Home to stunning palazzos, awe-inspiring world heritage sites and glittering canals, the Floating City is a sight to behold year-round. But come spring, Venice reawakens in full force with clement temperatures and a vibrant program of cultural events.
The 57th Venice Biennale is officially underway
Every two years, Venice becomes a gateway to the world’s longest-running and most prestigious art event. In celebration of the 25-year marriage between King Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy, the Venetian City Council conceived of a colossal biennial art event focused on the exhibition of the finest Italian works in 1893. The first Biennale was held two years later, in April of 1895.
Fast forward 122 years and the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale is officially opened to the public alongside a packed calendar of satellite exhibitions, events, and performances. This year’s edition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA, hosts 86 national participants, and is held across the sprawling gardens of the Giardini, in the historic Arsenale, and throughout Venice’s grandest churches and palazzos.
Outside of the Biennale’s central exhibition spaces, the city of Venice becomes one large museum. From a delightfully surreal multimedia exhibition amid the Gothic walls of the breathtaking Palazzo Fortuny, to stunning works of contemporary glass art displayed within the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, the old world collides with the modern day from now through the autumn months.
The 2017 Venice Biennale will run until November 26. If you’ve never experienced the Biennale before—and even if you have—now is the perfect time to book a particularly colorful trip to the Floating City.
Venice is positively stunning rain or shine, but who doesn’t prefer an al fresco Campari following a day of exploration in the sun? While spring’s earlier months can be chilly and accompanied by a rush of tourism during Easter, May onward usually brings clement weather as the city reawakens to beckon summer. Now that we’ve beaten winter’s gloom, the rest of 2017 is perfect for traveling to Venice—whether you choose to embark for what’s left of spring, take advantage of your much-needed summer holiday, or ease into fall with a dose of Italian charm.
Avoid the summer rush
Tourism is fully operational by May, but without the peak summer crowds. Summer is then, of course, one of the busiest seasons for tourism, so it’s also advised that September through November is an equally ideal time to visit. Make it before the end of November and experience the perks of the Biennale, less congested streets, and comfortable temperatures.
Monteverdi turns 450 years old
Should you decide to brave the high tourist season in favor of warmth and sunshine, 2017 marks the 450th anniversary of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi’s birth. To honor the legacy of this beloved musical genius, Monteverdi 450 will host a series of consecutive performances at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, where he lived out his final years, from June 16 through June 21, 2017. Enjoy live performances of L’Orfeo on the 16th and 19th, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria on the 17th and 20th, and L’incoronazione di Poppea on the 18th and 21st by the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Orchestra. For a full list of tour dates, click here.
The 74th Venice International Film Festival Kicks Off
Summer travelers will also have the opportunity to enjoy the oldest film festival in the world. From August 30 through September 9, 2017, the Venice International Film Festival will carry out its 74th edition, organized by La Biennale di Venezia.
“The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of international cinema in all its forms: as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue,” La Biennale explains on the website. “The Festival also organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of the history of cinema.”
The Film Festival’s line-up will be announced at the end of July, so be sure to watch this space for updates.
The first Venice Glass Week will be held this year
Can’t get enough art? You’re in luck should you travel to Venice this September, as the city hosts a whole week dedicated to glass art. Described as “the first international festival dedicated to the art of glassmaking in Italy and internationally,” the inaugural Venice Glass Week will take place from September 10 through the 17th, 2017, in an effort to “revive and promote Venice’s most important artistic and industrial activity,” The Venice Glass Week will oversee exhibitions, talks, screenings, and workshops for glass enthusiasts.