Artist on board, a residence for creatives travelling in the Mediterranean seas

Riccardo Benedini offers artists and designers the opportunity to tell their stories through short interviews at sea, navigating with their artworks in the heart of Venice and its lagoon.

Riccardo Benedini June 2022


Artist in Residence


Quote on request


Lycian Princess

Lycian Princess is a thirty-meter Turkish gulet moored in the private port of Marina Santelena, just behind the Giardini della Biennale of Venice. The Summer home of the art lover Marina Rossi, the beautiful two-masted wooden boat hosts every month artists and designers from all over the world until November, who alternate on board with itinerant installations curated by Riccardo Benedini and can be visited by appointment. Mooring address: Marina Santelena - Campo della Chiesa 1 45 ° N 25 '37' '/ 12 ° E 22' 00 ''

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Baptized in October 2020 by Vogue magazine as the “first floating gallery in Italy”, Lycian Princess arrived in Venice in September 2018 thanks to the will of the ship-owner Marina Rossi and her children Enrico Secure and Camilla Cecchini. The desire is to offer travelers from all over the world a space where they can stay overnight and be directly on the water, enjoying the magic of the Venetian lagoon. It is thanks to this dream that the lives of Marina Rossi and the writer Riccardo Benedini intertwine and for an original fact actually: two years earlier, in 2016, Benedini had started his first artist residency project at sea by choosing a boat, the 33-meter round stern yacht that belonged, in the 1960s, to Marina Rossi’s uncle.

An extraordinary experience that allowed Benedini, in two years of activity, to get to know and host various international artists on board and to refine this innovative trend aimed at proposing art and design in the form of experience to be lived at sea. In 2018, Marina Rossi bought the Lycian Princess gulet in the Turkish town of Fethiye and Benedini took part in the adventure to bring it to Italy, sailing with the owner’s family, for over 20 days, between Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Albania and Croatia. It finally arrived in September 2018, in the private port of Marina Santelena, in Venice, where the gulet has found its permanent base. This extraordinary journey establishes not only a friendship between Riccardo Benedini and Marina Rossi, but also the beginning of a beautiful collaboration with a common vision: to transform Lycian Princess into a true cultural salon on the water, open to creatives from all over the world and to their ideas

“I want to transform water into a vehicle for creative stories. Every artist who gets on board the Lycian Princess can transform their idea into a real journey, putting their art into play to offer us an authentic living experience. I recount this journey. Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a crew? ”



The format provides for different ways of involving creatives on board, varying from case to case, subject to evaluation by the curator Riccardo Benedini and the ship-owner.


A)Interview on board

Each month the curator Riccardo Benedini selects creative stories that will be presented on board the gulet, in the form of short interviews at sea.

The interview method can be virtual, through Instagram live, or carried out in person, based on where the interviewee is at that time.

In this way, Benedini wishes to bring Venice closer, even if only virtually, to all those creatives scattered around the world, who were unable to attend the 59th International Art Exhibition in person. The interview consists of about ten questions, aimed at offering the listener a pill of positive inspiration. During the interview, the curator introduces the artist to the owner’s family and introduces him or her to the boat’s spaces where their work will later be hosted. It is often a completely new opportunity for the artist to face personally the element of water and the challenges it poses from a creative and exhibition point of view. The ratings that the artist and curator are able to obtain with this first virtual confrontation constitute the artist’s first “crew” and can evolve into the planned program of “thematic talks” over several episodes between the artist, curator, and owner. Based on the availability of the interviewee, the curator can schedule a real interview on board. This will be documented through a short video project and the drafting of an article with which Benedini introduces the artist or designer to an audience made up of gallery owners, companies, individuals, but also journalists, and influencers active in the culture and lifestyle sector.


B)Itinerant installation

Riccardo Benedini, in agreement with the owners, is available to evaluate on board projects of art installations, design objects or traveling exhibitions, if they are in harmony with the nature of the spaces and the navigation program of the gullet Lycian Princess. The beauty of this space is that it is constantly on the move, thanks to the short charters that are organized on board for individuals, companies, and brands. In this way, the artist can place his/her creations in an environment that, in addition to traveling in the summer to ever-changing ports of the Mediterranean, hosts people from all over the world every day in the heart of Venice. The spaces that the boat can offer to the creative’s imagination are varied: from the wooden walls of the six large guest cabins, to the internal lounge, up to the beautiful external living areas aft and bow, the immense deckhouse in front of the command area and even the sail of the gulet itself. The collaborations are aimed at transforming nautical furnishings, as well as the more technical objects, up to even the softest upholstery surfaces, such as sofas and cushions. Finally, the boat lends itself to all kinds of artistic performances, in line with the laws on safety and navigation in force. Therefore, based on the artistic project that you want to present, the curator outlines a cost and feasibility plan, combined with an offer of dates and possible itineraries to make the installation or performance itinerant. The project is accompanied by emotional storytelling curated by Benedini to transform the artist’s journey at sea into a real short film. The Gulet Lycian Princess thus presents itself as an excellent platform to differentiate the communication of those artists, galleries or companies who are looking for new and original approaches to tell their stories nowadays. Thanks to the mooring behind the Giardini della Biennale and his navigation program in the San Marco basin, Riccardo Benedini is able to guarantee very high visibility to every project he brings aboard the Lycian Princess gulet and transforming even a simple cultural visit into an unforgettable experience.


C)Artist in Residence

During the autumn and winter periods, when the gulet is moored permanently at the private port of Marina Santelena in Venice, possible artist residencies lasting up to one month are evaluated on board. The modalities of the residence may vary from case to case, based on the proposed project and the impact that the creative’s work would have on the spaces of the Lycian Princess.

For longer artist residency projects, the spring-summer period included, Riccardo Benedini personally oversees a circuit of residences spread throughout Italy, collaborating with private individuals, entrepreneurs and boutique hotels.



  • From 20 April to 25 May, the “Sculptor of the Imaginary” Giovanni Pinosio presents the “Allegory of the Sea” trilogy;
  • From 20 June to 25 July, the designer Annalisa Lago presents the resin furniture line “Floating Lounges” by Azimut Design;
  • At the end of each project, the artist on board the following month will be unveiled.

You can follow all the interviews by following the Instagram page of Riccardo Benedini’s website @ribenbenri

Artist on board, a residence for creatives travelling in the Mediterranean seas

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