January’s the perfect time to start making travel plans for the year ahead, so why not beat those winter blues and book your next trip to Venice?  If you’re wondering when to visit, consider coinciding your stay with one of the exciting art and design events that are set to take place over the course of the year.  To inspire you, here are five top picks:

Venice Architecture Biennale (26 May – 25 November): One of the most prestigious events in the international cultural calendar calendar, the Venice Architecture Biennale presents a vast array of thought-provoking exhibitions by the world’s most imaginative and innovative architects and designers.  The majority of the action takes place in the main Biennale grounds at the Giardini and Arsenale, but be sure to look out for the series of ‘collateral events’ staged around the city in some of Venice’s most intriguing buildings, many of which are normally closed to the public.

Tintoretto 500 (7 September – 6 January): To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the great Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto (1519-1594), Venice is staging a number of special events dedicated to his remarkable artistic output and legacy.  Highlights will include “Tintoretto: The Artist of Venice at 500” at the Palazzo Ducale, including around 70 of his masterpieces, and “Tintoretto Giovane” at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, focusing on his work as a young artist.  “Art, Faith and Medicine in Tintoretto’s Venice” at the Scuola Grande di San Marco will illustrate the connections between art, medicine and devotional belief.

The Venice Glass Week (9-16 September): Following its successful first edition in 2017, The Venice Glass Week is set to return this year, featuring a rich programme of exhibitions, lectures, guided tours, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and other events dedicated to the ancient art of glassmaking.  Taking place in museums, galleries, churches, palaces, shops and glass furnaces around Venice and Murano, the festival is a must-visit for glass experts, collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future (4-30 September): Created by a team of world-class designers, curators and architects, Homo Faber will be a major exhibition dedicated to fine European Craftsmanship, bringing together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewellery to embroidery, mosaics, marquetry, transport design and more.  Stretching over c.4000 square metres, the show will be the largest ever held at the magnificent Giorgio Cini Foundation, offering the opportunity to explore a range of spaces not usually open to visitors, including the foundation’s historic libraries, cloisters and even its swimming pool.


Venice Design Week (6-14 October): Spread across cultural institutions, galleries, shops and artist studios around the city, VDW presents a dynamic mix of installations, workshops and special events featuring work by local and international designers and design companies.  As well as visiting exhibitions of contemporary design, visitors can explore the hidden sides of Venice and discover how historic objects were designed and decorated – “a thrilling combination of exploring visions of the future and diving into the past”.