Art Weekend in Milan

An art weekend in Milan? How so?

After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.

Piazza del Duomo - with the iconic cathedral.
Piazza del Duomo – with the iconic cathedral.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.

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MURANO: It’s a Crystalline World

(Updated December 2019)

Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico, the historic center. It is divided into six districts called Sestieri. Although they seem to form one large island, there is a total of 120 islands in the lagoon. However, only 11 are permanently inhabited.

Italy - Murano Island - Vetreria Ducale
Some of the best places to shop for glass on Murano island: The Vetreria Ducale, adorned by a sign of Guerrieri pottery, and to the left the Ferro & Lazzarini glass factory.

Of those islands, Murano is the third largest one – after the Centro Storico and the Lido. It actually consists of seven small islands divided by eight channels and connected by bridges.

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Guide to MEDELLÍN – And a Day Trip to GUATAPÉ

Let me guide you to Medellín – which is also a great gateway for a fantastic day trip to the mesmerizing town of Guatapé.

Fernando Botero La Muerte de Pablo Escobar. One of the drug baron's mansions was between Medellín and Guatapé
Fernando Botero La Muerte de Pablo Escobar
Escobar was shot and killed by the Colombian National Police already in 1993, but like all the rest of this beautiful country, since then, Colombia progressed a lot; sadly, without the world taking notice.I wish my post will change that at least a bit.
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A night at the KAGURA

When travelling, I love to attend folkloristic spectacles – due to the language barrier preferably dance shows: In Kandy on the island of Sri Lanka, I saw a dance show, in Chang Mai in Thailand it even came with a traditional dinner and on Bali I witnessed Kecak in Uluwatu and went to see a performance every single night during my stay in Ubud.

The main character of the Kagura spectacle in action
Good against evil – a classic in performing arts.

You can imagine my excitement when I found out that on Saturdays, there is a Kagura performance at the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum. Saturday – perfect, I’ll be in Hiroshima on Saturday, so nothing will hold me back from spending a night at the Kagura.

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How to Visit the Biennale di Arte in Venice

Venice is a place worth visiting even when nothing special is on. Here is how to visit the Biennale di Arte in Venice, one of the world’s most important art events.

Ponte dell'Accademia Venice Italy
Ponte dell’Accademia, one of only four opportunities to cross the Canale Grande walking, advertising for this year’s mega-event.

However, the Biennials add some contemporary suspense and glamour to all the shiny renaissance the Doges left behind, and this summer, the 58th Biennale di Arte is on.

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HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM – at the height of beauty

Mount Fuji is certainly one of Japan’s most mesmerizing and iconic sight. A perfectly shaped cone, its top coated by a hood of snow – no wonder this sacred mountain is on top of every visitor’s list.

Sunnyside up: At Hakone’s outdoor gallery, visitors are invited to become one with the art – literally.

Although on clear days, you can be lucky to spot it all the way from Tokyo, most people take a day trip either to the Fujigoko Fuji Five Lake region at the northern foot of the mountain or to Hakone, a hot spring region with many grand places to experience….like the Hakone Open Air Museum, an outdoor gallery at the height of beauty.

World-famous Mount Fuji, probably Japan’s most iconic landmark, is a still active volcano, albeit, it erupted for the last time in 1707, so no worries.

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BASEL and the Rehberger-Trail – time to wonder, time to wander

Visiting Basel, you’re not only seeing Switzerland’s third-largest city – after Zurich and Geneva. You also get to know lots of great art venues. And if you hike the Rehberger Trail, a route decorated with sculptures by German artist Tobias Rehberger, you can even cross the border to Germany walking.

Basel along the river Rhine.
Cozy little Basel in the heart of Europe. There are a couple of art venues and many interesting buildings and places along the river Rhein.
(Photo: © Basel Tourismus)

That’s one of the things I absolutely love about Basel: It is located in the tri-border area of Switzerland, Germany, and France. Three totally different countries getting connected in harmony.

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Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art – Istanbul ‘s best-hidden Gem

Hardly anyone I know has ever heard of the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, so I really think it’s Istanbul ‘s best-hidden Gem.

Coming to this grand city on the Bosporus river, obviously, everybody is standing in line to see the antique masterpieces at Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace. Or – if they venture away from Sultanahmet – the very ‘French’ Dolmabahçe.

Terrace of the Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art - Istanbul's best-hidden Gem
Homage to Masters of Sculpture, against the backdrop of Istanbul’s financial center view,
Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz

But hardly anyone comes to Istanbul to see the young, fresh, and daring Turkish contemporary art.

Big mistake!

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We’ll Always Have Büdelsdorf – bye:myself at the NordArt 2017

We’ll Always Have Büdelsdorf – since every year, hence, also in 2017, the NordArt is taking place in this forlorn suburb with the quirky name.

City sign Büdelsorf and a sign advertising for the NordArt2017
Welcome to the town where one of Europe’s largest art fairs is taking place; I kid you not.

Don’t judge an art event by its location: The annual NordArt is one of Europe’s biggest exhibitions of contemporary art.

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