Minu Habibi Minelli
« Nothing is simpler than to lose oneself in Venice; and nothing is more fun than to be in this labyrinth without a Minotaur, as a Theseus without an Ariadne’s thread. » (Jean-Louis Vaudoyer)
Venice – for me – is a boundless chamber of marvels, of hidden secrets and riches which take one to distant times & places.
Never stop learning. Never stop questioning. Never stop trying to understand the ideas which motivate a work and how the artist uses his/ her aesthetic to communicate those ideas. With regards to the city of Venice it is a question of always looking and seeing new aspects of the city, big & small details which tell of wars & conquests, local power struggles, mercantile glories, decadence and decline. Venice is a city of beauty and nostalgia which brings something new with each visit.
I had the pleasure to study & then specialise in contemporary art in Venice, working for the major institutions such as La Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia (since 1999) & the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (1997).
For 20 years I have watched the evolution of art throughout Europe, attending Documenta (Kassel), and the Berlin & Lyon biennales. I show people round the Venice Biennale (Art or Architecture), the Guggenheim, the two François Pinault Foundation museums at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, and the Prada Foundation making these visits both entertaining and informative.
I will tailor any guided tour around your specific interests – whether you are an art professional, an art lover, an art tourist – or someone who just fancies an overview to the exhibitions.
My first degree was in Literature & Humanities (Università Ca’ Foscari a Venezia). I have Masters degrees in Art from CUOA (1995) and the prestigious Scuola Normale di Pisa (1997).
Why not start with the major works of the Venice Masters housed in the great palazzi and churches for which they were commissioned? This can help give an insight into the historic, social & cultural context of the artist’s world – to better appreciate the evolution of painting in Venice and how Bernini, Titian, Lotto, Veronese, Canaletto, Tiepolo or the sculptor Canova are men of the Venice of their times.
I recommend a visit to the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, to admire important works by Titian, Giovanni Bellini, Donatello and experience the atmosphere of a great church and how the Franciscan order evolved over the centuries.
Similarly, I recommend a visit to see the Jacopo Tintoretto paintings at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and Gian Battista Tiepolo at Ca’ Rezzonico.
And then there are the churches of San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, S. Maria dei Carmini, San Sebastiano – all in the Dorsoduro district. Maybe less well-known, but part of what historians call Venezia minore, places of unexpected treasure off the usual tourist highway which offer a more contemplative vision, a more comprehensive glimpse of what Venice was and is.
And to finish?
If you are still game and want an intense spiritual experience I would recommend the Greek orthodox church San Giorgio dei Greci and the neighbouring Museum of Byzantine & Post-Byzantine Icons. And then there is l’isola di San Lazzaro (the island of San Lazzaro) – a leper colony during the Middle Ages and the home of the Armenian Mechitarists Monks since the early C18th. It would be a shame to miss the Jewish Ghetto – a place with its own particular history, atmosphere – not to mention tasty delicacies. This year will be the 5th centennial anniversary of its foundation in 1516.