Day 20: Venezia modern art

The Peggy Guggenheim museum is, they claim, the second most visited spot in Venice, after the Doge’s Palace. We tried to visit in 2014 but did not have tickets and did not want to queue in the rain. This time we had tickets and only had to queue for a few minutes to get in.

The museum is in a 18th century unfinished palazzo that Peggy Guggenheim bought in 1949 and where she kept her private art collection. She knew many of the artists and was married (for a while) to one of them, Max Ernst.

The collection boasts works from the most famous early 20th century surrealist and abstract artists.

Clyfford Still
Ellsworth Kelly
Joan Mitchell
Frank Stella
Sam Francis

The collection includes a Mark Rothko but it was in storage. I’m sure my daughters are disappointed not to see a photo.


I didn’t photograph the Picassos, Braque, an Andy Warhol, Dalì, Magritte, the list goes on. Peggy Guggenheim lived in the building so the rooms are not museum sized but moderate in proportion and paintings are hung everywhere. Trying to look at paintings in what is a normal sized hallway makes for tight spaces especially because there were quite a few visitors even though they restrict the numbers.

The building itself is impressive with views onto the Grand Canal.

Although the museum tries to be friendly to those with disabilities, inside there is nowhere to sit. The original furniture is not to be touched let alone sat upon. Outside there were benches.

This would be a nice area for a party.

Before going to the Guggenheim, we had lunch in a nearby restaurant. We started with sharing an antipasto, sarde al saor, sweet and sour sardines, a Venetian specialty:

Then ate salads while trying to take in the eclectic collection of stuff, some of which seemed maritime related but some stuff was a mystery—Saskatchewan vehicle licence plate.

After visiting the museum and after our light breakfast and lunch, we treated ourselves to a gelato but forgot to take a photo. So far, the gelato in Verona was the best, in my opinion.

Inspired by all that art, we sat on the steps nearby our apartment to sketch.

Rain interrupted the sketching.

We changed our dinner plans and stayed close by to avoid getting soaked in the rain. Trattoria da Fiore, just off Campo Santo Stefano, is a family run informal bar and restaurant.

Fried local artichokes
Crab tagliatelle

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