Italians at Table exhibition Italians at Table exhibition

What's on in Venice this autumn

Relatively clean and calm, Venice in Autumn offers a surprisingly tranquil, elegant escape from crowds, clamour and chaos. 

Autumn is the season Venice takes back its personality. After an arduous summer of soaring temperatures and scores of tourists, the city recovers in the autumn and celebrates the cooler weather with a plethora of prestigious events, exhibitions, tours and festivities dedicated to the city and the region. Here’s our pick of the very very best of the very best.

Venice Silent Film Festival

Silent-Film-StuffLe Giornate del Cinema Muto, 34 ed

Europe’s most significant silent film festival, dedicated to the rediscovery and study of early cinema, returns to the canals in early October. This year the main attraction is the international forum of musicians whose work will accompany the films. Over the eight days of screenings film historians, correspondents, academics and experts in silent film restoration from the world over will be speaking. 3 – 10 October

Gusto Veneto

Wine & Oil Gusto VenetoWine & Oil Gusto Veneto

In conjunction with Milan EXPO, which runs until the end of October, the city of Venice is hosting a series of events dedicated to the region’s local food and wine. Not just hosted in Venice, the celebrations spread throughout the regions’ smaller cities, towns and villages, from the Dolomites to the sea, passing through Palladian villas, art cities and hills producing some of the best wines of the world. Until 1 November

Guided visits to the Lazzaretto Nuovo

Lazzaretto NuovoLazzaretto Nuovo

Located in the Venetian Lagoon, the island of Lazzaretto Nuovo was a Benedictine Monastery during the Middle Ages, as well as a refuge and hospital during the Black Death. Later it was used as a fortress when Veneto was under Napoleonic and Austrian rule. Now fully restored and owned by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, it is one of the few deserted islands of the Venetian lagoon the public can visit. A must for anyone interested in the Venetian heritage or the Medieval/Restoration periods. Until November guided tours at weekends are available by request

Festival of Gardens

venice-gardens-Gardens of Venice © World Wigwam Circuit

If you’ve visited a few times you might think you’ve seen the best of Venice, but you’d be mistaken. Much of the city’s real gems are hidden behind walls or held in privately owned spaces. The first weekend of October however sees Venetians open their garden gates to the public for the discovery of little known areas that are not accessible to the public. There will also be tastings and talks on the theme of the Italian Garden and the history of landscaping the country. 2-4 October 2015

'Italians at table' photography exhibition

visualmostraincorso4Italians at Table © Villa Pisani

There is no ritual more important to an Italian family or group of friends than that of eating; and in celebration of this the Villa Pisani is holding an exhibition of rare photographs since the unification of Italy. From banquets and political dinners in Tuscan palazzos, tables laid for political meetings in Rome and rambles in the countryside to picnics by sea or mountain top dining. Idiosyncratic rules for cooking, recipes, how to serve and how to behave at table have been captured by numerous photographers, bridging the gap between past and contemporary Italian cuisine. Until 31 October

‘Spirit of Venice’s Music’ Festival

Michele CroseraTeatro la Fenice © Michele Crosera

This year’s festival concentrates of the idea of Venice as emblem of communication between nations, cultures and philosophies from Napoleon’s dinner on St. Marks Square to today’s conferences and festivals. Music and plays will be staged ranging from Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans to Antonio Caldara’s Daphne. The festival runs until end of June 2016. For more information and tickets see

Venice International Music Festival


Each year towards the end of the Biennale, Venice hosts one of Europe’s most hotly anticipated musical events. The main objective is to give young musicians the opportunity to grow professionally and perform and work alongside great masters of international fame. This year’s festival is titled ‘The Sound of Memory’ and features music from composers such as Georges Aperghis, Pierre Boulez, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Helmut Lachenmann. European ensembles such as the Ensemble Recherche, the Klangforum Wien and the Ensemble Musikfabrik also featire, as does the Studio for New Music Moscow and the European Contemporary Orchestra, made up of as many as 33 elements from the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Various locations 2 – 11 October