There is always something happening in Venice. Here are some of Tour Italy Now’s picks for the best things to do in Venice right now.
On June 1, Venice became the “it” spot for contemporary art with the opening of the 55th Biennale. The theme for this Biennale is The Encyclopedic Palace. Led this year by the 39 year old Massimiliano Gioni, the 188 year old festival is expected to be receive over half a million visitors during the five months that it runs. For the very first time the Holy See representing the Vatican will be one of the 88 national participants. There are 150 artists represented and 47 associated events.
The 55th edition of the Biennale runs until November 24.
The Festa del Redentore
This spectacular event has religious roots and dates back to the late 1500‘s. It is celebrated On the weekend of July 20-21. It began as a celebration to mark the end of a terrible plague. A church, Redentore (Redeemer) Church was constructed by Andrea Palladio in the neighborhood (sestiere) of Dosoduro along the canal. On the Saturday night, the canal is lit with an incredible fireworks display. The Sunday is filled with regattas of a various types of boats throughout the day.
A terrible fire in 1996 left the La Fenice Theater in ruins. 10 years ago the historic theater reopened after a painstaking renovation. the summer program is filled with opera classics like Puccini’s Madam Butterfly and Verdi’s Othello. The charismatic conductor Diego Matheuz will present a Prokofiev concert and there is an international gala ballet scheduled.
Venice has been a center for luxurious textiles since the middle ages. Historic names of textile firms like Fortuny, Gaggio and Bevilacqua all originated in Venice and are still operating today producing some of the worlds most sought after fabrics. You can visit the showrooms and take a sumptuous piece of history back home with you. Schedule a visit to the Palazzo Mocenigo. This vast storerooms are opened to the public by reservation and include many examples of clothes and fabrics. A special exhibit of the of the 18th and 19th century weaving techniques from the house of Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua can also be arranged.
Venice is made up of 117 islands. Take a break from the crowds in St. Marks square and explore some of the other parts of the archipelago. Colorful Burano with it’s peaceful canals and bright houses make it a photographers paradise. Seek out artisans making lace. Murano is one of the most well known islands in te Venetian lagoon as is home to the glass artisans. The nature reserve on Torcello Island is a welcome respite. Don’t miss the stunning mosaics in the 7h century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta