Art Fairs

Explore the Secret Side of Venice

By Paolo Lorenzoni
As General Manager of The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel , Paolo Lorenzoni has intimate knowledge of all Venice has to offer. As the art world descends for the 58th Biennale, Lorenzoni shares his recommendations for exploring this magical city.

Church and Scuola Grande di San Rocco
This Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Saint Rocco, built between 1489 and 1508 by Bartolomeo Bon the Younger, was one of the city’s plague churches. Precious paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto, who painted many masterpieces of San Rocco, may be seen inside and in the adjacent Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a confraternity founded in the 15th century to help citizens in time of plague.
Tickets €10. San Polo 3052, 30125, Venice
Tel. 041 5234864

Palazzo Grimani, Castello, Venice.

Palazzo Grimani
Palazzo Grimani houses a must-see array of cultural, artistic and historical riches. During the 16th century, Antonio Grimani gave his sons the family house at Santa Maria Formosa: later, Antonio’s grandsons substantially altered the building and gave it a classical stamp. Today, the most striking feature of the interior is the Sala di Psiche, with frescoes by Francesco Menzocchi, Camillo Mantovano and Francesco Salviati. Other artists included Federico Zuccari and Giovanni da Udine. Palazzo Grimani promises a wealth of Renaissance talent to savor, and from 10 May the museum will host the following exhibitions:

DOMUS GRIMANI 1594-2019 – The Collection of Classical Sculptures Reassembled in its Original Setting after Four Centuries. The statues were recently restored by Venetian Heritage.

PITTURA/PANORAMA: Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler – 1952-1992, a monographic show dedicated to the late American artist.
Tickets €5. Ramo Grimani, Castello 4858, 30122, Venice
Tel. 041 5200345

Rubelli Showroom
Rubelli Fabrics was founded in 1858, a family firm producing and marketing luxury fabrics for upholstery, including damask, velvet, brocade, silk and lampas. The legendary Venetian textile company is in many respects unique, given its capacity to produce hand-made fabrics using traditional techniques as well as highly sophisticated textiles of all kinds, using cutting edge technology in their creation and production.
Appointment required. Ca’ Pisani Rubelli, San Marco 3393, 30124, Venice
Tel. 041 5236110

The historic Squero di San Trovaso boatyard.

Squero di San Trovaso
One of the few remaining active squeri, where gondolas, pupparini, sandoli, s’cióponi and other small boats of Venetian tradition are built and repaired. The Squero di San Trovaso is one of the oldest and most famous in Venice, dating back to the 1700s.
Appointment required. Fondamenta Bonlini, Dorsoduro 1097, 30123, Venice
Tel. 041 5229146

gondola fórcole Saverio Pastor
Hand-carved Venetian gondola fórcole made by Saverio Pastor. © Saverio Pastor.

Le Fórcole – Saverio Pastor’s workshop
A Venetian native, Saverio Pastor is the oldest ‘remer’ in Venice, one of the very few still active. He creates traditional oars and fórcole (oarlocks), an essential component of the gondola, in addition to more experimental models, many of which are objets d’art in themselves.
Appointment required. Fondamenta Soranzo, Dorsoduro 341, 30123, Venice
Tel. 041 5225699

Pinocchio’s Island – Handmade wooden Marionettes
Located in the heart of Cannaregio District, ‘Pinocchio’s Island’ is Roberto Comin’s magical atelier, one of the last Venetian artisans of marionettes. Roberto creates several types of marionette with passion; he finds inspiration for his characters in the Commedia dell’Arte, Venetian history and literary characters. His artworks are mainly built with selected pine wood, the heads, hands and shoes shaped from the resulting sawdust from the carving process and made into a resistant wooden pulp. Each part is then hand-painted and covered with wax. Roberto’s sister, a professional costume designer, tailors the clothes for the puppets. Each costume is made with high quality fabrics and enriched by minute and elaborate details.
Appointment required. Campo Santa Fosca, Cannaregio 2417, 30121, Venice
Tel. 041 5245279

The Gritti Palace, Venice.

Stradivarius – Artisanal skis in Venice
The Stradivarius were born from Franco Sonzogno’s dream to create skis that were like a musical instrument. The symbolic reference to music and mastery of the luthier, Antonio Stradivari, expresses the concept that skis should transmit the sensation of harmony and the art of living. The skis are handcrafted like a sculpture: they are built with gondola recycled wood bought from a squero on the island of Giudecca, and oil-painted by a Venetian artist with unique designs. Stradivarius skis are a limited edition production, as each pair is custom-made for the client.
Appointment required. Santa Croce 2143, 30135, Venice
Tel. 041 5242888

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