Pilvi Kalhama, executive director of Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland
I have many favourites in Venice, but there’s a very casual and small restaurant Gibran, in Castello, Calle del Cafetier, which I visit year after year. They serve excellent Lebanese flavours. Having a Bellini or a Spritz at Campo Santo Stefano, which is a nice walk away from Giardini and Arsenale, is a must. You can still sense a bit of a local atmosphere there.
Yunchul Kim, artist, Korean pavilion
Bar Paradiso is right next to Giardini—it’s an iconic place also with its own exhibition space. It’s convenient for an artist like me who spends most of the time at the Biennale exhibitions, at Giardini and Arsenale.
Louise Bonnet, artist taking part in The Milk of Dreams
Full disclaimer: I have been to Venice only once, when I was 12 with my parents. I am so happy to go back. When I was there, I felt strongly that you should not eat anywhere that wasn’t a Hilton breakfast buffet dining room, why would you? For drinks, you can get a room temperature Coke with lemon in it in loads of places, I seem to remember.
Melissa McGill, artist
My favourite way to eat in Venice is to take a little tour of neighbourhood bacari. These local wine bars or small restaurants that offer cicchetti, a colourful and wonderful array of local specialties in the form of small bites or plates, accompanied by an ombra, a small glass of wine, or a Venetian Spritz. (The blog www.insidevenice.it includes many of my favourites.) Then, on to gelato! Go to the legendary Gelateria Nico on the Zattere, where you can sit on their floating terrace next to the sparkling waters.
Ziba de Weck, director and curator of Parasol Unit
What can I say, despite all sorts of recommendations, for drinks I always end up at Harry’s Bar or on some waterfront places like hotel Monaco’s, or Danieli’s terraces. There I can see half of people I need to see in Venice.
Markus Reymann, co-founder and director of TBA21-Academy
For eating out, it’s a close race between Pensione Wildner and Osteria Alle Testiere—food and service are fantastic in both restaurants. My favourite place to drink is the bar of Il Palazzo Experimental.
Cliodhna Shaffrey, co-curator of the Irish pavilion
You don’t necessarily go to the same places all the time, even if you are trying to find them. If you want a beer, Campari or Spritz or whatever, let the weather be your guide—find a sunny sheltered spot, or go inside if cold…
Bosco Sodi, artist
My favourite place to eat is Ostaria a la Campana. It’s a place for local people, an intimate place where you can eat all the seafood that is typical of the area and introduce yourself to the flavours of Venice. It’s a very quiet, small space that I love to go every time I have a chance. Normally after painting or a long day, I go to Campo San Polo to drink a nice cold beer at Birraria La Corte.
Elisabetta Barisoni, head of Ca’ Pesaro art gallery, Venice
My favourite spots to drink are around the Dorsoduro area, where I live, such as Cantine del Vino Già da Schiav; Osteria Ai Pugni, Da Codroma and Alla Bifora, and Cantina Arnaldi.