The Venice International Art Exhibition, often called simply the Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), is one of the oldest, most important and prestigious international art exhibitions in the world. SHORT HISTORY The Venice Biennale was born in 1895, in order to stimulate the artistic activity and the art market in Venice, from the initiative of a group of Venetian intellectuals led by the mayor of the time, Riccardo Selvatico, who, with the resolution of April 19, 1893, proposed to set up a biennial national artistic exhibition. The first editions were held in the Palazzo Pro Arte, then in the Italian Pavilion, and now in the Central Pavilion, near the Giardini della Biennale, in the Castello district. As early as 1907, a number of other buildings began to rise around the Palazzo Pro Arte, the National Pavilions, created by famous architects in the style of the most diverse world architectures. In 1930, the Biennale became an independent organization dedicated mainly to the promotion of new European artistic trends. In that same year, for the first time, the Contemporary Music Exhibition was held, followed two years later, in 1932, by the most important and famous film festival in the world Read more [...]
The 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival, also known as Biennale Cinema, will take place between August 28 and September 7, 2019, on the Lido island, in Venice. The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. SHORT HISTORY The festival was held for the first time in 1932, as part of the 18th Venice Biennale, and became an annual event starting with 1935. The first edition of the festival included films that became classics of the cinema, such as It Happened One Night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale and many other, attracting over 25 thousand spectators. The second edition of the festival was held between 1 and 20 August 1934, and it included for the first time a competition between 19 participating countries. As of 1935, the Festival became a yearly event. In 1936, an international jury was nominated for the first time and, in 1937, the Palazzo del Cinema, on Venice Lido, was inaugurated. The Festival was held three times during the Second World Read more [...]
Regata Storica (Historical Regatta) is both a historical reenactment and a sporting event taking place every year on the first Sunday of September, in Venice. The Historical Regatta is a celebration loved by the locals and tourists alike, and the most important event of the Voga alla Veneta (Row like a Venetian) calendar. SHORT HISTORY The nature of the Venetian Lagoon encouraged rowing since the appearance of the first people in the area, who were forced to move mainly on water. It did not took long until the skills of the locals were recognized, and from here to the organization of rowing competitions it was only one step. Every year, Regata Storica begins with an impressive procession that commemorates the triumphal reception in Venice of Catherine Cornaro, the last monarch of the Kingdom of Cyprus. She, coming from a wealthy and influential Venetian family, abdicated in 1489 in favor of Venice, being applauded upon her return. During the celebration, boats similar to those of the 16th century navigate the Grand Canal, headed by a replica of the famous Bucintoro (Bucentaur), the festive ship of the Doges of Venice. Seven rowing races take place on this day, structured by category, Read more [...]
The 63rd edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Music, known also as Biennale Musica, will take place between 27 September and 6 October 2019, in Venice. The Music department of the Venice Biennale is directed by Ivan Fedele, a composer whose portfolio counts over 175 works and includes orchestral pieces, electro-acoustic and chamber music. In 2016, Fedele received the Prix International Arthur Honegger for his overall work as a composer. SHORT HISTORY The Venice Festival of Contemporary Music was initiated in 1930, as an adjacent event to the Venice Biennale. With the first edition of the Venice Film Festival in 1932, and the first International Theatre Festival in 1934, the Venice Biennale took a multidisciplinary character, which was preserved to this day. At first, the International Festival of Contemporary Music was held every two years, and then, from 1937, annually. Excluding the interruptions of the Second World War, the festival continued to the present. THE VENUES Following a restoration process begun in 2000, the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, the Teatro alle Tese and the Sale d’Armi became the venues for the shows of the International Festival of Contemporary Music. The venues are equipped with the most advanced technologies. Read more [...]
Festa della Madonna della Salute, commonly known as Festa della Salute, is a religious celebration taking place every year on November 21, in Venice. The feast, dedicated in particular to the locals and less known by tourists, has a strong religious character, taking the form of a pilgrimage which starts from San Marco, from the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, and ends in Dorsoduro, at the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, crossing the Grand Canal on a votive bridge specially built on boats for this occasion. SHORT HISTORY Festa della Salute, like many local holidays, commemorates a painful moment in Venice’s history – the epidemic from 1630-1631. The disease had been brought from Mantova in June of 1630 by some ambassadors sent to ask for help, and spread rapidly throughout the city, killing almost 50,000 people in about a year. In the autumn of 1630, the Venetians organized a three-day procession involving more than 10,000 people, during which Nicolò Contarini, the Doge of Venice, invoked the help of the Virgin Mary and publicly promised to raise a church called Salute, if the city will get rid of the plague. In April, 1631, the Doge was killed by Read more [...]
The Carnival of Venice 2020, one of the most famous and appreciated carnivals in the world, will take place between 8 and 25 February 2020, in the beautiful city of Venice. On this occasion, for 18 days in a row, we will have the pleasure to admire many wonderful masks and costumes, worn by hundreds of thousands of people coming from all over the world to parade through the narrow streets of Venice. SHORT HISTORY The first information about a carnival in Venice dates back to 1094, when the word carnevale was mentioned for the first time in a document signed by the Doge Vitale Faliero. Back then, the carnival was an event dedicated in particular to the people from the lower classes, who, through the anonymity guaranteed by masks, could relate with the nobility of the time. The first official document declaring the Carnival of Venice a public holiday dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Republic set it before Lent. Starting with that moment, for the next few hundred years, the Carnival lasted six weeks, usually between December 26 and Ash Wednesday. During the 18th century, the Venice Carnival reached its maximum splendor and international Read more [...]
The Venetian Feast on Water (Festa Veneziana sull’acqua), the grand opening of the Carnival of Venice 2020, will take place on two consecutive days, 8 and 9 February 2020, in Venice. Saturday, February 8, on the first day of the feast, the Cannaregio Canal will turn into a water stage, on which an impressive show of music, color and light will take place, for the enjoyment of thousands of people, locals and tourists alike. The show will consist of aquatic performances, acrobatics, dance and music, celebrating, first of all, the water on which the city is built. On the second day of the feast – Sunday, February 9, the Venetian Feast on Water will continue with its second part. Starting at 11.00 am, a water parade will take place on the Grand Canal. The specific Venetian boats will sail along the Grand Canal, from Punta della Dogana to the Cannaregio Canal. Here, on the banks of the Cannaregio Canal, starting with 12.00 pm, you will find various stalls with traditional delicacies, venetian specialities and wine.
Festa delle Marie (Feast of the Marys) will take place on Saturday, February 15, 2020, in Venice, as part of the Carnival of Venice 2020. On this occasion, a procession will start in front of the Church of San Pietro di Castello around 2.30 pm, will pass through via Garibaldi and Riva degli Schiavoni, to reach the stage in the Saint Mark’s Square around 4.00 pm, where the twelve Marias will be presented to the public. SHORT HISTORY The custom of blessing the girls who were going to get married appeared in Venice in the 9th century. The blessing took place in the Church of San Pietro di Castello, the former cathedral of Venice. On this occasion, twelve beautiful girls from the poorest families of the city were chosen, and each girl was assigned to a rich Venetian family. The family gave her clothes, jewels and a dowry so she could marry. In 844, during the blessing held in the Church of San Pietro di Castello, a group of Dalmatian pirates kidnapped the girls, also stealing their jewelry. The Doge Pietro Tradonico organized the pursuit of the pirates and caught them near Caorle, freeing the girls and recovering their Read more [...]
The Flight of the Angel (Volo dell’Angelo) will take place on Sunday, February 16, 2020, between 11.00 am and 12.00 pm, in Venice. During the Flight of the Angel, one of the highlights of the Carnival of Venice 2020, the girl who was chosen the previous year as the Maria of the Carnival will fly along a cable from the Saint Mark’s Campanile to the center of the Saint Mark’s Square. SHORT HISTORY This tradition originated around the middle of the 16th century, when a Turkish acrobat descended from the belfry of St. Mark’s Basilica, to a balcony of the Doge’s Palace, paying homage to the Doge. After the success of his performance, it was decided that the moment would be repeated every year, under the name of the Flight of the Turk (Volo del Turco). In the first years, the acrobatics were performed only by professional tightrope walkers. Later, after a man with angel wings descended from the bell tower, the event changed its name to the Flight of the Angel. In 1759, when an acrobat fell to the ground in front of the crowd, the performance was banned and the acrobat was replaced by a large wooden Read more [...]
The Best Mask Contest is a masks competition that takes place every year in Venice during the Carnival of Venice. For the Venice Carnival 2020, the competition will be held between 20 and 22 February, with the grand final on Sunday, February 23, when the winners will be selected. Between 20 and 22 February, the competitors parade on stage will be held twice a day in the Saint Mark’s Square. The participants will challenge each other by masks and costumes, wigs, feathers and caps. On February 23, the grand final will be held on the same stage, when a jury composed of experts will select the 2 winners of the two categories: Best Masked Costume and Best Masked Costume according to the theme of the Venice Carnival 2020. On the final selection, will appear all the participants that have won the previous parades. On Monday, February 24, there will be two parades dedicated to kids. The participation in the competition is free and, if you want to compete in the Best Mask Contest 2020, you will have to fill out a form that will be available starting with December 2019 on the official website of the Carnival.
The Flight of the Eagle (Volo dell’Aquila) will take place on Sunday, February 23, 2020, in the last weekend of the Venice Carnival 2020. SHORT HISTORY Starting with 2012, due to the increasing popularity of the Flight of the Angel, it was decided that another spectacular flight – the Flight of the Eagle, would take place on the following Sunday of the Carnival, from the Saint Mark’s Campanile to the stage located in the Saint Mark’s Square. Since 2012, the Flight of the Eagle has been performed by Fabrizia D’Ottavio (gymnast), Francesca Piccinini (volleyball player), Carolina Kostner (ice skater), Giusy Versace (paralympic athlete), Saturino (musician), Melissa Satta (actress) and Renzo Rosso (entrepreneur). In 2019, it was the turn of Arianna Fontana, champion of Short Track with eight Olympic medals.
Festa della Sensa 2020, one of the most evocative Venetian traditions, will take place on May 23 and 24, in Venice. The Feast of the Ascension recalls important moments in the history of the Republic of Venice, through the ceremony of the Marriage of the Sea (Sposalizio del Mare) and the various regattas that takes place on this occasion in the Venetian lagoon. Festa della Sensa is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated and appreciated events in the Venetian calendar, not only by locals, but also by tourists. SHORT HISTORY Festa della Sensa was born on the day of the Ascension of Christ, to commemorate two very important moments in the history of Venice. The first event occurred on May 9, in the year 1000, when the Doge Pietro Orseolo defeated the Slavs who threatened Dalmatia, allowing Venice to become the absolute power of the Adriatic Sea. The second event recalls the peace treaty signed in Venice in 1177, between the Doge Sebastiano Ziani, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alessandro III, which marked the end of a centuries-old conflict between the Empire and the Papacy. On this occasion, the Doge received gifts from the Pope and, at the Read more [...]
Vogalonga 2020, one of the most beloved Venetian sporting events, will take place on May 31, in Venice. Vogalonga is a race of boats rowing around the islands of the lagoon, up to the island of Burano, over a total distance of 30 kilometers. This marathon of non-motorized boats does not have winners, or if you want, winners are all those who participate. Both a non-competitive boat race and a manifest against motor-powered boats which pollute the lagoon, Vogalonga gathers every year in Venice thousands of participants. Anyone can participate in the race, young and old, locals and people from all over the world, men and women alike. SHORT HISTORY The history of Vogalonga began in 1974, when a group of friends organized a small race in the waters of the Venetian lagoon. Among them, perhaps the most fervent promoter of the event was Lauro Bergamo, who was the director of Il Gazzettino newspaper. The first Vogalonga took place on May 8, 1975, the day of the Festa della Sensa, when the race began in front of the Doge’s Palace, on a signal given by a cannon-shot. 45 years ago, in the first edition of the race held on Read more [...]
Festa del Redentore 2020, one of the most important events in the Venetian calendar, will take place in the weekend of July 18-19, in Venice. The event, held every year in the third weekend of July, was at first a purely religious feast. Over time, profane elements were added to the religious manifestations, and today the celebration includes a party, a regatta and one of the most impressive fireworks display in the world. SHORT HISTORY Between 1575 and 1577, a merciless plague killed about one-third of Venice’s population. The epidemic spread rapidly throughout the city and was difficult to control due to the precarious conditions in which the people were living and to a high population density. In 1576, the Venetian Senate commissioned a church dedicated to Jesus the Redeemer (Il Redentore), hoping to get rid of the disease. A year later, in July, the city was declared cured, and the Venetians initiated a new celebration called Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer). Today, on the occasion of the feast, a bridge is built across the Giudecca Canal, between Zattere and the Giudecca Island. The people cross the bridge in a short pilgrimage to the beautiful church of Read more [...]