Hidden treasures

The Venice Biennale Gardens

Historical Curiosities
giardini-biennale

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 Italia Theatre in Cannaregio

teatro_Italia_venezia
Unknown places & works

Along the busy road linking Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto Bridge in Venice there stands a peculiar neo-Gothic building with t...

View

Treviso: Villa Condulmer in Mogliano Veneto and Giuseppe Verdi

villa-condulmer
Big Names

Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century... Even those who are not Opera experts recognise the arias of h...

View

Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

teatro-anatomico-padova
Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...

View

Venice: The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

presepe-sommerso
Unknown places & works

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbo...

View

Top posts

Vicenza: The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

olimpico-scenografia
Historical Curiosities

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influence...

View

Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

castello-monselice
Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...

View

Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Otello
Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...

View

Venice: The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

giardino-eden-venezia
Unknown places & works

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the G...

View