Art-World Insiders’ Venice Biennale Tips

Art-World Insiders’ Venice Biennale Tips
Photo of Santa Maria Dei Miracoli, by Didier Descouens.

The charms of Venice extend far beyond the art of the Giardini and the Arsenale, as any good art insider knows. From aperol spritzes and cicchetti on the Canal Grande, to some of the finest churches in the world, the waterborne city’s beauty is a thing of legend. We asked a variety of Venice regulars where they’ll be sneaking off to take a break from the contemporary art overload next week.

Monica Bonollo from Venice gallery Valmore Studio d’Arte recommends checking out the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, one of the very first Renaissance-style buildings built in Venice. She also highlighted the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, where Vittore Carpaccio’s painting of St. George and the Dragon hangs.

There are two places that Philomene Magers, co-founder of Sprüth Magers, always visits when she is in Venice: the Olivetti shop in St. Mark’s Square, and a small park, close to the Giardini with a sculpture by Carlos Scarpa.According to Kamel Mennour, the classics are still the best, which is why you’ll find him at the bar at Hotel Monaco for a late-afternoon drink, grabbing an ice cream at Gelateria Paolin in Campo San Stefano, and at Osteria Alle Testiere for dinner.

Lorenzo Fiaschi, co-founder of Galleria Continua, recommends the Basilica de San Giorgio, with its two large Tintorettos, and the campanile that offers a full view of the city, with far fewer crowds than Piazza San Marco’s tower.

Riccarda Contini, general manager at Venice’s Galleria d’Arte Contini, suggests ducking into the Santa Maria del Giglio church, perhaps on your way to lunch at Guna Restaurant, or to dinner at Trattoria Do Forni.

When they’re in town, David Maupin, co-founder of Lehmann Maupin, and his husband Stefano Tonchi eat at Trattoria Antiche Carampane, and will head to Harry’s Dolci for an afternoon spritz (get a table facing the Giudecca Canal). They also love to buy Venetian slippers, handcrafted by local artisans, in all sorts of colors for their daughters.


This article was written by Josie Thaddeus-Johns for the April 2022 edition of The Gallerist newsletter.