Nicoletta Fiorucci /
Founder of the Fiorucci Art Trust, London / Stromboli
Venice is the city where my parents spent their honeymoon, it's a place of particular resonance for them. They took me there when I was a child and for me it was love at first sight. That experience had such a great impact on me that I decided to do the same with my son Andrea. I couldn't wait to share with him the magic charm of the Serenissima. It happened on the occasion of the 53rd Venice Biennale, in 2011. I had arrived in advance of the preview, Enrico David was staying with us and we often hosted dinners with artists and friends. One night we were joined by Thomas Houseago. His monumental work – L'Homme pressé, a standing figure 30ft tall – was due to be installed outside Palazzo Grassi. Thomas explained that he was expecting the sculpture to be delivered on a boat at 4am and invited myself and Milovan Farronato to be there during the crucial moments of the installation. Of course we accepted!
It was very dark when we arrived, we could not see anything at all. Then all of a sudden two ships appeared: one carrying the sculpture, the second one carrying a crane that would be used to install this huge work. It was an epic sight preceding an even more epic installation process. There was such pathos in how this huge figure was being lifted and carefully placed outside the Palazzo, I could see Thomas actively participating throughout.
The sun rose and the sculpture was unveiled, as it had been wrapped up until that point. We enjoyed the spectacular view for a quite while, then went to get a coffee. The strength of those moments is very difficult to communicate, for me it was a touching and truly unforgettable experience. I am looking forward to visiting the Cyprus Pavilion, with a solo presentation by Christodoulos Panayiotou. He is an artist whose work I admire, and he is also a dear friend. I am sure he will orchestrate something amazing for this national pavilion. Pavilion of the Republic of Cyprus Christodoulos Panayiotou, Two Days After Forever - Curator: Omar Kholeif. Deputy Curator: Daniella Rose King. Palazzo Malipiero - Sestiere San Marco 3079
I have no doubt that Peter Doig's solo exhibition of new works at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa curated by Milovan Farronato will be an exceptional show. Doig is a tremendous artist, Farronato a terrific curator, so this will surely be a must-see in the Biennial programme. Palazzetto Tito Dorsoduro, 2826 - bevilacqualamasa.it
Last but not least, I am very excited about the participation of Naeem Mohaiemen and Raqs Media Collective in the show curated by Okwui Enwezor. Their presentations include a new film by Mohaiemen and a huge new sculpture intervention by Raqs. Venice is my favourite place in the world… it is very difficult to select what to do. Everything is beautiful and dreamlike. One can enjoy an old-style aperitivo at Al Bottegon, in Dorsoduro, tasting baccalà mantecato and prosecco while sitting on a low wall on the edge of the canal and observing how they repair gondolas in the 'squero' which is just opposite.
Al Bottegon Fondamenta Maravegie Dorsoduro 992 Tel 041-522 7911 There is a shop located between Campo San Samuele and Campo Santo Stefano which sells artist materials. It has an amazing window where a huge range of colourful earthenware is presented. Beautiful vintage glass, vases and ceramics can be found in the market which is held in Campo San Maurizio every Friday and Saturday. These are all great spots. However, to be honest, my suggestion is do not risk turning your stay in Venice into a treasure hunt! Rather try to enjoy all the details, the natural light which is unique because you are on the water. Walk as much as you can and have no fear of getting lost!