Travel /
Veneto

LA SERENISSIMA

The bond that unites Venice to its lagoon is a love story as old as time.

 

“How can a rock stem the sea?” Battisti and Mogol said, speaking of a tormented love, the same that holds Venice to its lagoon, the same one that supports it above a limit so thin that at any moment it risks transforming it into a submerged Atlantis.

 

A story that has survived the succession of wars and upheavals that have seen the city pass from one domination to another due to its polyvalent nature: on the one hand a strategic outpost, on the other a commercial hub and gateway to the East in Europe.

 

It was precisely the privileged relationship with the Byzantine East that makes Venice one of the main ports of exchange between the West and the East, allowing the development of a dynamic and enterprising merchant class that over the centuries will transform the city from a remote settlement to military power and master of the seas.

 

This cultural fervor led the city to constantly evolve stylistically, making its own details and architectural elements borrowed from the architecture of the East mixed with the austere late-Renaissance architecture; the tension allowed Venice to develop its own style and language, crossover and synthesis between the rigorous Renaissance composition and redundant Byzantine decorations.

 

This immense passion for its culture has been handed down over time; these forces created the “Biennale” in 1895. The Biennale is a cultural foundation that embraces the figurative arts and that has Venice as an illustrious theater for some of the most important cultural events in Europe and the world such as the architecture biennial, the art biennial, the film festival and many others.

 

Living Venice means discovering it, getting lost in the narrow streets and lingering in the presence of a reality that almost smacks of fantasy… an enchanted place suspended in time where it is not streets and avenues but canals and bridges that define the urban fabric of the islets. These islets have grown century after century under the work of man who over time has shaped a creature as beautiful as it is fragile.

 

So if you are in Venice and you are a lover of design and architecture, here is a list of (unconventional) places that are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.

 

Negozio Olivetti
1958

Located under the arcades of Piazza San Marco, the central and iconic shop is the result of the compositional genius of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa. Perfect harmony between transparency, contemporary design and Venetian tradition where everything revolves around the famous staircase, the absolute protagonist of the scene here, the attention to detail coexists in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment

 

Fondaco dei Tedeschi
2016

The result of a recent redevelopment project by the architect Rem Koolhaas, this place was the landing point for goods arriving from Germany. The exterior has everything that a Venetian palace must have. The interior instead amazes with the large glass covered courtyard that gives light and vital space to the environment. Continuing upwards we find a large hall for events and finally the terrace overview where you can admire Venice from an unexpected angle.

 

Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi
2013

Designed by Tadao Ando, ​​the new 225-seat Teatrino is designed to minimize its invasiveness compared to the ancient eighteenth-century structure, so much so that it is even reversible. The neutral colors, the pure triangular geometries and the sloping walls that make up this new environment are in contrast with the austere and typically Venetian appearance of the external facade of the building.

 

Fondazione Querini-Stampalia
1868

A secret garden dedicated to water; a temple where silence is disturbed only by the gushing of the fountains. The raised path designed by architect Carlo Scarpa allows water to freely invade the ground floor at high tide, generating pools and reflections that enhance and give light to the spaces.

 

I Giardini della Biennale
1807-1995

A secret garden dedicated to water; a temple where silence is disturbed only by the gushing of the fountains. The raised path designed by architect Carlo Scarpa allows water to freely invade the ground floor at high tide, generating pools and reflections that enhance and give light to the spaces.

 

Aula Baratto IUAV
1935 e 1955

A first phase (1935) in which Carlo Scarpa designs the first lecture hall of the Ca Foscari University where the influences of Le Corbusier and Mies Van der Rohe develop, giving shape to pure lines and powerful material references. A second phase (1955) in which the lecture hall is then transformed into a classroom where the architect Scarpa also creates the boiserie and the famous dividing wall in wood and glass, the perfect synthesis of his architectural composition.

 

Palazzo Vernier dei Leoni
XVIII secolo

The original project included a large Renaissance / Baroque façade but following the client’s financial problems only the ground floor was built, thus giving life to an original and contemporary building.

Today part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the building was purchased in 1948 by Peggy Guggenheim as her personal home, today it houses her private art collection.

 

Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The island of San Giorgio is the treasure chest of a parallel Venice, a pleasant place where peace reigns supreme and where every corner is a surprise to discover.

Palladian cloisters with gardens and cypresses alternate with halls, libraries and stairways. The “Lo Squero” auditorium is an infinite window on the lagoon, the Gandini Pool shows a skilful use of reinforced concrete and glass while the “glass rooms” retrace the history and technique of glassmaking throughout Europe.

Negozio Olivetti

Fondaco dei Tedeschi

Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi

Fondazione Querini-Stampalia

I Giardini della Biennale

Aula Baratto IUAV

Palazzo Vernier dei Leoni

Fondazione Giorgio Cini