Join Smithsonian Journeys for a week at the 80th annual Venice Film Festival, enjoying special access to screenings and events and soaking up the ambiance of the world’s oldest film festival against the backdrop of magical Venice.

Starting at: $6,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Grand Canal at dusk
 Enjoying a film together
 Awaiting a film screening
 View of the Lido
 The charming Lido waterfront
 The Grand Canal, Venice
 Piazza San Marco, Venice
 Venice's San Marco
 Enjoying wine and Italian charcuterie
 Pasta Vongole
 After the meal
 Magical Venice. Credit: Nora De Angelli

Smithsonian at the Venice Film Festival

8 days from $6,990

Join Smithsonian Journeys for a week at the 80th annual Venice Film Festival, enjoying special access to screenings and events and soaking up the ambiance of the world’s oldest film festival against the backdrop of magical Venice.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Film buffs take note: September 2023 marks the 80th annual Venice Film Festival—and you’re invited! The world’s oldest celebration of cinema began under Mussolini in the early 1930s and continues to premiere some of the best films in the industry today. Spend a week in magical Venice, immersed in the fabulousness of the festival, where an array of international films compete for coveted Golden Lion awards. Recent winners include Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which went on to win the 2018 Academy Award for Best Picture, and Oscar contender Cate Blanchett for her role in Todd Field’s Tàr. Stay in an elegant hotel in the heart of historic Venice and set out for the Lido Island each day.

With your Venice Film Festival Industry Gold Pass, you’ll have special access to screenings and press events closed to the general public, and you can choose to see as many films as you wish. In the evenings, gather with your fellow cinephiles and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an enriching discussion of the day’s films accompanied by Italian wines and delightful Venetian cuisine. Cap off the experience with a visit to a costume designer’s workshop and a spectacular farewell in a private palace on the Grand Canal.

Highlights Include:

  • Privileged Access: Attend the world’s oldest film festival with a Venice Film Festival Industry Gold Pass (IG Pass), a priority all-access pass. Enjoy film premieres on the Lido, as well as viewings of major classics previously shown in Venice, plus preview screenings and press events.
  • Well-located Accommodations: Stay in an elegant 19th-century palazzo just across from the Gothic Church of San Zaccaria, a five-minute walk from the Piazza San Marco and even less from the vaporetto (water bus) that brings you to the festival events at the Lido.
  • Italian Cuisine: Savor Venetian food and local wine as you discuss the films of the day with fellow travelers and your Smithsonian Journeys expert.
  • Costume Designer Workshop: Step backstage at a renowned atelier where intricate period costumes are crafted for film and stage. Meet the costume designer and hear his tales from more than 30 years in the industry.
  • Festive Farewell: Enjoy a unique farewell dinner at a private palace on the Grand Canal.

Itinerary

Days 1-2 — Depart the U.S. for Venice, Italy

Depart on an overnight flight to Venice Marco Polo airport, and transfer to your hotel in Venice’s historic center upon arrival. In the evening, meet fellow travelers and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a welcome reception followed by a welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 — Venice

Start the day with an orientation to the festival and a primer on how to get around Venice. Then, with your Industry Gold pass in hand, ride a vaporetto (water bus) across the lagoon to the Lido, the long, narrow island where the Venice Film Festival has been held since the 1930s. Film screenings take place every day between 8 am and midnight, and you are free to attend the screenings and other events of your choice. Each evening, your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will host an informal gathering to discuss the films of the day while enjoying local wine and Venetian specialties. (B,D)

Days 4-5 — Venice

Enjoy two full days to take in as many films as you can. Between screenings, take a walk along the seaside promenade or admire the Art Nouveau architecture of this 19th-century resort. Find a waterfront café for lunch and people-watching, and soak up the vibrant energy of the festival. In the evenings, meet up with your group for a discussion of the day’s films and a sampling of local wines, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Then return to the Palazzo del Cinema for the nighttime screenings.

Day 6 — Venice

Following breakfast at the hotel, visit Nicolao Atelier, an artisan costume manufacturer known for the incredible period costumes designed for film and stage productions. Examine the fine workmanship on items from the company’s valuable collection—which numbers over 15,000 costumes. This afternoon is yours to explore Venice and its surrounding islands at your leisure, or head back to the Lido for more film-hopping. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening. (B,L)

Day 7 — Venice

Gather with fellow filmgoers to catch some of the final showings on this last day of the festival. Tonight, as actors and directors vie for Golden Lion awards at the closing ceremony nearby, celebrate your Venice Film Festival experience at a festive farewell dinner held in a private palace on the Grand Canal. (B,D)

Day 8 — Venice

After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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