Category Archives: Vita Venexiàn

Mi stago ben…

Begin the Biennale 2019! (Art, this year)

The opening of the sempre highly-anticipated bi-annual international contemporary art exhibition in Venice is less than a month away. The 58th edition will be curated by the current director of the Hayward Gallery in London, Ralph Rugoff. This year’s edition is entitled May You Live in Interesting Times, and no matter how you interpret this interesting phrase that, according to the Biennale web site, is “of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil”, certainly seems appropriate.

90 national participations (Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia and Pakistan are here for the first time) are housed in original pavilions in the Giardini, with later nation additions ensconced along the corridors of the Arsenale and spilling out into a number of often spectacular venues throughout the city. These 90 national participations are accompanied by an additional 21 collateral exhibitions and a variety of independent exhibitions, here to take advantage of the arty ambience.

In short: from May 11 to November 24 you will have all the contemporary art you can physically, mentally, emotionally and otherwise absorb as you visit Venice. Magnifico!

VENICE, 11.05 – 24.11
Open: 10-18, Tue-Sun, closed Mon.
€25 Regular are valid for one admission to each exhibition venue, Giardini & Arsenale.
€35 Plus (the best deal by far) entitles the holder to multiple visits for 3 consecutive days to each exhibition venue (Giardini and Arsenale; closing days excluded).
€85 Accreditation grants unrestricted admission to each exhibition venue.

There is no charge for any of the exhibitions in venues outside the Giardini and Arsenale. There are also discount tickets for students, over 65, and others, for complete information see the Biennale web site.

One last note: There are excellent maps provided with your ticket purchase and also by VENEWS, found at any new kiosk around town. They make it easy not to miss a nearby exhibition as you wander the city.


Il Nuovo Trionfo - Trabaccolo a Venezia

The Triumphant Return of the Trionfo

Il Nuovo Trionfo - Trabaccolo a VeneziaWaterborne once again after much needed maintenance carried out at the shipyard Cantiere Casaril Sant’Alvise (the last one of its kind left in town for repair of vessels of this type).

The Nuovo Trionfo will be present at the Arsenale from April 24 – 26 on Open Arsenale 2015.

Everyone is invited to come aboard to inspect the work just completed, and also to become a member of the Club Amici del Nuovo Trionfo. Your dues will help to support the initiative for continued renovation of the historic vessel. They will also entitle you to

  • get on board and join the crew after a brief training
  • participate and / or organize private events (birthdays, parties, presentations, events, toast etc.).
  • participate in the short excursions in the lagoon on the dates organized for members
  • participate in the work of minor maintenance on board: painting, cleaning, light carpentry, interior, sails, halyards, ropes, rigging, etc. There is something for everyone who can work with his hands.

Current Amici are also invited to renew for 2015.

For more about the type of vessel, see the Trabaccolo Wiki page.

Canal Grande, coming to an iPad near you.

Venice Grand CanalYou would think, looking at the continuous images of each side of the Canal Grande, that photographer Daniele Resini went out and took one loooooong photo of each side of the entire canal all on the same day.


Instead, this labor of iPad love took three years to precisely compose numerous images to look like one practically endless one. Swipe from one end of each side of the Grand Canal to the other, or tap the map to jump directly to any palace anywhere along the canal. Each palace and location is named so before long, you’ll be reciting their names like a local.

There’s also a really fun set of extras, a series of chopped up image puzzles that you maneuver by hand to recompose in their original form. Just the thing to keep the kids busy in the vap while you gaze out the window at Venetian scene slipping lazily by. Palazzo Bembo, for the prince? And you thought Bembo was just a font…

From the incomparable, indefatigable Michela Scibilia Teolinda team.

See more about it on iTunes.

Ladies Living Venice, in Oxford and on the Thames

Un Po di Donne on the ThamesA group of women vogatrici from the Remiera Giudecca rowing club organize a rowing vacation each year in August. Their name, Un Po di Donne (a few women), is a double entendre for the destination of their first sojourn in the park of the Po delta. Subsequent trips include second trip down the Po from Mantova and Cremona, and to Acquileia in Friuli and back.  This year was their first trip abroad: starting and ending in Oxford, up and down the River Thames.

The City Barge Venetian rowing club in Oxford boasts a small fleet of Venetian rowing craft. Several members are frequent visitors to Venice (a number of them rowed the Vogalonga this year), and once they heard of Un Po di Donne’s idea to row the Thames, they graciously arranged to provide the women with three, four-person sandal for their week-long trip. As a result of their being short a rower or two, I got to tag, or rather row, along.

A few of us went up a few days early, giving private lessons as an excuse for eating the bounty of rich, creamy things one of the members served up at her home afterward (she kept the happiest chickens I have ever seen; four of them provided her with about 3 eggs a day). The next day we went to Port Meadow (open range cows, horses, sheep, etc.) and stopped at the Perch pub (it didn’t take us long to understand that pubs are the whole reason you ever get in a boat).

NarrowboatFor maximum flexibility during the journey, we rented a 70-foot long narrowboat, a type of boat initially developed for traversing the canal waterways,  but now found chugging along many rivers as well. They are quite comfortable, resembling a very long, floating camper. The plan was to row first upstream as close to Lechlade and the source as we could get, then back downstream to Abingdon and Dorcester, before returning again to Oxford. We made it as far upstream as Radcot, and indeed down to Dorcester and back.

It was a wonderful adventure, indimenticabile. Our captain and chef Cristina had hauled down the essentials via air: an 8-cup stove-top caffetiera, a liter and a half of olive oil, and a massive pressure cooker for eat-in meals. A wi-fi hot spot kept us in touch as long as their was a data signal; we indulged in a pint and welsh rarebit when the sun was shining at mealtimes. We rowed past pubs and sometimes partook, saluted wildlife & livestock, in weather consisting of endless cycles of showers, wind and sun; chatted with locks and charming lock minders, photographed a pristine countryside, discovered Pim’s and sampled ciders, soaked up extraordinary hospitality.