Collezione Peggy Guggenheim

Venice - The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is one of the most prestigious modern art museums in the world, comprising hundreds of works of art. It is housed at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, in what was once the home of Peggy Guggenheim, ex-wife of artist Max Ernst and niece of magnate Solomon R. Guggenheim.

This museum, although its collection is somewhat smaller and more concentrated than those of the other Guggenheim museums, is nevertheless one of the main Italian points of reference in the field of European and American art of the first half of the 20th century.

The great love of the patron for the avant-garde of the twentieth century, from abstractionism to futurism, has allowed the creation of one of the richest collections in the sector, including masterpieces by artists such as Boccioni, Chagall, Dalì, Magritte, Modigliani, Picasso, Warhol and many others. The most famous work? Surely the 1948 bronze "The Angel of the City" by Marino Marini, placed in front of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, where the museum is located.

The place, however, does not only house the personal collection of Peggy Guggenheim, but also large works from the Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection, the Patsy B. Schulhof, and the Patsy Guggenheim Collection and many temporary exhibitions.

But the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is more than just a museum. In fact, gala dinners, exclusive events and private visits to the collection or to the temporary exhibitions are often organized here, granting exclusive use of the garden, the panoramic terrace on the Grand Canal and the Museum Café, as in the case of the popular events during the summer season.

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Villa Pisani

Villa Pisani - The Queen of the Venetian villas

Villa Pisani, the "Queen of the Venetian Villas", is one of the main tourist destinations of the Veneto region, located in Stra, in the province of Venice.
The Pisani di Santo Stefano, who built it in 1721, were a branch of the Pisani family, an ancient Venetian patrician family. However, the vice of the game pushed them to get ruinously in debt. It was for this reason that they were forced in 1807 to sell the villa to Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon (who had become king of Italy two years earlier) bought it for 1,901,000 Venetian lire. The villa then passed over time first to his stepson, and then to the Habsburg imperial family. Finally it became a museum in 1884.

Its visit takes place inside the thirty rooms of the main floor, in which, a rare case for a historical residence, frescoes, paintings and original furnishings are preserved. Life in the villa, a place par excellence for games, balls and shows, is represented in the decorations of several eighteenth-century rooms. Among the most enchanting ones, there is the hall of the triumph of Bacchus, celebration of the god of wine and music. Interesting are then the hall of the holiday, which gives a tasty interpretation of the relationships between ladies and knights in the century of Casanova, and the hall of the arts.

Great opulence is achieved in the ballroom, located in the center of the building. Giambattista Tiepolo, the greatest exponent of eighteenth-century painting in Italy, frescoed the ceiling with the Glory of the Pisani family. It is a luminous allegorical composition. Here the figures, lying on rosy clouds, seem to hover on the background of an infinite serene sky.

Of particular interest is the Napoleonic apartment, rich in treasures. Among these is the grandiose four-poster bed surmounted by the emperor's initial. But also splendid are the coffers, the work of the Lombard inlayer Giuseppe Maggiolini. And don't forget the monochromes by Giovanni Carlo Bevilacqua, which narrate the myth of Eros and Psyche, and the precious Empire-style furniture made especially for Villa Pisani.
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san marco

Basilica of San Marco - The legend of the golden shoes

The Basilica of San Marco is one of the symbols of Venetian art and Christianity. Together with the bell tower and St. Mark's Square, it forms the main architectural site of Venice.

The building is very ancient. It is said that the first church dedicated to St. Mark, commissioned by Justinian Partecipazio, was built next to the Doge's Palace in 828 to house the relics of St. Mark. These relics were stolen, according to tradition, in Alexandria of Egypt by two Venetian merchants: Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello.

The primitive church was soon after replaced by a new one, located in the present place and built in 832. This one, however, went up in flames and so another one was built. The new consecration took place in 1094; the legend places in the same year the miraculous finding in a pillar of the basilica of the body of St. Mark, which had been hidden during the works in a place then forgotten.

Talking about legends, the Basilica guards many of them and one of them is the legend of the golden shoes. Inside the Cathedral, in the Zen Chapel, there is in fact a particular statue, the "Virgin and Child". It is a bronze work with a golden shoe, to which is linked a suggestive story.

It is said that one day a poor believer gave the Madonna the only thing he owned, a pair of old shoes, and they miraculously turned into gold. Of the two shoes, however, only one remains, because it seems that later, a woman reduced to poverty, praying in front of the statue of the Virgin, begged her to help her.

Miraculously, one of the golden shoes slipped off and ended up in the hands of the woman, who managed to get out of her misery.
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