Venice Art Biennale

In November I visited Venice’s infamous Art Biennale for the first time. An art lover who is often slightly disappointed by the standard gallery experience, the Biennale was a complete eye-opener. Set up over various palazzos and warehouses around the city made for a unique and immersive exhibition experience, as well as a navigational adventure.

Arsenale acts as the main space for a lot of exhibiting countries; former industrial production buildings for naval components such as rope (think 6400 square metres of space). The buildings are vast, and provide the perfect venue for artists to create avant-garde exhibits on a huge scale.

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There were many wonderful feasts for the eye surrounding the theme of illusion, in particular from Azerbaijan, where clever light projections made precise patterns from seemingly tangled wire structures:

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Also in abundance were some great examples of immersive gallery space; with entire Palazzos being thematically transformed by various artists. In ‘Welcome to Iraq’, a Palazzo has been set up as an Iraqi home. An unobtrusive way of allowing visitors to get a taste of Iraqi culture, through decor, libraries, films nestled in living room spaces, and tea and biscuits being offered in the kitchen area.

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Wandering or boating around the city, you stumble across installations where you least expect them…

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For fuel, there could only be one place: the Oriental Bar at the Hotel Metropole. The main restaurant here has just gained it’s first Michelin star, but we have fallen in love with the cozy bar space, and prefer to splurge on a nice cocktail or Spritz to go along with their delicious food.

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The Last Supper

On our final day in Italy of 2013, luck and joy were bestowed upon us by the bucketload with one night and one dinner at the Luna Hotel Baglioni in Venice. The charms and beauty of Venice are certainly no secret, but somehow this doesn’t rub off any of it’s charm. Venice holds it’s own as perhaps the most beautiful and most romantic place on earth, and even after travelling to many cities in Italy, this remains a favourite. There is simply no place like it.  Continue reading

Marital Mushrooms

Marital Mushrooms

We are finally back in Bologna after a whirlwind few months comprising of Ferie, pre-wedding-prep in England, our Marriage in Tuscany, and our Honeymoon in Paris and Morocco. What better way to ease back into things than by continuing our Eataly pilgrimage with a delicious steaky Sunday Lunch treat. And our timing could not be better as it is mushroom season here in Italy, meaning that restaurant menus are dominated by fresh funghi treats Continue reading

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Raw Sausage at Da Severino

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Before visiting our wedding venue for the first time, we stayed overnight in nearby Matraia. A tiny town up in the hills, with a choice of two local restaurants…we opted for Da Severino, because of it’s killer view over the countryside and the city of Lucca below. Da Severino is a salumeria by day, and by night offers a choice of just two Primi alongside it’s meaty and cheesy delights. Continue reading

Casa Baladin

Having travelled around Italy for nearly 2 months, it was about time we made it to an Italian hillside town, and our journey to Casa Baladin provided the perfect excuse. Baladin is the creation of the wonderfully talented and creative Teo Musso, who has created a highly imaginative artigianal beer emporium in Italy and indeed worldwide. Continue reading

Romagna Rules

The Emilia Romagna region is famous for producing some of Italy’s most famous products: proscuitto (or Parma ham as we sometimes call it in the UK), Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese), and Tagliatelle al Ragù (spag bol). This, and it’s surprising lack of tourists, makes a strong position for our new life in Italy and so we spent a week in the region savouring all it had to offer. Continue reading

Legendary steak at Perseus

I was met with disbelief when I said that Perseus only sold steak by the Kg, and that 1.2Kg was the minimum size….wonderfully this turned out to be true, and we are very grateful to our Airbnb host for recommending this restaurant for Florentine Steak. Continue reading

Firenze Gelato Festival

We thought it’d be rude not to buy two tickets to the Florence Gelato Festival, but 5 gelati later we are in somewhat of a dairy coma. I will push through and try to talk about it. The festival is a celebration of  genuine ingredients and original recipes, from Gelaterias both new and established. Our tickets gave us access to numerous talks by Gelato masters, as well as tastings of the featured Gelaterias. Continue reading