The world’s glitteriest art extravaganza La Biennale kicks off this weekend – whether you’re in town for Vernissage, or jetting over later in the year, chances are you’ll be wanting to combine the art with smarts on how to avoid the cruise-ship crowds. We’ve got your back: nab a LUXE Venice guide and you’re armed with a curated selection of the city’s best restaurants, bars, shops and sights, minus the tourist faff. But don’t just take our word for it – here are the top 5 Venice attractions, chosen by you.
5. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Quite simply unmissable. The bite-sized assemblage of the late glamour queen’s prize C.20th collection of Amercian and European art is showcased in her unfinished C.18th Grand Canal palazzo. Be sure to check out the always-notable exhibition in the back-garden gallery, while the natty cafe and fun Nasher Sculpture Garden will appeal to even the most artistically challenged. Bellissimo!
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni 704, Dorsoduro, www.guggenheim-venice.it/inglese
4. Punta Della Dogana
The grand, dramatic C.15th palazzo-turned-customs house is host to the Pinault Collection. Stop by to admire the stellar contempo art cache, shown in themed rotations; or, if you’re lucky, dip into one of the glittery, standout events – check ahead as sometimes it closes for events. Follow with a leisurely lunch on bobbing canopied deck Lineadombra.
3. Museo Fortuny
The gorgeous gothic palazzo and former atelier of the famed artist and textile designer is chock-full of paintings, impossible plissé gowns, sumptuous fabrics and Fortuny’s famous lamps – illuminating!
Campo S Beneto 3958, San Marco, fortuny.visitmuve.it/en
2. La Zucca
This retro oak cantina is frequented by locavore-loving LUXE lovelies and local hip kids who come for the eponymous pumpkin flan and seasonal greens. Cracking carne dishes are available, but it’s a veggie delight first and foremost. Reservation is essential.
Megio 1762, Santa Croce, www.lazucca.it/en
1. Ristorante Da Ivo
And the No 1 spot goes to… canal-perched celeb-magnet Da Ivo has won over Amal, George et al and you with its refined Tuscan-Venetian classics and second-to-none service. Complete the experience by gliding up on a gondola – you superstar! Book ahead.
Fuseri 1809, San Marco, ristorantedaivo.it/