Destination: Italy: Venice
Unless Angelina Jolie happens to be shooting a film that effectively shuts down the Grand Canal (sadly, the resulting The Tourist was hardly worth the trouble), Venice is blissfully unconcerned with buzz. Except in odd-numbered years when the Venice Biennale flings La Serenissima back into the limelight, drawing troves of art aficionados to its watery cityscapes. If you’re planning a trip, consider ordering Indagare Mapped Out Venice, an essential three-day itinerary that highlights what to do and see in the city in easy-to-follow daily guides.
“At Cip’s diners are seated on a terrace built over the canal and facing San Marco Square with breathtaking sunsets and views. A nice evening stroll at the Zattere eating the famous Nico’s gelato al Gianduiotto with whipped cream is another great experience. And the Ghetto, so quiet and interesting, is one of the Venice neighborhoods that I love the most.” ~Serena Vianello, a jewelry designer who owns one of the city’s chicest boutiques
“The Fortuny Museum is a good point of departure, as is the secret tour of the Doge Palace. The church of Miracles is another must-see, as is the bell tower of Saint George and island of the Armenians.” ~Stefano Attombri, a designer of interesting jewelry and house wares on display in his San Polo boutique
Dining Tips: Francesca
Lineadombra is a modern, trendy restaurant where you sit on an outdoor deck overlooking the canal (order the mille-feuille of scampi with onions and green apples). Another one for vistas is our own De Pisis, at Il Palazzo hotel, which overlooks the Grand Canal, with an amazing view of Santa Maria della Salute. I also love Harry’s Bar, the very essence of the café society that once played so large a part in the affairs of Europe. And finally, big news from San Marco: venerable Il Quadri restaurant was recently bought by two-Michelin-starred chef Alaimo (from the famous Calandre restaurant in Padova). It’s a hit: service, ambience and food are all excellent, as is its location, of course. ~Francesca Bortolotto Possati, the hotelier behind Bauer Il Palazzo and Villa F
Dining Tips: Muriel
Al Covo is personal favorite; the food is fresh and yummy, the staff friendly. This is my favorite place to have lunch near to the Biennale’s site, the Arsenale and the Giardini. La Caravella (Via XXII Marzo), near San Marco and La Fenice, is extremely relaxing in the evening thanks to its interior yard-garden. They have a delicious Amaretto soufflé. And both museums owned by the François Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi and the Punta Della Dogana, have nice cafés that serve food. ~Muriel Quancard, the founder of Opus Art Tours
Dining Tips: Serena
Antiche Carampane is an “osteria” located away from the big tourist walks. You can eat wonderful and fresh fish in a very familiar and accurate atmosphere. Il Muro, Bancogiro and Naranzeria are located all near the Rialto bridge. These are three nice places where during the summer when you can eat outside, facing the Grand Canal. ~Serena Vianello
Touring Biennale: Tips
“Plan a full day to visit the Giardini and a half-day to a full day to visit the Arsenale. The key word is preparation. Because there are a massive amount of places to visit and art to be seen it requires to study preliminarily what is the most appealing to your own tastes. I strongly encourage visitors who want to take advantage of the Biennale to do their homework before going. I would consult websites such as the Art Newspaper (www.theartnewspaper.com), Artforum (artforum.com) and Flashart (www.flashartonline.com), as well the official Biennale Web site (www.labiennale.org). Muriel Quancard
Get a map that depicts all the external pavilions scattered throughout Venice. Stefano Attombri
Visiting the Museums: Finds
At the dynamic Museo Vedova at Magazzini del Sale, designed by Renzo Piano, where you can see Vedova’s paintings like floating in the air. Serena Vianello
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