The Gritti Palace
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Off to Venice: 7 tips for the 2022 Biennale

Venice finally invites you to the Biennale again! With this overview and 7 helpful tips for first-time visitors and returning art fans, the 59th art festival will be a complete success.

April 27, 2022

The time has finally come: after a pause due to the pandemic, the 2022 59th Biennale di Venezia will take place. The main exhibition is curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York. This is the first time in its almost 130-year history that the festival is under the direction of an Italian woman.

In the center of "The Milk of Dreams", this year's theme of the Biennale is the metamorphosis of bodies and the ever-changing definitions of the human being. Curator Alemani and the artists address the fundamental questions of our raison d'être as well as the relationship of man to himself and his environment. Sexuality, postcolonialism, war, the past, the future: this year's biennial shows itself to be diverse - and more than ever on the pulse of time.

The Canada Pavilion with "2011 ≠ 1848" at the Biennale 2022. © Marco Cappelletti - La Biennale di Venezia

Basic Info:

Duration: April 23 - November 27, 2022
Curator: Cecilia Alemani
Tickets: by € 25,- on available
Opening hours:
Giardini, Arsenale and Forte Marghera: 
23.04. to 25.09.: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
(Arsenale: until 20:00)
27.09. to 27.11.: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays. (Exceptions: 04/25, 05/30, 06/27, 07/25, 08/15, 09/05, 09/19, 10/31, 11/21).

History of the Biennale di Venezia

The Biennale di Venezia is the oldest international, exhibition of contemporary art of the world, held every two years. What 1895 began as a pure art exhibition, has developed into a multimedia festival within almost 130 years. In 1930, the music festival was added, followed by film in 1932, theater two years later, and the dance festival in 1999. Since 1999, the Biennale has also offered a platform for architecture. 

The Giardini are waiting; on to the Biennale. © Andrea Avezzu - La Biennale di Venezia

59th Biennale: These are the highlights

Highlights of the main exhibition in the Giardini this year include the British pavilion with Sonia Boyce's "Feeling Her Way" - she was the first black artist whose work was shown at the Tate. At Austria pavilion it'll be loud: "Invitation of the Soft Machine and her Angry Body Parts" by Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl moves between once and today, identity and art.

Pavillon Großbritannien Biennale 2022

The British Pavilion is certainly one of the highlights of this year's Venice Art Festival. © Marco Cappelletti - La Biennale di Venezia

Greece has sent Loukia Alavanou to Venice, she presents "Oedipus In Search Of Colonus" in absurd-immersive film stations with virtual reality glasses. Truly unique: the collaborative South Africa pavilion, where the multimedia exhibition "Into The Light" tells of isolation and fantasy. Also the "Human Brains" at the Fondazione Prada of Udo Kittelmann and Taryn Simon should not be missed under any circumstances. The exact biennial program is here. to be found in advance.

With all that said, art is and remains subjective. Therefore, you should go to Venice and make your own opinion. And with the following seven tips the Biennale trip is bound to succeed.

"Into The Light": South Africa shows how well collaboration can work. © Andrea Avezzù - La Biennale di Venezia

1. travel to Venice.

Venice can be reached not only by airplane, but also by train and car - depending on where your own starting point is. Around La Serenissima, drivers will find inexpensive parking garages, such as Tronchetto or Piazzale Roma, where the car can be safely parked during the Biennale visit. Those boarding a plane will land at Venice-Tessera International Airport, named after Marco Polo. From there, take the water cab or bus, the Vaporetto, to the center.

Take the vaporetto from the airport, parking lot and train to the lagoon city. © Shutterstock

2. find the perfect accommodation. 

Since the majority of the exhibitions are in East Venice , it is, of course, advisable to choose accommodation in this area. However, if you want a little more comfort, you can also look forward to a great selection of five-star hotels. For example the new Ca'Dio or the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice, which is located on its own island. Somewhat cheaper one resides in the dreamlike Palazzo of the Hotel Il Palazzo Experimental.

3. get Biennale tickets online.

Tickets must be purchased online in advance. The normal price for a one-way ticket is € 25,-.. This is valid for one entry to the pavilions in the Giardini and the Arsenale venue and can also be used on different days. Discounts are available for schoolchildren, students, pensioners, residents and groups. Children up to 6 years may visit the Biennale free of charge. 

For the full biennial experience, it is recommended to visit at least one of the guided tours offered in English and German, as well as in Italian, Spanish, French and Russian.

The Biennale promises varied art enjoyment. © Andrea Avezzù - La Biennale di Venezia

4. Venice, the city of boats - and walkers.

Those who want to visit the Venice Biennale must be prepared for many walks . Especially if you really want to see a large part of the exhibitions. Some routes can be done by boat taxi or Vaporetto . But often it is simply faster over bridges, stairs, paved paths and narrow alleys. Therefore: wear comfortable shoes! Wheelchair users or parents with strollers should be prepared for the fact that Venice is beautiful - but, not an easy place to walk.

You will have to cross more than seven bridges when you visit Venice. © Eugene Zhyvchik

5. keep the overview.

The Biennale takes place in several locations scattered throughout Venice. The main venues are the cool, green Giardini in the east of the city in the Sestiere Castello. Here 28 nations present their works of art in the pavilions. In addition, one finds in the Forte Marghera and the shipyards of Arsenale one finds thematic exhibitions. And in various noble palaces, the works of other international artists are shown. During the Biennale, visitors can enter palaces that are otherwise not accessible to the public.

The Homepage of the Biennale provides an excellent overview of venues and should be consulted in advance.

Le Gaggiandre all'Arsenale, one of the main venues of the Biennale. © Andrea Avezzù - La Biennale di Venezia

6. the right time management.

Venice in three days? That is quite possible. Those who already know the city and are only traveling because of the Biennale, will be satisfied with a weekend . Venice newcomers and lovers  should take two extra days for La Serenissima. Then you have enough time to enjoy some delicious Cicchetti, cross the canals of the city with the gondola or take a trip to Burano. The exhibitions themselves are best visited directly from 11 am, as the crowds of visitors steadily increase from late morning until evening.

La Biennale di Venezia

The Biennale is an event worth traveling to Venice for. © Andrea Avezzù - La Biennale di Venezia

For more art, it's best to plan your Venice trip around the additional Biennale festivals that take place from June through the end of September. Here is a overview of additional biennial festivals:
Teatro 2022: 24.06. till 03.07.2022
Danza 2022: 22.07. until 31.07.2022
Musica 2022: 14.09. till 25.09.2022
Cinema 2022: 31.08. until 10.09.2022

7. dine well.

The serene lagoon city, with its enchanting canals, buildings steeped in history and Italian love of excellent food, is the perfect place for connoisseurs. Here gourmands find wonderful wines everywhere, nibble on Cicchetti and treat themselves to a sweet gelato. That's la dolce vita! Wines of the special class can be found in the Vino Vero at the Fondamenta Misericordia 2497 . And, of course, you should take a look at the cards in the many enotecas and restaurants, they promise only good things for the future of expectant palates. Especially great is the modern cuisine in the Dopolavoro at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa.

Culinary highlights abound in La Serenissima. © Marialaura Gionfriddo

Bonus: Attend Collateral Events.

In addition to the many exhibitions and the film, theater and dance performances other so-called "Collateral Events" will also be organized. At the 59th Biennale, a total of 30 of these accompanying events will be held, curated by non-profit national and international bodies. An overview is available here..

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