And so to Venice, where a birthday treat brings us in search of cicchetti (more another day) and ART. Yes, ART in CAPS, since this is Biennale year when Canaletto steps aside and the modern world takes centre stage. A visit has always been on the ‘to-do list’ and a late autumn arrival ensures that the masses have left the city just as the first mists arrive.
The main events are housed in the Giardini gardens, opened in 1895, and the atmospheric Venetian shipyards of the Arsenale - although one of the additional beautiful benefits of the Biennale is that art and installations spill out into many of Venice’s secret spaces that would normally be out of bounds.
What of the art? Well it’s almost overwhelming in both size and scope but what makes this such a wonderful experience is firstly the delight of the unknown and secondly (some might say more importantly) the leisurely pace at which it can be consumed, energised by Aperol spritz, autumn sunshine and the inspired free tea bar at the British Pavilion.
From cavernous warehouse installations to obscure victorian photo albums, each and every space is filled with at least one memorable moment to cherish and inspire. The snaps here do their best to capture some of our favourites but barely scratch the surface of what was a joyous, haunting, enlightening and sometimes over-the-head treat of a trip.
The 56th Biennale arrives in 2015. Who’s coming?