Vivaldi’s Venice, historic city of canals, islands, bridges and gondolas, is stunningly beautiful and deeply atmospheric – the ideal venue for a major film festival.
From its architecture to its opera, theatre, music and arts, Venice is uniquely romantic, even in winter when the lagoon can be shrouded in mist and the heart of the city, magnificent Piazza San Marco, flooded and covered by wooden walkways. In summer the vibrant city is packed with tourists from all over the world who fill its narrow streets, squares and cafés, browse its museums, galleries and other monuments, visit its islands and buy its glassware, lace, papier-mâché carnival masks and leathergoods...
The city’s artistic achievements do not stop there. Venice is also renowned worldwide for its international film festival, the Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica – the oldest such festival in the world. First held in 1932, this annual red carpet event is now part of the Venice Biennale festival of the arts and is a magnet for celebrities and critics. The film festival’s prestigious awards include the Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion) for best film screened and the Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup – named after the festival’s founder, Count Giuseppe Volpi) for best actors. In 2009 Colin Firth was among the prizewinners for his starring role in A Single Man.
The 67th Venice International Film Festival runs from 1–11 September 2010 and the official line-up will be announced in late July (visit www.labiennale.org/en/cinema ). The festival is held on the Lido, one of Venice’s many famous islands, known particularly for its role as a summer resort. It’s an 11km-long sandbar with sandy beaches, some famous hotels, restaurants, shops and even a golf course, all just a boat trip away from the city centre.