Michelle Obama Stuns in Versace Gown at Final Star-Studded White House State Dinner
The president spoke to more than 400 guests and recalled the Roman Empire, saying: "What matters in the end is what we build."
Michelle Obama dazzled in a rose gold Versace gown for her final state dinner as first lady Tuesday night.
The first couple welcomed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini, to the White House for the event.
Among the 400 guests were many high profile Italians and Italian-Americans such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his girlfriend, Sandra Lee; The Night Of actor John Turturro, Life Is Beautiful star Roberto Benigni, designer Giorgio Armani, race car driver Mario Andretti and celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
Musicians Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper and comedian Jerry Seinfeld were also in attendance.
The comedian joked: “We're Jews, but we identify as Italian, we spend a lot of time traveling in Italy and we almost exclusively go out for Italian food.”
The dinner was prepared by The Chew host Mario Batali, who wore his signature Crocs.
The Italian prime minister praised the first lady's vegetable garden, as well as her recent campaign speech about how women should be viewed as equals.
“Michelle, your tomatoes are great. But after the last weeks, let me be very frank, your speeches are better than your tomatoes," Renzi said.
He added: “Thank you so much, as prime minister but also as father of a small daughter."
For his 13th and final state dinner, the president said, “we saved the best for last,” and spoke about Italy’s influence on America.
“American democracy has been graced by the touch of Italy. Some days our presidential campaign can seem like Dante’s Inferno,” Obama said.
Obama also spoke of a 2014 trip to Rome’s famous Colosseum and recalled the humbling experience but what it means for future generations.
He said: "It was late in the day, it was quiet, the sun was going down, and as I walked across those ancient stones worn by the history of 2,000 years, it was a humbling reminder of our place here on Earth. In the grand sweep of time, each of us is here only for a brief moment.
"So many of the things that we focus on each day, the political ups and downs, the successes and the setbacks, those things are fleeting. What matters in the end is what we build. What matters is what we leave behind."
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