The first edition of the Venice Film Festival was held at the Excelsior hotel in 1932, on the Lido. Today, it still transforms Venice into a Mecca of international cinema and also a glamorous extravaganza, with its exclusive premieres, auteur films, movie stars, gossip and paparazzi.

Few people know that the first edition of the festival – held in 1932 – featured the Excelsior hotel as its beautiful backdrop. However, as the festival’s reputation grew, it became necessary to build a separate, equally prestigious building. As a result, the Palazzo del Cinema, which is the location still used today as the main headquarters of the event, was built between 1937 and 1938.

Following a period of upheaval, including the outbreak of the Second World War, it was finally acknowledged as an event of international scope due to its winning formula – a combination of superior artistic talent and the undisputed glamour that has characterized the event since its inception. Many of those who were destined to become the icons of the new international film scene made their debut at the Lido.