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Venice According to Italian Festival Insiders Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche

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What’s best about the Venice Film Festival?

Bertacche: The absolutely priceless thing about Venice is that you can always decide to get out of the festival and explore the most beautiful city in the world.

What’s your best “only in Venice” experience?

Baracetti: In 2006, we worked as Asia consultants for the festival, because [former artistic director] Marco Muller invited us to do so. It was an amazing, stunning experience.

The one thing I would change about the Venice Film Festival is…

Baracetti: Nothing! Venice is the oldest film festival in the world. It is perfect!

The most inaccurate cliché about Italians that Venice proves is wrong is…

Bertacche: Not all Italians dress nicely. Only the majority.

The best place in Venice to escape the crowds (and the film industry) is…

Baracetti: Go to the “Gallerie dell’Accademia” Museum. And stay there to contemplate Tiepolo’s masterpiece “The Scourge of the Serpents.”

The best Venetian food and/or drink is at…

Both: “Cicchetti”, forever and ever!

My worst “Venice nightmare” moment was…

Bertacche: It happened some time ago… We were carrying, in a backpack, the box office sales, in cash, of a full day of events from the Italian booth. Back then, we were both in charge of that. We lost the backpack on a vaporetto [or waterbus]. But, in the end, we found it thanks to the kindness of the local people. It was a Venice nightmare turned Venice miracle.

The one thing I won’t travel without, besides my phone, is…

Baracetti: A bottle of whiskey.

Bertacche: My romantic sense of life!

What was your most interesting Venice celeb encounter?

Baracetti: In 2005, we got to briefly meet Hayao Miyazaki. It was just a 30-second meeting. We shook hands, and I told him, “Thank you, maestro.” He just smiled at me. For a few seconds, pure joy! And of course, it was amazing touching his hands, soft ones — the hands of a genius.

My advice for a Venice first-timer is…

Bertacche: See as many films as possible in one day — and take notes on each of them. In Venice, you can see six films in a day. How amazing is that?

In Venice, you should always…

Baracetti: Try to see a movie at Sala Grande with the cast and the director. It is the quintessence of a film festival!

In Venice, you should never…

Bertacche: Try not to boo a movie in the theater. Because behind the camera, hundreds of people have tried their best to entertain you.



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