For art-lovers, a stroll through Venice’s canal-side streets can feel like visiting one big gallery – even if you’re not in town for the world-class Art Biennale. Around every corner you’ll find collector’s museums, grand palaces and converted warehouses stuffed to the rafters with important works. Here are a few of the best places in Venice for culture vultures.
Giudecca Art District
To coincide with the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, the island of Giudecca was transformed into the city’s first official art quarter, with 11 galleries and exhibition spaces including three national pavilions, and a new contemporary art space called the Giudecca Art District Gallery and Garden.
Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
This venerable institution puts on an eclectic year-round programme. For the freshest talent, look out for shows by local students who are completing their degrees at the fine-arts academy, or artists-in-residence who come from all over the globe.
Located in the old San Lorenzo church, the timely Ocean Space is a centre for “catalysing ocean literacy, research, and advocacy through the arts” – a particularly pressing cause in frequently flooded Venice. Art doesn’t get more thought-provoking than the works here.
Don’t be fooled by the classical façade – inside this relatively new arts venue is a sharply curated collection of contemporary work from all over the globe. Among its exciting line-up, Palazzo Grassi has shown images by photographers Youssef Nabil and Henry Cartier-Bresson.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
In a prime spot overlooking the Grand Canal, you can browse Peggy’s impressive collection of works by European and American greats from the early 20th century.