Nine luminaries on their personal cultural highlights of Venice

Leading art, design, architecture and interiors experts share their favourite places to visit

Managing director of Matchless Michele Malenotti
Managing director of Matchless Michele Malenotti | Image: Mattia Zoppellaro

Michele Malenotti, creative and managing director of Matchless Motorcycles and Matchless London clothing I like to take my children to the glass factories on Burano and Murano to see glass being made – it’s important to show them this kind of history and point out things that were being done centuries ago that are still important today. The Venini store is particularly traditional in terms of the Murano glassmaking craft, but is also contemporary in style. I have some beautiful lamps and vases from there. Venini, Fondamenta Vetrai 47, Murano (+39041-273 7204; venini.com).

Venini’s showroom in Murano
Venini’s showroom in Murano
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Okwui Enwezor, curator If it’s sunny, I love taking a vaporetto to San Giorgio Maggiore to visit the glass museum, Le Stanze del Vetro, and the Fondazione Cini, to walk in the beautiful gardens. The fondazione also has two libraries, one from the 16th century and a newer one designed by Michele De Lucchi that’s an incredibly calm vaulted space where the play of light is sublime. Le Stanze del Vetro, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 1, 30124 Venice (+3904-1522 9138; lestanzedelvetro.org/en). Fondazione Giorgio Cini Onlus, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore 30133 (+3904-1271 0211; cini.it).

Curator and art critic Okwui Enwezor in Venice
Curator and art critic Okwui Enwezor in Venice | Image: Fabio Massimo Aceto
The Giorgio Cini Foundation’s New Manica Lunga in San Giorgio Maggiore
The Giorgio Cini Foundation’s New Manica Lunga in San Giorgio Maggiore

Axel Vervoordt, designer and antiquarian I could happily live in Venice: it is unique in the world. My favourite place is Palazzo Fortuny, a gothic palazzo with Renaissance parts and lots of old textiles – it’s very much an artist’s home, with his personality. Palazzo Fortuny, San Marco 3958, 30124 Venice (+39041-520 0995; fortuny.visitmuve.it).

The gothic Palazzo Fortuny
The gothic Palazzo Fortuny | Image: Alamy
The 16th-century Villa Foscari is situated on the outskirts of Venice
The 16th-century Villa Foscari is situated on the outskirts of Venice | Image: Noboru Inoue, Shinkenchiku-Sha

Rebecca Willer, gallerist I’m really inspired by Villa Foscari, near Venice, which was designed by Palladio in 1558‑1560. The proportions of the vaulted central space are breathtaking, the frescoes by Franco, Zelotti and India perfectly faded, the furniture simple, elegant and unobtrusive. It is both incredibly grand and homely. Villa Foscari, Via dei Turisti 9, 30034 Malcontenta di Mira (+39041-547 0012; lamalcontenta.com).

The Biblioteca Marciana has one of the world’s greatest collections of classical texts
The Biblioteca Marciana has one of the world’s greatest collections of classical texts | Image: Alamy
The Gothic-Byzantine façade of the Bauer Hotel contrasts perfectly with its more modern interior
The Gothic-Byzantine façade of the Bauer Hotel contrasts perfectly with its more modern interior

Nicolò Favaretto Rubelli, fine fabric maestro I find Venice’s museums and archives thrilling – specialists like the Biblioteca Marciana, which has one of the world’s greatest collections of classical texts; the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, a private foundation with a lovely, welcoming library; and the Archivio di Stato, founded by Napoleon. They contain records, letters, photographs, scrapbooks and artefacts from ancient Venice. It’s fascinating to see something handwritten and covered in dust that may not have been looked at for centuries. Archivio di Stato, Campo dei Frari 3002, 30170 Venice (+39041-522 2281; archiviodistatovenezia.it). Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Piazetta San Marco 7, 30124 Venice (+39041-240 7211; marciana.venezia.sbn.it). Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Santa Maria Formosa 5252, 30122 Venice (+39041-271 1411; querinistampalia.org).

Architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, near the Punta della Dogana museum
Architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, near the Punta della Dogana museum | Image: Fabio Massimo Aceto
The Aman Hotel is housed in a beautifully restored palazzo and boasts a grand garden and rooms
The Aman Hotel is housed in a beautifully restored palazzo and boasts a grand garden and rooms

Lara Bohinc, jewellery and furniture designer The Bauer Hotel has a Gothic-Byzantine façade and a wing built in the 1930s, but the back of the building is modern; the mix inspires me. Bauer Hotel, San Marco 1459, 30124 Venice (+39041-520 7022; bauervenezia.com).

Peter Osborne finds the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli inspiring
Peter Osborne finds the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli inspiring | Image: Alamy
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Patricia Urquiola, architect and designer For me, in my field of work, it’s great that there’s always some new art or design to see in Venice. If we’re there for a weekend, we’ll often go to see something at the Museo Correr, where there are fantastic exhibitions. Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco 52, 30124 Venice (+39041-240 5211; museiciviciveneziani.it).

Giambattista Valli, fashion designer The Aman hotel, which overlooks the Grand Canal, is in an exquisitely restored palazzo. The rooms are beautiful and the gardens an oasis of calm. Aman Venice, Palazzo Papadopoli, Calle Tiepolo 1364, 30125 Venice (+39041-270 7333; amanresorts.com).

Peter Osborne, co-founder of Osborne & Little In terms of man-made sites that I find inspiring, the one that really stands out is the small church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. It is breathtaking. Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Campiello dei Miracoli, 30121 Venice.

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