The Venice Biennale is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Since its foundation in 1895, it has promoted the avant-garde, new artistic trends and organised international events in the contemporary arts. The festival brings together the International Venice Film Festival, La Biennale Art & Architecture Exhibitions, the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Venice Theatre Festival and the Festival of Contemporary Dance within one ambitious cultural program. Held from the 4th July-27th November 2011, here is our pick of this year's festival highlights.
Highlight: Art + Architecture
The 54th International Art Exhibition, directed by Bice Curiger, opened to the public on Saturday June 4th in Venice. Hosted at Venice’s Giardini, Arsenale and throughout other historic locations around Venice, this year’s show is entitled “iLLUMInations” and features 83 artists from around the world. Spend an entire day walking through all of the various pavilions to experience the cutting-edge of the international art festival. Click here to find out more about the event program, how to purchase tickets and other important event information.
The 68th Venice Film Festival will be held in Venice from 31st August - 10th September 2011. Bringing together the world's filmmakers, directors and acting elite, the International Jury for the Competition will this year be chaired by legendary Film Director, Darren Aronofsky and director by Marco Müller. The festival's program of film screening will be announced at the end of July 2011 from all of the submitted entries. Click here to find out more about the event program, how to purchase tickets and other important event information.
Highlight: Music + Theatre
The 55th International Festival of Contemporary Music will run 24th September to 1st October 2011, directed by Luca Francesconi, and the 41st International Theatre Festival will run in Venice from 10th to 16th October 2011. Catalan director Àlex Rigola has planned the event as an “agora of theatre” by calling leading figures in the international scene – stage directors, choreographers, artists, architects and set designers – to come together in over 40 events. Click here to find out more about the event program, how to purchase tickets and other important event information.
Featuring the premiere of the Brilliant Corners production by Emanuel Gat Dance, the Festival of Contemporary Dance will commence on 24th-25th June 2011 at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale. Emanuel Gat is one of the leading choreographers on the international scene, where the production will be inspired by the homonymous Thelonious Monk album released in 1957. Click here to find out the event program, how to purchase tickets and other important event information for the Arsenale della Danza (11th May - 25th June 2011).
Where To Stay
Venice’s hotel scene is characterised by a mix of old-world luxury hotels and a sleuth of chic new designer hotels. The iconic waterfront 15th-century palace,Ca’Sagredo, is one of the grande-dames of Venice’s hotel scene and has been attracting an A-list crowd for many years. Notable recent openings includes the exclusive 5-star Palazzina Grassi and the designer-chic Centurion Palace. For a more affordable option, the Ca Maria Adele is one of the most stylish, intimate and romantic boutique hotels in Venice. Click here to find out our selection of the best hotels in Venice.
Where To Eat
Venice’s food scene offers everything from dazzling waterfront fine dining restaurants, casual and authentic local trattorias, and vibrant popular wine bars with tasty ciccheti snacks. A casual dining option is the Osteria Al Mascaron which is a fun, local Italian eaterie with an inexpensive menu of Italian cuisine and local wines by the glass. If you feel like some Venetian “cicchetti” tapas-style bites, head to the Rialto markets waterfront area on Campo San Giacometto for delicious polpetti meatballs, frito misti and tramezzini. Click here to find out our selection of the best restaurants in Venice right now.
Where To Party
Venice is not typically renowned for its nightlife given its strict noise restriction and zoning laws, where everything tends to close down just after midnight. However, for a pre-dinner aperitif we love the casual alfresco wine bars found in the Rialto Markets area. For a more glamourous atmosphere, the Central Lounge and the B-Bar cocktail bar at the Bauer Hotel attracts Venice's fashionable local crowd. Otherwise, join the tourist masses and find a table at an outdoor cafe in the dazzling San Marco Square and enjoy the spectacular view. Click here to find out our selection of the best nightlife spots in Venice right now.
As one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is a city of extraordinary beauty that will capture your heart with its winding canals, crumbling ancient buildings and its world-class art scene. One of the most special experiences in Venice is to simply wander the tiny, winding streets by turning off the major pedestrian thoroughfares to discover another world with significantly fewer tourists. Another way to explore the city is to jump on any of the local vaporetti water taxis and to take in the breathtaking waterfront views of Venice’s canals. Click here to find out our selection of the best experiences in Venice.
Peggy Guggenheim Museum
As the curator of the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice, we catch up with Venetian local Philip Rylands to find out more about the history of the Peggy Guggenheim museum, the highlights of the collection, along with his favourite insider landmarks in Venice. Click here to watch our video interview with Philip on the rooftop of the Peggy Guggenheim Museum overlooking the beautiful waterfront canals of Venice.
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