La Serenissima Still Rules

November 25th, 2011 § 1 comment

Venezia. Venice. La Serenissima. Whatever you call it, the city of canals, bridges, vaporetti, hordes of tourists and the natives who have made a tradition of fleecing them for more than 500 years remains a wonder. HG and BSK have been going to Venice for close to 30 years and the city has never lost its fascination. This time HG and BSK visited to see the Biennale, the great Venice explosion of art that takes place — every two years — in the national pavilions of the Giardini (the only park in the city) and the vast Arsenale, the startlingly huge building complex where the ships and rope were manufactured that helped it rule the seas for centuries. If you love art (and life) the Biennale should not be missed. Every type of artistic enterprise — visual, aural, environmental — is on display throughout all the neighborhoods in the city. Once more, HG and BSK were left speechless by the depth of the artistic imagination and how artists increasingly utilize technology to expand their vision and the boundaries of art. HG and BSK saw great creations by Anselm Kiefer and Emilo Vedova on the Zattere Promenade and a very impressive retrospective of Julian Schnabel at the Museo Correr (HG left with new respect for this flamboyant and hugely talented artist).

Of course, Venice also offers a variety of culinary treasures. There was sublime spaghetti with nero di seppia (squid ink) at Il Nuovo Galeon; giant platters of fritto misto at Trattoria Al Diporto in Sant’ Elena; scallops, octopus and grilled fish platters at Ristorante Giorgione. At this last eating place, the proprietor, Lucio Bisutto (sometimes accompanied by his wife) delights the customers with a song recital. A very happy dining experience (and modest prices). All three restaurants are in the Castello neighborhood which is decidedly off the typical tourist path. With artistic vision expanded and tastes titillated by sea pleasures, HG and BSK return to Bologna for more art, history and pleasures of the table.

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§ One Response to La Serenissima Still Rules

  • peter hellman says:

    CBS Sunday morning, still the best show on commercial TV, did a segment yesterday (Sunday) morning on the Biennale. Even with the benefit of moving images, and the patter of a very young American grad student in art resident in Venice, this segment did not rise to invoke the energy and worth of the Biennali as HG’s post has done.

    And is it HG’s way with words on “ArtItaly” what leads me to the sudden revelation that he bears a ressemblance (albeit less sissified–sissy-fied?) version of Bernard Berenson??

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