Venice, Volume 23, Number 3 July 2012

Venice is seldom far from our thoughts. Amid all of the splendid places we visit with ARTExpress, La Serenissima holds first place effortlessly. Our habit has always been to focus our lens on the most exquisite of all cities during La Biennale di Venezia – ART. Thus we have never invited you to La Biennale di VeneziaARCHITETTURA, which will celebrate its 13th birthday this summer/fall, August 29-November 25. And it is, of course, no coincidence that the renowned 69th Venice International Film Festival, August 29-September 8, can be a part of your summer visit. The eleven days of the film festival may be a bit of a madhouse, but otherwise imagine strolling along the beautiful Riva degli Schiavoni, eying the glittering palaces along the water, unhindered by the madding art crowd rushing to and from the Giardini!

The director of this year’s Architecture Biennale program, titled Common Ground, is the distinguished British architect Sir David Chipperfield. In this country you know him for the stunning Des Moines Public Library and the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, the oldest municipal museum in America. Abroad, look for his Neues Museum in Berlin, Museum Folkwang in Essen, and, in progress around the world, Coleccion Jumex in Mexico City, the new entrance to Berlin’s Museum Island, a new wing for the St. Louis Art Museum, and a new building for the Kunsthaus Zurich – among projects too numerous to mention. He won the Stirling Prize in 2007 and the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2011. In 2010 he was knighted for his services to architecture. His program, with 55 national participants, will occupy the pavilions at the Giardini, the Arsenale and various sites throughout the city, while his theme exhibition, Common Ground, will consist of 58 projects by architects, photographers, artists, critics, and scholars, presented in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini and at the Arsenale. Chipperfield has said, ”I want this Biennale to celebrate a vital, interconnected architectural culture…. I am interested in the things that architects share in common…. the meanings of spaces shared by buildings: the political, social, and public realms of which architecture is a part.” With such noted participants as Steven Holl, Arata Isozaki, and the American entry, New York’s Institute for Urban Design, there should be much to see.

To make your visit even more captivating, two special programs are being offered: Architecture + Music, which includes reduced-price tickets to the 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music, October 6-13 and Architecture + Cinema, which offers similar group benefits at the Film Festival. Meanwhile, in the relative peace of a non-art Biennale year, Venetian art and collections housed locally can indeed be magical. At Ca’ Pesaro, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, the exhibition will be graphics by Raffaele Boschini (Sept. 1-30), seen in what is said to be the most important Baroque palace in Venice by the architect Baldassare Longhena; at the exquisite Ca’ Rezzonico (Oct. 15-Nov. 20) British artist Julian Stanley will dazzle you with his Venetian-inspired furniture designs; the always amazing Francesco Guardi will be featured at the Piazza San Marco’s Museo Correr (Sept. 28-Jan.6); Marisa Merz’s walk, walk, re-walk the imagine-thought that walks will be seen at Palazzo Querini Stampalia, which features interior and exterior elements designed by the important 20th-century architect Carlo Scarpa; and at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, exhibitions devoted to Jean Metzinger’s Futurist work At the Cycle-Race Track and to the Surrealist painter Charles Seliger will be on display at fabulous Peggy’s palazzo on the Grand Canal through September 16. No, dessert has not been ignored – the offerings of the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana – the renowned Venice digs of mega collector Francois Pinault – cannot be missed. In Praise of Doubt will remain at the Punta Della Dogana through December 31 and the fall exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi has not been announced (the conservation and design of both facilities are the work of the brilliant architect Tadao Ando). Now, for the most special treat, visit the Prada Foundation’s year-old exhibition space, the Ca’ Corner della Regina, a magnificent historic 1724-1728 palazzo on the Grand Canal named for Caterina Corner, who was born there and would become Queen of Cyprus. The foundation’s artistic director, noted curator Germano Celant, has planned a survey of multiples – THE SMALL UTOPIA Ars Multiplicata – for delicious summer fare (July-November) with highlights ranging from works by Marcel Duchamp to Pop delights by Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol.

ARTExpress travelers who visited the Zattere studio of the distinguished Venetian abstract painter Emilio Vedova (1919-2006) with us in 1990 will be amazed now to see the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation at 42 Dorsoduro and, nearby, its permanent exhibition space designed by Renzo Piano. In the handsome galleries, a new cycle (through November 25) of exhibitions will feature the legendary Italian architect of the 1960s, Aldo Rossi, and a new installation devoted to the foundation’s holdings of Vedova’s works. A fresh visit should be the occasion for a stroll along the Zattere seaside and lunch in the sun under a crisp white umbrella on the floating terrace of La Piscina, facing the Giudecca Canal.

It is always tempting, if you are a regular Venice Biennale visitor, to overlook some of the traditional treasures of La Serenissima, and perhaps this biennial celebration of architecture is the time to revisit not just the grand palazzos of Venice but specifically the works by the godfather of all Venetian High Renaissance architecture, Andrea Palladio. Born in Padova, in the Republic of Venice in 1508 and influenced by his studies of the Greek and Roman masters – especially Vitruvius – he is regarded as the most influential figure in the history of Western architecture. From St. Paul’s Cathedral to Monticello, we are surrounded by the reflections of his designs. In Venice, his two most visible works are the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, set on its own island opposite Piazza San Marco and the Piazzetta, just off the tip of Dorsoduro, and Il Redentore, on Dorsoduro and the Canale de Guidecca. Together they dominate the Venice skyline. By all means, visit Il Redentore, Palladio’s masterpiece, on the third Sunday in July, the day of thanksgiving for saving the people of Venice from the plague, and the scene of the traditional festival and fireworks. When you visit the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, plan to spend some time on the island of the same name. In the church itself, don’t miss works by Tintoretto, Bassano and Sebastiano Ricci. Also on the island is the headquarters of the Cini Foundation Arts Centre noted for its stunning Longhena library, new exhibition space and the Teatro Verde for outdoor music and performance. The Cini Foundation has been responsible for the restoration of the entire island (once a Benedictine monastery and cloister) and devotes its resources to the preservation of Venetian culture.

The most romantic Palladio adventure is a leisurely tour of his country villas in the Veneto. These 16th-century homes, built for wealthy Venetians as escapes from the summer heat and typically maintained as farming properties, are arguably the loveliest villas in the world, many crowned with stunningly beautiful frescos by Veronese and his circle. There are roughly 20 villas in all (not counting attributed and unfinished), and a number are open to the public. Ask for a car and driver at your concierge desk or contact Roberta Curiel at Walks Inside Venice, and set off for a day in the country with stops at Villa Emo near Fanzolo, Villa Rotonda outside Vincenza, and finally the most memorable of all: Villa Barbaro in Maser, with its astonishing trompe l’oeil Veronese frescos, private Renaissance chapel and manicured gardens. Oh yes, and stop for refreshment at the Hotel Villa Cipriani (relative of the Cipriani in Venice) in Asolo – a charming hill town on the fringes of the Italian Alps. Lunch in the gardens is divine.

Of course, in order to enjoy these delights you’re going to have to find a fine Venetian place to lay your head. Choose your hotel by neighborhood and – need I say – view – be it water or garden! If you want to be near the Gardini, where the events of the Biennale will be taking place, we favor a number of hotels with luscious water vistas along the far end of the Riva degli Schiavoni, including the Danieli, the Londra Palace and the Metropole. If your goal is the lap of luxury, choose any of the Bauer family palazzos – and let your choice be governed by the availability of waterfront rooms at the Bauer Hotel in the center of all of the activity on the Grand Canal. For peace and quiet, the answer is in the sestieres (neighborhoods) of Dorsoduro and Guidecca, where you will find the renowned Cipriani (Guidecca), the Conventino (at the Bauer Il Palladio, Guidecca), or the tiny, exclusive Ca’ Maria Adele (Dorsoduro). Now, think too about the abundance of distinctive Venetian cuisine, so often focused on the fruits of the lagoon. From year to year, many of the local favorites remain. Unlike New York or Los Angeles, where a handful of new restaurants debut every week, in Venice we are comforted by the long reign of such old favorites as Da Fiore, Corte Sconta, Alla Madonna, Harry’s Dolci and Al Covo, but delighted by such relative newcomers as Cip’s Club, De Pisis and Lindeadombra. Don’t hesitate to get lost in an enticing warren of twisted lanes and end the day by dropping into the friendly local trattoria for ciccetti (appetizers), washed down with a bold Veneto wine.

For those who want to focus on film, if your Venice adventures have been confined to art and architecture, it is time to make your acquaintance with the festival site, Lido Island, and its tempting Adriatic beaches. The venerable Hotel Excelsior (looking a lot like Moroccan Pop art) is the required center for the cinema set, while the famous Grand Hotel Des Bains – site of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice – is closed at the moment, in the process of conversion to luxury apartments. Feel free to arrive for the premiere in your private plane – The Lido has its own landing strip – and, if you plan to stay on the island, don’t come without a reservation during the festival. In truth, although this is a relaxing sandbar – lovely in the summer sun – most recommend staying in Venice and making the 15-minute trip across the water (regularly scheduled). When the Hotel Des Bains’ conversion is completed there will be a small number of guest suites and it is said that they will definitely be worth the trip!

Finally, our message about the extraordinary pleasures of Venice: Leave the beaten path, whether it is booking a boat trip up the Brenta River with a stop at Palladio’s Villa Malcontenta on the water’s edge, en route to Padua, where the historic Scrovegni Chapel, site of Giotto’s frescos, awaits; enjoying a day in the quiet sestiere of Cannaregio amid the mysteries of the old Jewish Ghetto: spending a morning with Tinteretto’s remarkable paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco, where the ceilings are so dense with his art you will be offered a mirror to hold in front of you in order to avoid straining your neck; or slipping out to the Accademia at 8:15 AM on Monday morning to savor the greatest paintings of the Venetian Renaissance and Baroque while the rest of the tourists are still in bed! While residents often say that they don’t want their city to become a museum, that is, in fact, exactly what it is – not an altogether bad thing as long as they are willing to share it with us!

FOCUS VENICE

Hotels
Hotel Metropole, Castello 4149, Riva degli Schiavoni, Tel. 39 041 8620400, hotelmetropole.com. ARTExpress has always loved the slightly eccentric Metropole. Each room is filled with “antiques” of a sort, but always comfortable; it is superbly located on the Riva degli Schiavoni with views to weep for if you can snag a lagoon-front room. Prices are reasonable compared to the grande dame hotels and the staff is lovely.

Londra Palace, Castello 4171, Riva degli Schiavoni, Tel. 39 041 520 05 33, londrapalace,com. The Londra Palace is a 53-room boutique hotel just a few yards from the Metropole. It has all of the same lagoon-view advantages, a charming restaurant, and added elegance, which comes, of course, with added expense.

Bauer Hotel (L’Hotel), San Marco, 1459, Tel. 39 041 5207022, bauervenezia.com. The Bauer family hotels represent classic luxury in Venice and there are enough to choose from so you will no doubt find your dream location. Just steps from the Piazza San Marco and fronting on the picturesque Canal San Moise, plus enjoying the good fortune of having a magical terrace on the Grand Canal, this is the very refined anchor of the group.

Bauer Il Palazzo, San Marco 1413/D, Tel. 39 041 520 7022, bauervenezia.com. Just steps away from L’Hotel, this 18th-century boutique palace is even grander than the 1950s-style original, plus it shares the sparkling, outdoor gathering place. There are 35 rooms and 40 suites, richly furnished in tapestries and Venetian silks, and most have a balcony or terrace overlooking the Grand Canal or St. Mark’s basin.

The Bauer Palladio Hotel and Spa, Guidecca 33, Tel. 041 520 7022, palladiohotelspa.com. Situated on peaceful Guidecca, in a Renaissance palazzo by Andrea Palladio, this stellar Bauer addition was opened in 2006 and has gorgeous water views, as well as very elegant rooms. Also in the Guidecca complex are the Villa F and the Conventino, an exclusive 21-room, contemporary villa at the far end of the property.

Hotel Excelsior, Venice Lido Resort, Lungomare Guglielmo Marconi, 41, Tel. 39 041 5260201, hotelexcelsiorvenezia.com. The Moorish/Gothic grand pile that is the famed Excelsior opened on the night of July 21, 1908. The architect was Nicolò Spada and some 30,000 Venetians showed up to applaud his accomplishment. With 197 rooms and suites literally sitting on the white sands of the Adriatic, it has been the location for star sightings for more than a century. It has been recently renovated and now features pastel-toned Moorish designs. Exotica certainly abides around every corner.

Hotel Cipriani & Palazzo Vendramin, Giudecca 10, Tel. 800 5242420, 39 041 520 7744, hotelciprani.com. Nothing can beat this extraordinary resort if you come to Venice to relax and soak up the sun. A five-minute boat ride from San Marco delivers you into another time zone, where the pool is an Olympic wonder, and the gardens are lush; this splendid Orient-Express hotel is an unrivalled classic. Plus Cip’s Club is the hot new place to enjoy the panoramic view while having an informal but divine dinner.

Ca’ Sagrado, Campo Santa Sofia 4198/4199 Ca’ D’Oro, Tel. 39 0412413521, casagrdohotel.com. This 14th-century palace has been declared a national monument and it is the height of old-fashioned Venetian charm, from dramatic frescos to gilded décor.

Ca’ Maria Adele, Dorsoduro 111, Tel. 39 041 52 03 078, camariaadele.it. In what is called the “contemporary art neighborhood” just minutes from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Punta della Dogana and the Vedova Foundation, this tiny treasure is on a small canal just along side the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute – such a great location!

Restaurants
Old Favorites

Osteria Da Fiore, San Polo 2202/A at Calle del Scaleter, Tel 39 041 721 308, dafiore.net. Need we say more than “Da Fiore?” It has been Venice’s signature restaurant for longer than I can remember and a favorite of ARTExpress for 25 years. It’s warmth and welcome are legendary and its delicacies from the lagoon and cuisine of the Veneto are memorable.

Al Covo, Castello 3968, Tel. 39 041 5223812, ristorantealcovo.com. Diane and Cesare Benelli came to Venice from the United States, bent upon following in his Tuscan grandfather’s steps. Since they opened to acclaim in 1987, they have mastered innovative cooking, focusing on the blessings of Venice and its surroundings – the Adriatic, the farms on terra firma, the freshest seasonal produce and the wonderful wines of the region. Every meal at Al Covo is a delight – and don’t miss the first-class art collection. Diane and Cesare also have a charming, small, two-bedroom flat near by that can be rented for a pittance compared to the waterfront palaces.

Trattoria Alla Madonna, San Polo 594, Tel. 39 041 5223824, ristoranteallamadonna.com. A traditional, informal bistro in the Venetian style, this too is a family enterprise that has been held to the highest standards since 1954.

Corte Sconta, Calle del Pestrin 3886, Tel. 39 041 522 7024, veneziaristoranti.it. The first time you’ll swear it is impossible to find, but then it will always be on your radar (print out a map and take it with you). The specialty is the lightest, freshest seafood you can imagine, set an informal environment that coaxes you to spend a long evening trying delights, until you are bursting with pleasure!

New Favorites

De Pisis, The Bauers Venezia, San Marco 1459, Tel. 39 041 5207022, bauervenezia.com. Chef Giovanni Ciresa has turned the Bauer Hotel’s restaurant into a special gathering place on the terrace of the Grand Canal. Here it is not just the flavors of the lagoon but a whisper of the Asian world as well. Save this for the big night out – fabulous but staggeringly expensive!

Lineadombra, Dorsoduro 19, Tel. 39 041 241 1881, ristorantelinesdombra.com. Simple, elegant, contemporary, with a giant floating terrace highlighting the view of the Redentore on one sightline and the Guidecca Canal on the other, this informal spot is the one to choose for modern Venetian cuisine.

And Don’t Forget

The Thirteenth Annual Architecture Biennale, August 29-November 25

Venues: The Giardini and the Arsenale

Hours: 10 AM-6 PM

Ticket offices: Campo Tana, 10AM-5:30PM, 20 euros or assorted discounts.

The “Arches” of Aldo Rossi, selected from the Biennale Archives, is currently being presented at Ca’Giustinian, the headquarters of the Bienniale.

56th International Festival of Contemporary Music, October 6-13

Venue: Teatro Piccolo Arsenale in Campo della Tana and Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale.

69th Venice Film Festival

Screening Venues: Palazzo del Cinema, Sala Darsena, PalaBiennale, Sala Perla at Palazzo del Casino.

For private tours of Venice of art and architecture, contact Walks Inside Venice, walksinsidevenice.com. I spoke with Roberta Curiel about arranging introductory tours of Venice, of Palladian architecture, of the Palladian villas in the Veneto, and excursions to Asolo and Villa Maser. I found her very knowledgeable and helpful. The company’s three partners have expertise in virtually every field of interest from local cuisine to wine tasting or life in medieval Venice.

To-Do List

Order tickets for La Traviata (September 2) at La Fenice, Venice’s exquisite jewel box of an opera house, Campo San Fantin 1965, Tel 39 041 86511.

See Titian’s magnificent Assumption altarpiece at Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari, San Polo 3072.

Pay a visit to the Gallerie dell’Accademia to stand once more in front of The Feast in the House of Levi by Paolo Veronese (1573). Painted for the Dominican order of SS. Giovanni Paolo as a Last Supper, Veronese changed the name under threat of the Inquisition. One of the largest paintings of the 16th century, it is also one of the grandest!

Pine for the jewelry of Attilio Cogdognato, San Marco 1295, Tel. 39 041 522 5042. The premiere family of Venetian jewelers, since 1866, is now headed by the 20th-century’s Attilio, one of Italy’s most important collectors of contemporary art.

Visit the gardens and the showroom of the original Mariano Fortuny factory where the most beautiful silks of modern times originated (by appointment). Fortuny’s genius can also be seen at the Fortuny Museum in Venice but there is something special about being on the scene! Contact Fortuny Inc., 979 Third Avenue, Suite 1632, New York, Tel. 212-753-7153, newyork@fortuny.com.

NEWS
Chicago
The blockbuster exhibition Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective offers a great reason to be in Chicago this summer. Over 160 works have taken up residence at the Art Institute through September 3rd — many of them never-before-seen pieces as well as studies and drawings — making it the most comprehensive overview of one of our favorite Pop stars to date. And what a fun show it is! The work is so lively and fresh that it’s hard to believe you’re looking at 50-year-old images.

For your dining pleasure in Chicago, enjoy some hot-hot-hot restaurants. Goosefoot, for example — proclaimed the best new 2012 restaurant by Chicago Magazine and for good reason. Chef Chris Nugent’s BYOB/market-driven/artisanal contemporary venue goes for quiet and staid, rather than hip and loud; we applaud – gently, of course. Meanwhile, Dave Beran’s (and partner Grant Achatz’s) brainchild, Next, can be described as nothing less than a trend-shifter, as it lurches happily along, taking us from French to Thai to Comfort — all at a whipsaw pace (okay, months, but that is whipsaw in the restaurant world!). Their conceit is that a great chef can creatively tackle any cuisine with the proper enthusiasm and, so far, the dishes coming out of this passionate kitchen are living up to their hype. The reviews are mixed, however, regarding the strange online reservation system featuring ticket sales, which also serve to fix the prices of the meals. The long list of rules precludes any silly, last-minute seating notions you might be harboring: the best you can hope for is to grab a ticket the second they go on sale by following the restaurant on Facebook! For now, foodies seem quite willing to navigate these complications to experience Beran’s alluring madness — as the tickets sell as quickly as they appear — for the food is the thing, and what a glorious thing it is ….

Kassel
It’s that time again — to join hundreds of thousands of your best friends in Kassel, Germany, to experience dOCUMENTA (13) — the “museum of a hundred days.” It only comes ‘round twice a decade, making it the must-see, non-commercial event for art lovers from all over the globe. Its humble beginnings may add to the passion of dOCUMENTA followers — having been originally launched by Arnold Bode, a banned-by-Nazis artist and teacher, as part of a federal horticulture show in 1955 – and it quickly became a major career-maker for such household names as Picasso and Kandinsky. This year’s version takes a more “holistic” approach by embracing a wider cultural stance, according to artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, whose various themes include “siege, hope, retreat and stage.” Artists and architects from 50+ countries fill the official venues, with a few as far flung as the Australian desert and the North Pole. And for the first time, parallel events are happening in Cairo, Canada’s Banff National Park, and Kabul (the Afghan capital gets in on the act by hosting an exhibition, film series and part of a photo collage whose second half can be seen in Kassel). Most of the action, though, is still taking place at ground zero — in and around dOCUMENTA’s German hometown — filling the city from train station to theatres; from movie houses to hotel ballrooms. Immerse yourself!

São Paulo


As far as special fairs and events go, there’s so much happening in Europe this year that we don’t want to overlook South America’s important entry: the São Paulo Bienal, opening September 7th. Note that as biennales go, it’s second in age only to Venice’s venerable exhibit — this year marks the 30th anniversary. The event will host 110 participants within its iconic Oscar Niemeyer-designed pavilion, featuring a theme of “The Imminence of Poetics,” chosen by chief curator, Venezuelan-born Luis Pérez-Oramas. Thanks to Brazilian art travel expert and longtime ARTExpress friend Daphne Bransten, we have great tips on hotels and restaurants for your São Paulo sojourn. Best places to stay are The Emiliano and the Fasano São Paulo, both boutique, ultra-luxe hotels. The Tivoli is a less expensive option, though slightly less luxe than the afore-mentioned. Other recommendations include Unique Hotel, for its amazing curvilinear design with vast, light-filled interiors by architect Ruy Ohtake; and Meliá Jardim Europa, a downtown find. For restaurants, start at D.O.M., where chef Alex Atala uses the best indigenous Amazonian ingredients in creating his imaginative and edgy cuisine. For an enchanting dinner in drop-dead gorgeous surroundings, AIA-award winner KAA is your best choice. A shallow pool greets you at the entrance, a 13-foot- high garden wall boasting 7,000 different forest plants serves as a dramatic backdrop, and the ceiling is open on the best weather days. Another current don’t-miss is the hip diner Restaurante Spot, located in a beautiful little square and a perfect “spot” for appetizers and drinks. Set in an actual vintage-30s residence, Casa 92 nightclub/bar/restaurant offers a non-stop party with great city views from some of the rooms, walls decorated by Brazilian artists, plus a small garden offering a respite from the ongoing fun. Finally, if it’s 2 AM and you’ve just left Casa 92, stop at 24-hour bakery/buffet Bella Paulista – it’s a much-beloved São Paulo institution where you can find everything from a gourmet cup of coffee to a lovely bottle of wine from the well-stocked cellar. Some final tips from Daphne to round out your trip: be sure to include Galeria Fortes Vilaça on your arts agenda — its roster of important Brazilian artists and exhibitions make it a stellar stop; while the modern art museum, Museu de Art de São Paulo, requires more than one visit.

GREAT ADDRESSES
IN CHICAGO

Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Tel. 312-443-3600, artic.edu/aic. Monday–Wednesday, 10:30–5, Thursday, 10:30–8, Friday–Sunday, 10:30–5.

Goosefoot, 2656 West Lawrence Avenue, Tel. 773-942-7547, goosefoot.net. This new-ish Lincoln Square destination for foodies garners great reviews for chef Chris Nugent, formerly of such Chicago favorites as Prairie, MK, and Mid-America Club. With only 34 seats available, reservations are a must. [pay]

Next, 953 West Fulton Market, Tel. 312-226-0858, nextrestaurant.com. At this writing, Next’s featured cuisine theme is “Sicily” — with tickets selling out as soon as they’re available — just as they always do. To try and score some, visit their facebook page, which gives the alert when you can buy yours. In the meantime, catch the flavor of their Sicily menu by watching the video here.

IN KASSEL >dOCUMENTA (13), Tel. 49 561 70 72 70, Fax 49 561 70 72 739, d13.documenta.de. Through September 16.

IN SÃO PAULO
São Paulo Bienal
, Tel. 55 11 5576 7600, bienalfoundation.org. September 7-December 9.
Emiliano, Rua Oscar Freire - Jardim Paulista , 384, Tel. 55 11 3069 4369, emiliano.com.br. Emiliano is five-star boutique chic at its best, and ranked at the top of the list for Brazilian hotels by everybody, including Condé Nast Traveller. Helpfully, there’s a rooftop helipad to help you circumvent the traffic!

Fasano São Paulo, Rua Vitório Fasano - Jardim Paulista , 88, Tel. 55 11 3896-4000, fasano.com.br. It might be slightly less hip than Emiliano, but Fasano is also a top recommendation (a 2011 Fodor’s winner) and offers a superb stay. The on-site restaurant offers arguably the best Italian food in the country, and the beautiful bar — Baretto — hosts intimate jazz performances by top artists.

Hotel Unique, Avenida Brigadeiro Luis Antonio - Jardim Paulista , 4700, Tel. 55 11 3055-4700, hotelunique.com. The drama doesn’t end with the dramatic exterior (courtesy of Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake); enter through the jagged-edge doorways and make your way to the exquisite rooftop gardens with bar and pool — where the city views are stunning.

Meliá Jardim Europa, Rua Joao Cachoeira - Jardim Paulista , 107, Tel. 1-855-269-5374, melia.com.br. New, nicely appointed and well-maintained high-rise hotel offering reasonable rates; it’s quickly garnering fans and repeat visits.

D.O.M., Rua Br Capanema, 549, Tel. 55 11 3088-0761, domrestaurante.com.br. Named this year as the Best Restaurant in South America in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards (Restaurant magazine), D.O.M. aims to introduce diners to the bounty of the Amazonian rainforest from the familiar (palm hearts) to the very obscure (tucupi juice), so expect extremely inventive, upscale dishes.

KAA Restaurante, Av. Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek, 279 - Vila Olímpia, Tel. 11 3045-0043, kaarestaurante.com.br. Romance personified, KAA is consistently described as the sexiest restaurant in the country. Don’t worry, the dishes live up to all the ambiance. Brazilians eat late, so get there early (7 PM) if you lack reservations.

Restaurante Spot, Alameda Ministro Rocha Azevedo, 72 - Bela Vista, Tel. 11 3283-0946, restaurantspot.com.br. Year after year, Spot somehow retains its see-and-be seen status amongst the hippest of the hip (musicians, artists, models, etc.). Simple but elegant décor, plus delicious dishes; save room for a mango tart.

Casa 92, Rua Cristóvão Gonçalves, 92 - Largo da Batata, Tel. 11 3032-0371, casa92.blogspot.com. Talk about trendy: each room has its own decor here, and chef Danielle Dahoui stays busy coming up with new things to do with a potato — as this fun and funky bar/restaurant/nightclub is located in “Potatoes Square.”
Bella Paulista, Rua Luís Coelho, 308 - Cerqueira César, Tel. 11 3151-6175, bellapaulista.com. Open 24 hours, this welcoming bakery and coffee shop/buffet has been favorably compared to the best New York delis. Be prepared for long lines at peak times, though.
Galeria Fortes Vilaça, Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1500 - Pinheiros, Tel. 11 3032-7066, fortesvilaca.com.br. Brazilian and Brazilian-based international artists.
Museu de Art de São Paulo, Avenida Paulista, 1578 - Bela Vista, Tel. 11 3251-5644, masp.art.br. Tuesday-Sunday, 11-6, Thursday, 11-8, closed Monday. The building housing the São Paulo Museum of Art, with its iconic red pillars, was designed by Italian/Brazilian Lina Bo Bardi and completed in 1968. Now recognized as a Brazilian modern landmark, it’s the only building in the world with its main body supported by four side-columns, allowing for 74-meters worth of freestanding interior. Installations are impressively hung from the ceilings and displayed in rows. The permanent collection has a strong focus on Western art, particularly French painting; in addition to its Brazilian, African and Asian holdings.

TRAVEL BOOKSHELF: VENICE
Guides & Blogs
Giandomenico Romanelli, ed. Venice, 2012.
Alison Bing. Lonely Planet Venice Encounter, 2010.
Alison Bing and Robert Landon. Lonely Planet Venice and The Veneto (City Travel Guide), 2012.
Brenda Birmingham. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Venice & the Veneto, 2012.
blog.venice-tourism.com.
livingveniceblog.com.

Art & Architecture
Daniel Birnbaum, ed. Making Worlds: 53rd International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia, 2009.
Bice Curiger, ed. ILLUMInations: 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale Di Venezia, 2011.
Rosa Barovier Mentasti, ed. Lino Tagliapietra: From Murano to Studio Glass Works 1954-2011, 2011.
Philip Jodidio. Tadao Ando Venice: The Pinault Collection at the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta Della Dogana, 2010.
History & Cuisine
Roger Crowley. City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas, 2012.
Peter Ackroyd. Venice: Pure City, 2011.
Joanne M. Ferraro. Venice: History of the Floating City, 2012 (due July 31).
Arrigo Cipriani. Harry’s Bar: The Life and Times of the Legendary Venice Landmark, 2011.
Tessa Kiros. Venezia: Food and Dreams, 2009.
Sally Spector. Venice and Food, 2006.

Literature & Fiction
Thomas Mann. Death in Venice, 1912 (also see the film version, 1971).
Henry James. The Wings of the Dove, 1902.
Peter Collier. Proust and Venice, 2005.
Ian Littlewood. A Literary Companion to Venice: Including Seven Walking Tours, 1995.
Summertime, 1955 (film).
and…

strictly for fun…

Mysteries
The Comfort of Strangers, 1990 (film).
Don’t Look Now, 1973 (film, faithful to the great Daphne du Maurier short story of the same name).
Edward Sklepowich. The Veils of Venice, 2009.
Donna Leon. Death at La Fenice, 2004.

CALENDAR
Through July 15 Palazzo Grassi, Venice Madame Fisscher
Through July 30 MoMA, New York James Rosenquist: F-111
Through July 31 LACMA, Los Angeles Fracture: Daido Moriyama
Through Aug. 5 MCA, Chicago Rashid Johnson: Message to our Folks
Through Aug. 19 Saatchi Gallery, London Jon Rafman: Nine Eyes of Google Street View
Through Sept. 2 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Made in L.A.
Through Sept. 3 MoMA, New York Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead
Through Sept. 3 Met, New York Ellsworth Kelly: Plant Drawings
Through Sept. 3 Art Institute of Chicago Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
Through Sept. 3 MOCA, Los Angeles Ends of the Earth
Through Sept. 3 Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal Zoo
Through Sept. 9 OCMA, Newport Beach Jack Goldstein X 10,000
Through Sept. 9 Whitney Museum, New York Sharon Hayes
Through Sept. 9 Tate Modern, London Damien Hirst
Through Sept. 9 Kunsthaus Zürich Rosa Barba: Time as Perspective
Through Sept. 9 SFMOMA, San Francisco New Work: Katharina Wulff
Through Sept. 9 National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome Warhol: Headlines
Through Sept. 12 Guggenheim, New York Abstraction & the Guggenheim, 1949-1960
Through Sept. 14 Whitechapel Gallery, London The London Open
Through Sept. 14 Coleccion Jumex, Mexico Poule!
Through Sept. 16 Thyssen, Madrid Hopper
Through Sept. 16 MCA Australia, Sydney 18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations
Through Sept. 16 Kassel, Germany dOCUMENTA (13)
Through Sept. 16 Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice Charles Seliger in the 1940s
Through Sept. 24 Centre Pompidou, Paris Gerhard Richter, Panorama
Through Sept. 24 Reina Sofía, Madrid Rosemarie Trockel: a cosmos
Through Sept. 30 Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin A Rake’s Progress: David Hockney Prints
Through Sept. 30 MAXXI, Rome Paola De Pietri: To Face
Through Sept. 30 Guggenheim Bilbao David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
Through Oct. 7 Montreal Museum of Fine Art Beyond Pop Art: Tom Wesselmann
Through Oct. 8 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Public Dress
Through Oct. 14 Canadian Centre for Architecture Montreal James Frazer Stirling
Through Oct. 28 Tate Liverpool Turner, Monet, Twombly
Through Nov. 25 Fondazione Prada, Venice THE SMALL UTOPIA: Ars Multiplicata
Through Dec. 31 Punta Della Dogana, Venice In Praise of Doubt
Through Feb. 24 The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Barnett Newman
Through Apr. 1 Mass MoCA, North Adams Oh, Canada
July 8 – Jan. 6 SITE Santa Fe More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness
July 12 – 15 Art Santa Fe
Aug. 29 – Nov. 25 13th Venice Architecture Biennale
Sept. 1 – 30 Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Venice Raffaele Boschini: Graphics, 1912-1925
Sept. 1 – 30 Fotoseptiembre USA SAFOTO, San Antonio, Texas
Sept. 6 -9 Art San Diego
Sept. 7 – Dec. 9 30th São Paulo Bienial
Sept. 20 – 23 Art Now Chicago
Sept. 28 – Jan. 6 Museo Correr, Venice Francesco Guardi

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