The Art Biennial turns the city into a chic showcase
for contemporary art, even the crazy kind. It’s centred
on the Arsenale and Giardini, with 85 national pavilions: Venice on steroids.
Ca’ Giustinian, San Marco 1364A
BOOK YOUR FLIGHT TO VENICE
This sybaritic spa overlooks St Mark’s square so follow a massage with an organic lunch
of shrimp risotto in L’Ulivo restaurant, set in the Palladio’s 16th-century cloister gardens.
For a beach break, stay in Jesolo. This swish Richard Meier-designed hotel has a Miami buzz, from the cocktail bar to cool spa.
Lap up the 15km-long sandy beach before
a bus-and-boat combo to Venice.
This arty, central, Philippe Starck-designed spot is cool but warm-hearted, perfect for sipping cocktails in style, maybe nibbling on crab salad, beef tartare or Venetian sushi.
Dine on spaghetti with clams or truffled parmesan risotto in a secret courtyard, ideally before sampling Thursday’s live music and cocktails on the romantic rooftop terrace.
This rooftop summer bar belongs to the Splendid Venice hotel, and is a cool spot beloved by Venetians. Sip a Bellini while listening to live music on Thursday or end up watching passing gondolas in the canalside lounge bar.
See the “shadow-palace” via a secret door, disappearing into a den of passageways to the state inquisitors’ rooms, torture chamber and prisons linked to Casanova’s escape in 1755. Spot the “mouth of truth” letterbox where citizens posted secret denunciations.
Set on the Grand Canal, this sleek hotel boasts
a rooftop jacuzzi and discreet spa. Sit in the jacuzzi for views over russet rooftops towards La Salute.
For serious pampering, take the solar-powered shuttle to the sister spa on Giudecca, complete with hammam and views back across the water.
Set in the unstuffy Splendid Venice hotel, this theatrical courtyard restaurant appeals to Venetians too. Dine under a removable roof, as much of a rarity as is the hearty Mediterranean-meets-Veneto menu. The portions are
so big that you might need to sleep it off, splendidly.
This decadent, Philippe Starck designer den is made for partying and people-watching. Lap up the sea-monster Murano glass chandeliers and the animal-pelt chairs in this moody, mahogany lounge bar. The barmen are more fun than my friends, recounting tales of partying with Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.
Browse for sculpture or chandeliers in Murano glass-master Antonio Seguso’s pop-up shop, open until the end of June. Mozart stayed in the Gothic Palazzo Molin in 1771 and his Don Giovanni was supposedly inspired by the libertine owner.