If you’ve ever walked through the maze of Melbourne’s laneways, you’ve seen the great little cafés and restaurants, the odd gallery, and people everywhere who look cool. You’re left with the impression that in this maze there’s some extraordinary stuff happening around you, but you just haven’t been invited. Bernadette Alibrando (or Bernie as she’s known), runs tours of these very laneways, studios, nooks and crannies.
“YES, I KNOW THIS IS A SOPHISTICATED CULTURAL TOUR. BUT DON’T FORGET TO DO A SPOT OF RETAIL THERAPY WHILE YOU’RE AT IT!” – Catriona Rowntree
Bernie has been in the art industry for the past ten years and knows all the lurks and perks. She prefers that you get to understand and appreciate these artists by visiting their studios and seeing them work, so while she’ll show you galleries, what she really wants is for you to see behind the scenes. Each tour is unique, going wherever Bernie thinks is the best to see at the moment, and afterward you’ll sample fantastic wines and cheeses in one of those great little hidden laneway bars. There you can relax and ask Bernie a whole lot more questions, which you most certainly will have. After all, you’re cool now. These lanes don’t seem quite so intimidating anymore, do they?
WHERE // Each tour starts from a secret place in one of Melbourne’s laneways. Cost is $98 (including everything, along with a “starter pack”), 0412 005 901 or www.walktoart.com.au for more info.
DID YOU KNOW? // Melbourne has more groovy artists studios tucked away in its laneways and side streets than Brooklyn, New York.