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Venice: what's on May-July

As spring turns to summer, Venice's diary of events gets ever more packed.

Make sure you purchase tickets well ahead if you're planning to see Don Giovanni and The Turn of the Screw at the splendid La Fenice opera house. And don't miss out on opportunities to get a glimpse of rarely open venues or rarely shown gems: the Biennale's Festival of Contemporary Dance and Mare Maggio, for example, will get you inside the towering walls of the Arsenale ship yard; and the glassware on show in Murano's Museo del Vetro in May-June – usually in the museum's storerooms – is quite, quite lovely.

May

9 May-9 July
Safet Zec: the Power of Painting
(Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco, San Marco 52; www.museiciviciveneziani.it; open daily)
More than 300 works by one of Bosnia’s most celebrated contemporary figurative artists.

SAFET ZEC - Tavolo con colori, 2003

14-16 May
Mare Maggio 2010
(Arsenale, Fondamenta de l’Arsenale; Castello; www.maremaggio.it)
This third annual fair dedicated to everything and anything connected to the sea – from naval frigates to deep-sea fishing and scuba-diving – allows a glimpse into parts of the magnificent Arsenale shipyards which until recently were military property and firmly out-of-bounds.

16 May
Festa della Sensa
(For information, see www.veneziamarketingeventi.it)
Echoing an ancient tradition in which the Doge threw a gold ring into the sea, Venice’s mayor throws a laurel wreath into the waves off San Nicolò, Lido, to symbolise the city’s marriage to the sea. After which there’s a regatta with races and water-borne processions. There are Sensa-linked events from 10-16 May.

18-30 May
Don Giovanni
(Teatro la Fenice, Campo San Fantin, San Marco 1965; www.teatrolafenice.it)
The 2010 opera season at La Fenice continues with Mozart’s Don Giovanni directed by Damiano Michieletto, conductor Antonio Manacorda.

23 May

Giro d’Italia
(www.ilgiroditalia.it, www.veneziamarketingeventi.it)
The 15th stage of the 2010 edition of this cycling classic sets off from Venice-Mestre.

23 May
Vogalonga
(www.vogalonga.com)
Thousands of rowing boats of every imaginable description take part in this spectacular race which sets off from in front of the Doge’s Palace, goes around the islands of the lagoon and finishes with a triumphant and very noisy dash down the Grand Canal.

26 May-12 June
Capturing Emotions – International Festival of Contemporary Dance
(Various venues. For information and online bookings see www.labiennale.org/en/dance/festival/festival.html)
Dance companies from Canada, and from Australia and New Zealand star in this seventh edition of the Biennale’s contemporary dance festival. Performances are staged in wonderful spaces inside the Arsenale, and in the Teatro Malibran, Teatro la Fenice and Teatro Toniolo.

Until 16 June
Rediscovering the museum: Murano’s late 19th-century Renaissance
(Museo del Vetro, Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano; www.museiciviciveneziani.it; closed Wed)
In an on-going series of shows highlighting important artworks rarely displayed to the public, Murano’s Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum) charts the rebirth of Murano’s faltering glass industry in the second half of the 19th century. (For more on contemporary Venetian glass, see my Shopping in Venice page.)

Until 11 July
Sebastiano Ricci: the Triumph of Invention in 18th-Century Venice
(Fondazione Cini, Isola San Giorgio; www.cini.it; closed Tue)
The Fondazione Cini celebrates the 350th anniversary of the birth of Veneto artist Sebastiano Ricci, with a major show of his paintings, sculptures and preparatory sketches and models.

Until 18 July
Silk and Velvet
(Palazzo Fortuny, Campo San Beneto, San Marco 3958; www.museiciviciveneziani.it; closed Tue)
The reopening of Palazzo Fortuny after lengthy restoration is marked with an exhibition of the Spanish designer’s exquisite dresses from the early 20th century. (I blogged about the Palazzo Fortuny here)

 MARIANO FORTUNY - La  seta e il velluto

Until 25 July
Utopia Matters: from Brotherhoods to Bauhaus
(Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Fondamenta Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro 701; www.guggenheim-venice.it; closed Tue)
From Rome’s Nazarenes and the British Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, to the Arts and Crafts Movement and Bauhaus, this exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim examines communities dedicated to making art.

June

4-6 June
Mercatino dell’Antiquariato
(www.mercatinocamposanmaurizio.it)
Antique (and not so antique) prints, furniture, paintings and geegaws are on sale in this antiques market in lovely Campo San Maurizio.

5 June-31 July
Live in Piazza San Marco
(See www.veneziamarketingeventi.it for details)
Every evening, this excellent series of musical events transforms Piazza San Marco into a huge concert space. Past performers have included Paolo Conte, Peter Gabriel, Simple Minds and Andrea Bocelli.

25 June-3 July
The Turn of the Screw
Jeffrey Tate conducts Benjamin Brittan’s opera at La Fenice, in a production directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi.
Teatro la Fenice, Campo San Fantin, San Marco 1965, www.teatrolafenice.it.

Until 12 June
Capturing Emotions – International Festival of Contemporary Dance
See May.

Until 9 July
Safet Zec: the Power of Painting
See May.

Until 11 July
Sebastiano Ricci: the Triumph of Invention in 18th-Century Venice
See May.

Until 18 July
Silk and Velvet
See May.

Until 16 June
Rediscovering the museum: Murano’s late 19th-century Renaissance
See May.

Until 25 July
Utopia Matters: from Brotherhoods to Bauhaus
See May.

July

3-6 July
Heineken Jammin’ Festival
(Parco San Giuliano, Venezia-Mestre. For information and online ticket sales, www.heineken.it)
The 2010 line-up at this annual rock extravaganza includes Pearl Jam, Massive Attack, Green Day, Ben Harper, Skunk Anansie, the Cranberries and Black Eyed Peas.

17-18 July
Festa del Redentore
(www.redentorevenezia.it)
This important feast day is marked with a procession across a pontoon bridge from the Zattere to the church of the Redentore on the Giudecca island, and with an immense firework extravaganza which illuminates the whole city, transforming it into even more of a fairytale than ever.

Until 11 July
Sebastiano Ricci: the Triumph of Invention in 18th-Century Venice
See May.

Until 9 July
Safet Zec: the Power of Painting
See May.

Until 18 July
Silk and Velvet
See May.

23 July-1 August
Venezia Jazz Festival
(Various venues, www.venetojazz.com)
The third annual edition of this festival which brings world-famous names and newcomers to venues including Piazza San Marco, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Campo dell’Erbaria. Expected to appear this year are the Pat Metheny Group, Norah Jones and Paco de Lucia

Until 25 July
Utopia Matters: from Brotherhoods to Bauhaus
See May.

Until 31 July
Live in Piazza San Marco
See June.

For more expert advice, see my When to go to Venice page.

Community comments (2)

It's great fun. Venice weather forecast splendid for the weekend.

Hopefully and weather permitting, I'll attend the Vogalonga this w-end