Hidden treasures

The Venice Biennale Gardens

Historical Curiosities

The Venice Biennale Gardens

The famous contemporary art exhibition in Venice - the Biennale, so called because it occurs every two years – takes place in the Napoleonic Gardens in the Castello district.

The origin of the park dates back to 1807, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered that the city of Venice be equipped with a public green area; the design was entrusted to the architect Giannantonio Selva, who had the ancient monasteries of St. Dominic and St. Anthony demolished in order to get the necessary space. The rubble resulting from the demolition was used to consolidate the ground and create a mound on which  a coffee place was established; regarding the choice of plants, the collaboration of Pietro Antonio Zorzi was required, albeit with some difficulty given the particular climate of Venice.

Since 1895 in this area the pavilions of the Biennale have been created that now amount to over 30, with as many participating nations, which occupy an area of approximately 42,000 m², while the rest of the Gardens, 18000 m², is still used as a garden.

The gardens contain a flourishing vegetation and are organized largely around a central avenue from where minors trails depart; within the Gardens there are many monuments, most of which are placed in the area adjacent to St Mark's basin: namely, the monuments to Giuseppe Garibaldi, the patriot Pier Luigi Penzo, the mayor Riccardo Selvatico that promoted the Biennale, Richard Wagner, the great composer who died at Ca' Vendramin Calergi and the poet Giosuè Carducci.

To visit the Biennale Gardens, or other famous places and monuments of Venice, with a private guided tour guided tour you can ask for the availability of Francesca: our expert tour guide, the author of this fascinating section, who will accompany you to discover Venice with an exclusive itinerary tailored just for you!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Unknown places & works

When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is alwa...

View

Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world

Historical Curiosities

Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...

View

Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice

Historical Curiosities

St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...

View

Treviso: Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Big Names

Near Asolo, the reign of the queen Catherine Corner, there is a small village called Altivole... Its cemetery is renowned for containin...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter

Mysteries & Legends

There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...

View

Venice: Campo delle Gatte in Venice

Unknown places & works

The names of the streets in Venice can be very unusual… For example, when you walk around the Castello district, you will come across...

View

Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople

Big Names

The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...

View

Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church

Historical Curiosities

In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...

View