All eyes were on the glowing, pink-attired Elisabeth Taylor, at the second glittering AmfAR gala to be held during the Venice film festival.

The auction of luxury items during the Friday night (Aug 31) event raised more than $700,000 in support of the American Foundation For AIDS Research, organisers confirmed after the dinner, which was held at the exclusive Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio.

The climax of the event was the auction of a $20,000 white gold necklace with topaz and diamonds, donated by Bulgari. The necklace was snapped up by Fabrizio Lombardo, head of Miramax Italia, who bid $27,000 after being playfully egged on by Taylor - who hosted the event - and Nicole Kidman, who were both sitting at his table.

Among the 300 guests attending the event were Claudia Schiffer - who wandered from table to table modelling the Bulgari necklace before it was auctioned - Charlize Theron, Alejandro Amenabar and Kidman, who is in town to present Jez Butterworth's Birthday Girl and Amenabar's The Others.

AmfAR events have been a feature of festivals such as Cannes and Sundance for several years and have been previously hosted by Sharon Stone and Demi Moore. Last year's debut Venice event raised $500,000.