Venissa Wine Resort Presents A Photographic Exhibition By Maurizio Rossi

The Venetian Lagoon is full of wonders and authentic local crafts, that intertwine with the soul of the islands populating this beguiling body of water. An excellent example is the way the Venissa Wine Resort, nestled in the heart of Mazzorbo, is dedicated to local culture through its ongoing art exhibits that shed light on the genuine essence of the area.

From November 9 to January 6, Maurizio Rossi presents Photographs of Native Venice Tradition and Craft in an exclusive exhibit of black and white images. The artist was born on a quaint island, that is connected to Mazzorbo by a bridge the locals call Ponte Longo: Burano. This is the isle known for its lace work and brightly colored homes, that epitomize the traditions of the lagoon. In the 1800s and 1900s, Burano was a place outside the world, inhabited only by fishermen, and today these crafts still exist but are fading away.

Fortunately the environmentally and socially sustainable vision of the Bisol family is saving the legacy of the lagoon. The owners of Venissa  restored an elegant three-story building on Mazzorbo, that serves as an exclusive resort, and they also reprised an ancient vineyard growing the Golden Grape, “Dorona,” that the Venetian upper-crust would drink in past centuries. As part of the Bisol project to preserve Native Venice, the family acquired some houses in Burano that were falling apart, and restored them to allow travelers to sleep amongst locals, preserving the architectural heritage of the island. This decentralized hotel goes by the name of Casa Burano.

Most importantly the history and traditions of the islands of Native Venice continue through the inspiring cultural events promoted by Venissa, such as the exhibition by Maurizio Rossi. The artist from Burano, learned the fishing trade from his father — a frequent protagonist in his work — and spent most of his time on a boat.

Ever since Maurizio Rossi began taking pictures, he has focused on the various traditional crafts of the lagoon. It came naturally to a man with a deep affection for the place where he was born and raised. “I see that these trades are disappearing,” says Mr. Rossi, “and the only things that will preserve them are the photos or videos we take.

Besides being a skilled photographer, Maurizio Rossi has cultivated a passion for traditional Venetian rowing (or punting) for the past 36 years, a sport he took up in 1982. On three separate occasions, he won the prestigious Regata Storica in the Caorlina category, and qualified in the Gondolini category no less than 19 times. He is also an official government driver in the lagoon of Venice by trade, but it is through his lens that Maurizio Rossi takes full control over the ebb and flow of the lagoon.

He captures and immortalizes the ecosystem of the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea, along with its people, their traditions, and way of living, before they disappear altogether. “We only notice what we have when we stop what we’re doing, and take time to absorb our environment,” says Mr. Rossi. “These days we live in a frenzy, and we miss out on the little things. With my camera I freeze a moment in time, and that is fundamental for me. I have a weak memory, and photography helps me remember the moment.” Maurizio Rossi’s eyes serve as the real time storytellers of the lagoon, with the changing light, textures,  and the various men working from sunrise to sunset.