People are “surprised, stunned and fascinated” by Venice’s art museums, says That’s Venice. “Venice has buildings that are museums, such as Palazzo Ducale, and exhibition venues that have entered the ranks of top museums around the world, such as Peggy Guggenheim Collection … but there are also beautiful buildings such as Ca’ Rezzonico and Ca’ Pesaro that have naturally become museums after having been the residences of important Venetian noble families.” If you peek inside Grand Canal palaces, converted monasteries, religious confraternities and old dockyard warehouses you’ll find them packed to the rafters with priceless artworks, 18th-century couture, samurai armour, modernist sculpture, Murano glass and the odd dinosaur or two. Auction house Christies highlights the art treasures every visitor should see. And if you plan on visiting a selection of them, take the advice of Melanie Renzulli at Tripsavvy and consider purchasing a Museum Pass at veneziaunica.
And it isn’t all 16th century Madonnas and 18th century Canaletto landscapes. Venice also has a bumper crop of cutting edge contemporary galleries -- the city’s “age-old traditions now share a stage with one of the most electric contemporary art scenes in Europe,” notes Lee Marshall in the Financial Times. “Other influential art dealers are also getting in on the act,” reports Zoe Cooper at The Spaces, listing five of the most ambitious new gallery openings in the city. These include the new V-A-C Foundation, which plans to place Russian art in the contemporary art conversation, and a new Victoria Miro gallery, the first outside London. But beware, warns Sarah Morgan at Conde Nast Traveller, Venice is a trap. “The city is so stunningly beautiful, that it’d be easy to spend an entire visit wandering the side streets of Canareggio to Dorsoduro, or drawn into the Accademia and the Guggenheim Collection.”
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