Christmas Atmospheres

Venice, as we know, was born and lives on water, a symbiosis that makes her appear a unique city worldwide. Therefore, even a regatta among “Fathers-Christmas”, as much as, for instance, a high tide taking place, can be absolutely natural.

Even this, a simple regatta, and there are not few of them in Venice, is a way for demonstrating the respect and love which all Venetians carry within them for their city.

A suggestion regarding Christmas is thus the image we should like to open this December issue with, inevitably heralding one of the most anticipated periods of the year.

True to its image as a place beyond time, Venice will offer its romantic atmospheres as it always does, veiled perhaps by some lagoon mist or by a sprinkling of snow or, again, by surreal views of high water.

Not only. As Christmas approaches, the city, enveloped in its winter lethargy, regains its international spirit by enriching itself with new lights and colours, right up to the festive explosion at New Year, characterised by spectacular fireworks in Saint Mark’s basin.

Moreover, there are the many rendez-vous with art and entertainment.

As regards the showcasing scenario, we may recall the two splendid exhibitions (at the Ducal Palace and at the Galleries of the Accademia) dedicated to Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto, one of the great masters of the Venetian Renaissance. It is flanked among others, by the one on Osvaldo Licini, a master of Italian modernism, set out at the Guggenheim Collection venues; on Angelo Morbelli, a divisionism master and on Elio Fiorucci (the famous fashion designer) at Ca’ Pesaro; on Willy Ronis, a French master of photography, at the Casa dei Treoci; on The last days of Byzantium at the Marciana Library.

This month, but only until the 16th, we may also recall the two big exhibitions dedicated to the contemporary at Palazzo Grassi and at Punta della Dogana (until 16/12). While on the 14th, Futuruins, a novel exhibition dedicated to the myths of the past and their emblematic decadence, will open within the enchanting rooms at Palazzo Fortuny. Among further novelties, we may point out the recent openings of A Venetian collection by the Venice Cassa di Risparmio bank, offered in a special layout at the Querini Stampalia Foundation venues, and of the historical Navy museum, a true temple of the maritime history and tradition of the city.

Then, there are music and prose, with their respective theatre seasons. For La Fenice Grand Theatre, we may highlight Macbeth by Verdi, the Romeo and Juliet ballet by Prokofiev, the Premio Venezia and the symphony concerts conducted by maestro Renato Palumbo. The billboard is rounded-off by the traditional Christmas concert at the Basilica of Saint Mark and the New Year concerts conducted by maestro Myung-whun Chung.

For the Carlo Goldoni resident Theatre, the dates are with Occident Express, a theatrical play about a true story played by Ottavia Piccolo; with The turn of the screw, a play drawn from Henry James; with conjuring by magician Silvan; with the Christmas Special Guest choral concerts, and for the two closing and New Year opening evenings, with a comedian duet by Carlo and Giorgio.

These events are enhanced by the Christmas atmosphere offered by a dazzling parade of boutiques and shops, of street-markets, and the ice-skating rink at San Polo square besides, in the first place, by the many churches where it will be possible to admire Nativity cribs and works of art, and attend concerts and functions, including those on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, officiated by the Patriarch of Venice inside the monumental Basilica of Saint Mark.