Easter day, a great Christian feast, is opening the month of April. A sort of welcome for spring and for what we like to define “the good season”, a season, in spite of some instability, which brings those changes that inevitably drive one to moving, to living outdoors, to discovering new scenarios. Thus the public areas in squares, courtyards and quays fill up with chairs and cafe tables; bridges and alleyways are populated with crowds of tourists; gondola and boat traffic of every kind bustles along the canals. Shop windows exhibit the best of their offerings, just like restaurants, bars and pubs. The islands, which slumber during the winter, seem to come back to life again. Then there are museums, theatres and big and small institutions with their programmes, offering further opportunities for discovering the city under differing angles: art, history, music and sport. For example, even more so in this period, art exhibitions are a reason in themselves for a stay in town. Among the ones that have just opened or are about to, there is the spectacular and absolutely novel Venice Secrets, about the history of crime and justice in the age of the Serene Republic, at Palazzo Zaguri; the vast solo show dedicated to German artist Albert Oehlen, a protagonist of contemporary painting, set up at Palazzo Grassi, flanking the other one also promoted by the Pinault group at Punta della Dogana, Dancing with myself, an inquiry into self-depiction, from the 1970s to our days. Moreover, the “Rooms of Glass” one dedicated to the CIRVA of Marseilles production; the one on imagined Architecture, from the Certani Collection at count Vittorio Cini’s museum-home; the one on Barry Friedman’s collection at the Museum of Glass in Murano. Among the still ongoing ones, we may point out the one on John Ruskin by the City Museums at the Doge’s Palace, on Gino Rossi, at Ca’ Pesaro; on Zoran 5 Music and the Merlini collection, the latter two at one of the most charming mansions in town, Palazzo Fortuny. Then there is the intimate exhibition on Marino Marini, Visual passions, at the Guggenheim Collection; the Arte Laguna Prize exhibition at the Arsenal; the exhibition on Bellini and Mantegna at the Querini Stampalia and “The final glory of Venice” on Veneto art at the Galleries of the Accademia; the tribute to Fulvio Roiter at the Casa dei Tre Oci; the exhibitions on Buddhist art from Dunhuang at Ca’ Foscari ,and on Pre-columbian Art from the Ligabue Collections at the Istituto Veneto. Still within a cultural ambit, among the other events we may point out Civilizations Crossroads (from 4 to 7 April), the international festival dedicated to literature promoted by Ca’ Foscari University. While for music there will be the Festival dedicated to the famous composer Charles Gounod, promoted by the palazzetto Bru Zane Centre for Research; the performances of Madama Butterfly by Puccini and Elisir d’amore by Donizetti, at the Fenice Theatre. For theatre, a packed billboard at the Goldoni Theatre. For sports lovers, the non-competitive Up and down bridges march and the suggestive Venice Night Trail nocturnal race. We are ending here, by recalling a date that is beloved by Venetians. Saint Mark’s day, on 25 April, dedicated to the city patron. It is symbolised by a red rosebud, the emblem of an ancient tradition. A solemn mass at the basilica which has always represented this Evangelist, a regatta and other rendez-vous will criss-cross during the day with the ceremonies dedicated to the parallel National Liberation Day.
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