A gondola gliding amongst ancient stones over the languid waters of a Venetian canal… It is one of the many opportunities for discovering the city, in this case from an angle that is well-known to Venetians, at water level.
Sought by artists, poets and writers, this perspective offers something truly special, a privileged and absolutely unprecedented viewing angle which cannot fail to appeal to its spectator, both visually and emotionally.
Taking a gondola ride is one of the simplest things to do in the city. The mooring areas, called stazi, are located in the most frequented places in town, and also show price lists, which are regulated according to an official fare by municipal rules.
In addition to gondola services for tourism, there is also a service of so-called “parada” gondolas, that is, gondolas engaged in ferrying from one bank to the other of the Grand Canal. These boats, devoid of any ornament and guided by two rowers, offer another, far less expensive – but also less romantic – opportunity to experience the thrill of gliding along the most famous waterway in the world.
If it is hard to give up a gondola ride during a stay in Venice, we believe that it is equally hard to give up one of many opportunities which the city offers in the cultural field, including art exhibitions.
Perhaps a week might not be enough to see them all, so one has to choose according to one’s taste. For the contemporary, the exhibition par excellence is the Art Biennale, spread throughout its traditional venues at the Giardini and the Arsenal, but also inside many palaces in town. Two important exhibitions follow on its heels, the one on Damien Hirst, presented in the two spectacular venues at Punta della Dogana and at Palazzo Grassi, and the one on David Hockney at Ca ‘Pesaro. Modern Twentieth century art is instead traditionally represented by the Guggenheim Collection, presenting an intimate exhibition on Picasso, structured around his famous artwork On the beach. While Nineteenth century art takes its stage at the great “Canova, Hayez, Cicognara, the final glory of Venice” exhibition, which opened a few days ago for the bicentennial of the Galleries of the Accademia. Another anniversary, 750 years from the birth of Giotto, is presenting the first of a special format of show-exhibitions dedicated to great masters in Italian art. Then there are the exhibitions presented by the Collections of Al Thani (an extraordinary collection of precious stones and jewels from India) and of Vervoordt (addressing the concept of intuition in art) respectively at the Doge’s Palace and at Palazzo Fortuny, and even more: the ones on glass artwork, at Palazzo Franchetti for the Glasstress cycle, and at the Cini Foundation on “transparent glass” by Vittorio Zecchin; the one on photography dedicated to one of Europe’s most famous photographers, Swiss Werner Bischof.
A packed programme is also naturally offered by several music events. We may remind you of the performances of Don Giovanni by Mozart at La Fenice; the Biennale Contemporary Music Festival; the Festival dedicated to visionary composer Antoine Reicha (Palazzetto Bru Zane); the MusicaFoscari – JazzFest showcase dedicated to new areas in contemporary music, promoted by the University of Ca’ Foscari.
Finally, the month of October offers two classic events covering sports, differing in structure and character but sharing their passion and scenic backdrop: the non-competitive Veleziana sailing regatta, and the VeniceMarathon, which will roll out their best moments within the scenario of the basin of St. Mark, respectively on Sunday 15 and 22 October.