Costa, founder and chairman of advertising and branding agency Spring Studios, and an initial investor in Formula E.
Among the other attendees were Sky Italia exec Nicola Maccanico and wife Maria Scoglio (pictured top); RAI Cinema Managing Director Paolo Del Brocco; Geox Chairman and President Mario Moretti Polegato and wife Anna Lucia Balzan; Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag; Rolling Stone Italia editor and publisher Luciano Bernardini De Pace (pictured below, center); and Cinecittà marketing and innovation execs Andrea Spagna, with wife Virginia Recchi, and Diego Grammatico.
On Saturday, the Rome E-Prix kicks off the European leg of the races, which so far this season have taken place in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Chile, Mexico, Hong Kong and mainland China. Forthcoming rounds will be in Paris, Monaco, Berlin and Bern before the season-ending double-header in New York.
The 1.8-mile track, which consists of 21 turns in Rome’s modernist EUR neighborhood, where Julie Taymor’s “Titus” was shot, is one of the longest and most challenging of the season. The race, televised live in 190 countries, will go out on Mediaset in Italy.