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The Italian Cultural Institute presents “The Gardens of Roman Villas in the 19th and 20th Century” with Alberta Campitelli. Having a little trouble staying awake? Then consider the Italian gardener, gently coaxing the young plants into the moist, eager soil, gentle hands caressing new life into the waiting earth. While naked roots flutter in the humid Mediterranean breeze, the horticulturist’s attentive digits fondle the eager tubers, shoving them down into the sodden grit. Once securely rooted, the vegetation succumbs to the cultivator’s master plan. Luscious foliage in forced, unnatural positions, bound and staked for the pleasure of passers-by. And when winter approaches, all that is left is a limp, dry shoot—a monument to one big waste of time. At 6:30 p.m. at the Italian Cultural Institute, Suite 104, 1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW. FREE. For reservations call (202) 387-5161. (Elisa Nader)