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: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...


Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...


Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...


Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Verona: The roman walls of Verona

Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...