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Venice Biennale

Proust asked, Venice replied


The principle aspect of my personality

Changing while remaining the same.

The quality that I desire in a man

Good taste.

The quality that I desire in a woman


What I appreciate most about my friends

Presents, visits and a laugh.

My main fault


My favorite occupation


My dream of happiness

Chilled Prosecco, green olives, crisps and some cicchetti. I provide the setting.

What would be my greatest fear

Apart from sinking, global warming, coastal erosion and a resurgence of malaria in the Mediterranean, I tend to stay positive.

What I should like to be

Slightly taller.

The country where I should like to live

I am a country on my own.

My favourite colour

Water green.

The flower that I like

Artemisia coerulescens.

My favorite bird

I’d prefer a winged lion.

My favorite poets

Dante, enough with Antonio Lamberti’s La Biondina in gondoleta, Giorgio Baffo strikes a the foresti Ezra Pound and Josif Brodskij.

My heroes in fiction

I won’t forget Fornaretto.

My favorite heroines in fiction

Zanetta Farussi and her characters.

My favorite composers

Oldies but goldies:

Te vogio ben, ma mai no stago quieto

Perchè i t’à messo nome Morosina,

E no voria balar a quel baletto

Che divertir m’ha fato a la Pasina,

Cò me voleva ben siora Costanza

Che col bel impianton m’ha dao l’usanza..

Popular songs, classical music and Luigi Nono on odd years like the Biennale.

My favorite painters

Here I’m in real trouble if I forget anyone, so I say all artists, all of you out there that have spent time, talents, money and energies in giving me multiple lives.

My heroes in real life

Actv water bus commuters.

My heroines in history

The female musicians of La Pietà.

My favorite names

Serenissima but I don’t mind Benátky, Benechia – ベネチア , Benechia / Penech’ia – 베네치아 , Benetke , al-Bunduqīya, Enetía-Ενετία, Feneyjar, Fenis, Mleci, Vaniescha, An Veinéis, Velence, Venècia, Venecia, Venēcija, Venecija, Venecija – Venecija , Mletke, Veneciya – Venecija, Veneciya, Venecija, Veneco, Venedig, Venedik, Venesia, Veneetsia, Venetía – Βενετία, Veneţia, Venesië, Venetië, Venetik, Venetsia, Veneza, Venezia, Venezja, Venise, Venetsye – װענעציע, Weinisi – 威尼斯, Wenecja, Venetië / Venies, Vignesie, Unieja, Venexia.

What I hate most of all


Historical figures that I despise the most

Let sleeping dogs lie.

The military event that I admire the most

I still recall the war of Chioggia, the rest is smoke.

The gift of nature that I would like to have

I was told that I have to rely on this “new” engineering project against high water, they call it Mose, otherwise a pair of inflatable wings might be handy.

How I want to die

In my sleep, as late as possible.

My present state of mind


Faults for which I have the most indulgence

Temporary amnesia.

My motto

Pax tibi Marce.


Interview: Proust Questionnaire compiled by Carla Bonollo @Venicebyvenice

Photo: courtesy of NASA








A floating school at the Venice Biennale 2016

Venice and the Egyptian mummy: #SanLazzarodegliArmeni

Apart from the usual islands tour – Murano, Burano, Torcello – there’s one small island you might want to visit. It’s San Lazzaro degli Armeni, a stone’s throw from Lido. There’s a vaporetto – number 20 – leaving each day from San Zaccaria at 3.10 p.m. in coincidence with the guided tours held by the Meckitarist monks.

In the 15th century the place was a leper colony, hence the name Lazzaro, the patron saint of lepers. The hospital was moved in the 16th century and the island was abandoned. It became Armenian in 1717. The monastery was and remains an important centre for Armenian culture. Lord Byron studied in the library, helping the monks to prepare the first English-Armenian dictionary. The ancient library contains 150,000 volumes, beautiful illuminated manuscripts, oriental artefacts and an Egyptian mummy (450-430 BC) attributed to Namenkhet Amun, a priest at the Amon Temple in Karnak.

For those visiting the Venice Biennale there’s a special discount on the entrance ticket for the show Armenity. More info here.

Don’t forget to ask for Vartanush (literally sweet rose), a special jam made from rose petal around May.


What are you waiting for?

For more info, please contact me here:

Walking and talking #2: From Piazza San Marco to the Arsenale

This is an ideal walk if you enjoy the sun and want to admire the cityscape. Leave the piazza behind you and cross the bridge parallel to the bridge of sighs which used to link Palazzo Ducale to the ancient prison – Giacomo Casanova managed to escape from the Piombi prison thanks to a rope and a boat – and stroll along the fondamenta of Riva degli Schiavoni.

On your left-hand side a succession of hotels, the Danieli Excelsior, location of a famous James Bond scene (From Russia with love, Casino Royale), the equestrian sculpture in bronze by Ettore Ferrari dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II just in front of Hotel Londra Palace, a few meters ahead the small palace where the writer Henry James lived, a bridge on rio dei Greci and its leaning bell-tower, and the Chiesa of Santa Maria della Pietà, known to be the site that hosted Antonio Vivaldi’s school of music.

For those interested in the life and works of the red priest, it is worth a visit San Giovanni in Bragora in campo Bandiera e Moro, the church where he was baptised.

Back to the fondamenta after crossing a wide bridge, on your left-hand side the Arsenale. The word derives from the Arabic darsina’a meaning “house of industry”, where the ships saw the light of day, and where Venetians built their fleets.

The ancient corderie (where ropes were made) were re-furbished as the site of one of the two locations of the Venice Biennale, the other one is in the island of Sant’Elena, Giardini. A green oasis in the lagoon.


What are you waiting for?

For more info please contact me here:

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