Winter magic (and opportunities)

Twilight in Piazzetta San Marco, a clear sky in the background lit by the first light of dawn… Venice, a city differing from everything else and from other cities, unique for its atmosphere, appears as an extraordinary place even more in winter. Sometimes veiled by the lagoon mists, at others by a light blanket of snow, reflected instead at other times in a shimmer of water created by the whim of a tide or immersed in the ethereal solitude of the first light of the morning, the city envelops who has a soul, like her, as if by magic.

In this season, its alleys, its quays, its squares, void of what is too often disrespectful tourism, can offer the pleasure of experiencing a city beyond time, where every sensory perception is exalted, to the point of almost perceiving the slow beat of its being.

The dull tolling of the bells; the lapping sound of water on the worn banks; the resonance of footsteps on the pavement, thus become elements that lead to a different, surely more intimate and sincere dimension. Venice in the winter is perhaps, for few, an ideal miracle for romantic spirits, but also for those who simply seek refuge from the frenzy of everyday life.

But, undoubtedly, there is also something more tangible. The month of January, notoriously static as far as programming is concerned, still offers an interesting panorama of events.

It starts with the traditional La Fenice New Year’s Concert, directed by Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung.

The theatrical programme continues later in the month with the performances of Verdi’s Traviata and of Pasquale’s Metamorphoses by Gaspare Spontini, a nineteenth-century author, an exponent of classicism, at the Teatro Malibran.

For ballet and prose instead, the Goldoni Theatre features a double ballet, The Rite of Spring/ Boléro, after two famous scores by Stravinsky and Ravel, followed by the tragic-comical opera, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of the first compositions by William Shakespeare.

The entertainment agenda is moreover flanked by art, with temporary exhibitions. The spectacular Treasures of the Moghuls and Maharajas from the Al Thani Collection at The Doge’s Palace; the sophisticated glasswork by Vittorio Zecchin at the Cini Foundation; the emblematic Mystical Symbolism works at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, will all still be visible for a few days.

Instead, classical art lovers will be able to take advantage for the entire month of the exhibition set up for the bicentennial of the Galleries of the Accademia, the Last Glory of Venice, presented right in this greatest museum dedicated to the artistic history of the Serene Republic. Electric Comma artworks, of a completely different genre, and not far away, in the new Russian V.A.C Foundation building, will be exhibited during the month, with art interpreting the era of artificial intelligence. Lovers of photography will have to cross the Giudecca canal for the beautiful exhibition on one of the pioneers of photographic reportage, Swiss Werner Bischof.

We mentioned suggestions and events, but there is something more available in the city, that is equally tempting, at least for many: it is offered by its parade of shops, boutiques, craft-shops, art and antique galleries.

It is an opportunity confirmed during this month by the sales and special offers period promoted by all major brands on the market, from the fashion industry to luxury accessories, to the historic brands in town and to manufacturers of artistic glass and textiles.

A Guest in Venice is listing a few of these brands, certain that their image represents the value and quality Venice has always been proud of, in every field.