Melissa McGill, artist
Experience the city by oar, sail or electric motor! Respect Venetians and the fragile Venetian environment. Breathe it in with all of your senses. Go for a slow walk at dawn and another at midnight.
Simon de Pury, auctioneer, art dealer and collector
First, walk at your own pace through all the national pavilions in the Giardini and the whole Arsenale. It will prepare you for your second round, where you only zoom in on what struck you on your first round. Seeing things twice will improve your focus and allow you to see what really sticks out.
Barbara Casavecchia, writer, curator and educator who works with Ocean Space
Take your time. Venice is a city regulated by tides, winds and waters. Allow yourself to adjust and enjoy the pace. To get away from the city, I like to go rowing. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t destroy the ecosystem.
The Soul Expanding Ocean, Ocean Space, 9 April-2 October
Valerie Goodman, director, Valerie Goodman Gallery
I recommend visiting the European Cultural Centre, especially this April as they open their biennial, featuring the work of many outstanding artists, including Jacques Jarrige.
Personal Structures, European Cultural Centre, 23 April-27 November
Alessandro Rabottini, artistic director of Fondazione In Between Art Film
I would recommend Canova’s tomb at the Frari Church. Created by Canova’s students after his death, it is not just a beautiful testament to the admiration that artists can have for each other but also, perversely, it looks like the beginning of installation art.
Penumbra, Fondazione In Between Art Film, 20 April-27 November, Ospedaletto and Santa Maria dei Derelitti
Bosco Sodi, artist, exhibiting in Venice
To take a break in Venice, I take a walk on the Zattere on the other side of the Grand Canal. It’s like walking along a coastline.
Bosco Sodi, Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, 23 April-27 November
Emma Gilhooly, director, Pelham Communications, US
If you can, try and get a private water taxi from the airport; flying into Venice on a speedboat is an unreal experience. Oh and also, Google Maps is no longer your friend.
Jeremy Deller, artist
My tip for someone visiting Venice for the first time? Don’t go during the opening week.