What to Do in Venice for the Biennale and Beyond
With the Art Biennale having just opened in Italy, here’s your ultimate guide to where to stay, play, and eat (and eat again) in Venice.
Published May 16, 2017 4:00 PM
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The 57th Annual Venice Art Biennale just opened on May 13 and will be on view through November 26. This year, Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford is representing the U.S. in the art exposition. It also happens to be the most beautiful time of year to visit Italy—whether you’re going for the art or simply a vacation. Here’s the ultimate list of must-dos while in town.
JW Marriott Venice
Located on a private island, the JW Marriott Resort & Spa boasts 266 rooms and suites created by designer and architect Matteo Thun. In addition to the GOCO Spa —the largest in Venice—the property also houses Michelin-starred restaurant Dopolavoro, a 19th-century church, and the Sapori Cooking Academy where guests can learn Venetian cooking techniques firsthand. Isola delle Rose, Laguna di San Marco, marriott.com
The Guggenheim family scion left New York City for Paris in the 1920s and started a gallery showing artists like Alexander Calder, Constantin Brâncuși, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, and Pablo Picasso. After going back to America in the 1930s, she arrived in Venice after World War II and opened what would become one of the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the 20th century. The museum’s permanent collection is staggering, and the building is one of the most famous in Venice. 704 Dorsoduro, guggenheim-venice.it/
Osteria Alle Testiere
For fresh fish prepared simply and deliciously, Alle Testiere can’t be beat. Nestled between Rialto and Piazza San Marco, this tiny restaurant is the perfect place for traditional seafood with a menu that changes daily to accommodate the market. Just be sure to make a reservation, as space is limited and the demand is high. Calle Del Mondo Novo, Castello 5801, osterialletestiere.it
Transformed from an old inn into a restaurant and wine bar, Osteria Enoteca San Marco puts a modern twist on traditional Italian food with a menu including items like champagne-infused foie gras and spelt tagliatelle with duck ragù. The cozy, sophisticated interior is just an added bonus. Calle Frezzeria, San Marco 1610, osteriasanmarco.it
Opened in 1987 by owners Cesare and his Texan wife Diane Rankin, Al Covo serves up a menu inspired by the Venetian lagoon. Still family run, the eatery is warm and welcoming, emphasizing locally-sourced ingredients and a wine list with 240 labels. Order the culatello, a prosciutto-like cured meat appetizer that’s unique to Italy and served with pear and aged parmesan. Castello 3968, ristorantealcovo.com
The delicious and well-presented dishes at Lineadombra are matched by an extensive wine list. The waterfront terrace offers stunning views of the city and is the ideal spot to grab dinner and enjoy the sunset. Dorsoduro, 19, ristorantelineadombra.com
This Michelin-starred restaurant is a must for modern interpretations of Venetian and Italian cuisine. The menu changes seasonally to accommodate the freshest of ingredients, and Quadri’s central location in Piazza San Marco is convenient for those looking to finish off a day of sightseeing with a good dinner. Piazza San Marco, 121, alajmo.it/