I realise it has been a while since I last blogged, I did not mean to spend this long away, but life and work get in the way sometimes. So, at the beginning of September, I went to Venice for a week, the goal of my holiday was to relax get away from work, Brexit and my now ex. If anyone reading this hasn’t gone to Venice, then go now, book it! It is an amazing city and it’s sinking so go I recommend going soon and I will suggest some sights and restaurants in my post.
I am not one for planning every part of a holiday, I like to have a rough idea of what I want to do, but lots to flexibility with my time. My main goal was to see as much of the Venice Biennale’s main locations and the pavilions across the islands.
On my first morning, I went to the T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi roof terrace, which is free and has spectacular views of the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge (I recommend going as early as possible) after the roof terrace I was able to walk across an empty Rialto bridge.
Before I traveled to Venice I bought a MUVE pass (https://www.veneziaunica.it/en/content/musei-civici-venezia) which gave me access to the 11 civil museums across Venice and other Islands. I highly recommend getting this as it works out much cheaper if you want to visit a few museums.
Easily one of the most iconic locations in Venice is Doge’s palace, although I have been to Venice before but had not ventured inside to explore so I was keen to get a chance. The palace is in St Mark’s Square, it was the residence of the Doge of Venice, who was the ultimate power of the Venetian Republic. The interior of the palace is opulent and grand, with mass amounts of dramatic paintings depicting battles, heavenly scenes and covering walls and ceilings (I accidentally ended up following an Asian tour group around a large chunk of the palace, which was a bit disorientating).
The palace tour leads on to the prisons, one of the best parts was getting to walk across the Bridge of Sighs (which is super cramped), looking out the windows to catch all the tourist shoving to get the best pic for the gram (Venice is full of tourist’s holding up busy bridges posing for picture). I found the prisons interesting, but a bit creepy, as I was the only one there and it was a bit echo-y. Saying that it was interesting to see how prisoners would have lived so close to the wealth of the palace.
The palace opens at 8:30, it gets busy really, really fast so get there as early as possible!
The first time I traveled to Venice I stayed on one island, my trip wasn’t long enough to travel all over. Since this time around I was there for longer, I jumped at the chance to do some island hopping! I am one of those people who enjoys visiting historic cemetery’s, I had read about San Michele island and knew I had to see it. The island was chosen to become a cemetery in 1807, it was ruled that burial on the mainland (Venice Island) was unsanitary. The bodies would be transported to the island by bespoke funeral gondolas.
The cemetery island I went onto Murano and Burano (which are a must-see, they are beautiful). I planned the day trip myself, but you can book onto a private tour which is usually about half a day. On Murano I visited the Glass Museum which teaches you the history of the glass industry in Venice and specifically Murano, I planned to go to the Lace museum on Burano but it was not open on the day I was visiting.
I finished my island-hopping day with a trip to the Lido to see the Film Festival.
Venice Biennale 2019
The biennale was established in 1895, the International Exhibition of Art of the City of Venice. The first biennale had over 200,00 visitors which included artists from 16 countries. The biennale expanded in 1932 to include the Film Festival, then in 1934 to contain the Theatre festival. Then after WW2 the Art Biennale became the foremost showcase for contemporary art.
The theme for this year’s Biennale Arte is May You Live in Interesting Times and in on from 11th May to 24th November 2019.
Some of my favourite pavilions from Venice Biennale 2019
- Chromo Sapiens – Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter
- The Revolving World
- The Future is Now / El futur és ara
- Deep see blue surrounding you / Vois ce bleu profond te fonder
- Lost Verses
- Island Weather
- Saudi Arabia
- After Illusion بعد توهم
- Christian Marclay
- Lara Favaretto
- Slavs and Tatars
- Christine and Margaret Wertheim
- Kahlil Joseph
- Gabriel Rico
Obviously, there are loads of amazing artists showing this year, this is a really small cross-section of what I loved and what spoke to me.
Natural History Museum
On the last day of my trip, I took myself to Venice Natural History Museum, which has some amazing Taxidermy! (I am planning on doing a post about my love of taxidermy)
The Natural History Museum was created in 1923 to archive and display a large number of scientific collections from Museo Correr. The collection has successively grown to around 2 million objects. These cover botanical, entomological, and zoological specimens, fossils, and ethnographic collections.