Venice is a city of surprises. Few cities boast such mysterious passageways, vibrant artistry and liveliness – all contained amid an architectural marvel of design. Palaces of marble, overlooking lagoons that teem with jet boats and gondolas; Venice is not so much a city as a mirage, its teal-coloured water refracting through the streets, casting a whole city in its hue.
Each canal bend can usher in new surprises, the crumbling frescoes and biennale pieces crowding your view in a dizzying rush. Beckoning record numbers of visitors with its fairytale charms and inimitable arts scene, there’s nowhere quite like it. These images, from US Vogue and Vogue L’Uomo, mirror the city's sense of mystery.
With basilicas and bridges home to Titians and Tiepelos, a canalside dinner or neighbourhood stroll throws up the creative spirit of different eras. It’s this reason countless artists have turned to Venice for their inspiration. Thomas Mann, Peggy Guggenheim, Patricia Highsmith - all have used Venice as their canvas. These images evoke that Venice, where ballrooms surge with masked dancers, and cocktail dresses are worn round-the-clock. With Natalia Vodianova in the role of a young countess, in the outlandish Venetian fashion for which the city is known, it's an homage to the grandeur and unconventional style the city offers.
Venice today also boasts an expanding scene of young artists, borne from a city that continues to reinvent. The city once described by Truman Capote as “eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs all in one go” is home to different dynasties. Both the Arrivabene and Brandolini clans have forged fresh paths in recent decades. The three sons of the long-standing Brandolini clan, Guido, Marcantonio, and Gioacchino now span the industries of art, design and viticulture, revitalizing each for a new audience.
Photographs © Mario Testino