The Venice Biennale is one of the most famous and important cultural events in the world. Since its foundation in 1895, it has been committed to promoting all the latest artistic trends in all forms of expression. So, there are not only art and architecture events, but also dance, music, theatre, and cinema festival. The first film exhibition in the world was held as part of this festival in 1932.
Although it is called a "Biennale", the events actually take place every year. The only events that take place every two years are the Architecture Exhibition and the Art Exhibition, which are also the most popular!
Last year, the Art Biennale enjoyed a record turnout. 800,000 visitors flocked to the festival from all over the world to celebrate the best of contemporary art. Here are the main things you should see!
Every year, the Biennale completely takes over Venice, with hundreds of side events such as concerts and exhibitions taking place throughout the city.
However, the exhibition has two principal centres: the Gardens and the Arsenal.
The Venice Biennale Gardens were opened at the beginning of the 19th century at the request of Napoleon Bonaparte, and have hosted the famous international contemporary art exhibition since 1895.
There are 29 pavilions for each of the participating nations, each of which is an icon of modern architecture.
In the pavilions, each country exhibits its own artistic installation based on that year's theme, so visiting the pavilions is like taking a little world tour!
Since 1980, when the first Architecture Exhibition was held, the Arsenal has been the Biennale's second exhibition centre. This space was originally used during the Republic of Venice as a shipyard and warehouse for storing weapons and ammunition.
The kilometre-long Arsenal houses a large number of works including paintings, sculptures, and video and performance art.
The Biennale takes place from spring to autumn, but the specific dates vary depending on the type of event. As previously mentioned, the Art and Architecture Exhibitions alternate every year. Therefore, 2023 will be the turn of the Architecture Exhibition!
Here are all the scheduled dates:
On the pages with details of the exhibitions, you can find out how to reach the venues, their opening hours, and the price of tickets.
Now that you know what there is to see and when to visit the Biennale, all you have to do is go! We have prepared 10 practical tips for your visit to the Exhibition, so that you can enjoy it to the full!
We also recommend that you travel by vaporetto to save time and energy. From Garden Paradiso, you can reach the Biennale Gardens and the Arsenal in a few minutes, taking a ferry from Punta Sabbioni!