September in Venice

An extraordinary month, such as few cities worldwide are able to offer, to be wholly discovered and experienced: it is September in Venice. This is the most sought-after period of the year, not only due to the mildness of its climate, favouring a pleasant stay in the lagoon, but also to the important series of events traditionally featured now in town for its Guests.

We shall begin as usual with the Venice international Film Festival or, more correctly, with the Mostra internazionale d’Arte cinematografica di Venezia, at the moment, one of the most awaited events within its ambit.

Born long ago in 1932 and now reaching its 76th edition (it is the veteran among festivals at an international level dedicated to cinema), it is currently presenting itself in all its unique glamour at its historic venue, the Cinema Palace at the Lido, embellished over more recent years by the citadel surrounding it, arranged to frame a new square in white stone located between the Casino palace and the sea-front promenade.

In full swing by now (it kicked-off on 28 August), the Festival will continue until 7 September (the day on which the prestigious Golden Lions will be awarded), featuring screenings and attendances on its red carpet, as well as meetings, conferences and presentations.

This almost inevitable stop at the Lido, which is also appealing due to its lovely beach, cannot lack the accompaniment of a further visit (having the time for it, of course), to the nearby Gardens of Castello, where the other prominent event promoted by the Venice Biennale is taking place: the International Art Exhibition.

Spread throughout its historic pavilions at the Gardens of Castello and the suggestive venues inside the adjacent Arsenal (as well as several locations in town), this grand exhibition has been illustrating contemporary values and trends in the world of art for more than a century.

For its 58th edition (until 24 November), it is presenting a major thematic exhibition titled May You Live In Interesting Times, with works by 79 artists from all five continents. In addition to this, there are the showcases presented by its ninety National Participations, plus the ones included among the events and the collateral projects.

The already vast art overview featured by the Biennale is further flanked by the one offered by big institutions, with their greatly relevant exhibitions. These include Arshile Gorky at Ca’ Pesaro, Luc Tuymans at Palazzo Grassi, Baselitz at the Galleries of the Accademia, Dubuffet at Palazzo Franchetti, Gely Korzhev at Ca’ Foscari; Kounellis at Ca’ Corner della Regina.

This month, two further important exhibitions are included in the art scenario: “From Titian to Rubens”, Masterpieces from Antwerp and the Flemish collections at the Doge’s Palace, from 5 September, Emilio Isgrò, at the Giorgio Cini Foundation, from 14 September, and “The Last Dogaressa”, a retrospective dedicated to the famous American art collector Peggy Guggenheim, at the Collection bearing her name, from the 21st of the month.

We have briefly detailed Cinema and Art, but there is so much more.

The month opens with the “queen” of dates within Venetian traditions, The Historic Regatta, scheduled on Sunday 1st September. This is one of the most beautiful pageants on water, consisting of a spectacular procession in historical costume and a series of passionate regattas, winding along the incomparable scenario of the Grand Canal. The show will be visible for everybody along the bridges and the banks of the Canal, or from a floating grandstand (see on page 73) purposely set up along the canal-bank at San Silvestro.

From thrills on water to ones concerning glass, another primary element for life in town, the show goes on… From Saturday 7 to Sunday 15, attention will be riveted on The Venice Glass Week, the Venetian week featuring Glass, an international event dedicated to Glass, with a particular focus on Murano production. Approximately 180 events in 150 venues will offer an extraordinary opportunity for learning about and gaining insights on this subject, which is considered a true art in Venice.

On Saturday 14 September, it will be the turn instead of one of the most important awards throughout the Italian scene: the Campiello Literary Prize. Its gala evening, which traditionally features the famous La Fenice Theatre as its setting, will elect the winner of this edition among the five finalists.

Finally, Music. During the month, in addition to the packed billboard by La Fenice, with its opera performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Tosca and Madama Butterfly; we may point out the festival dedicated to Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi (from 8 September), and finally, the important International Festival of Contemporary Music directed by Ivan Fedele and promoted by the Venice Biennale, starting from 27 September.

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