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Boating Holidays In Venice

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Cruise past St. Marks in your own boat - that is special!

It may come as a surprise that you can cruise the Venice Lagoon in your own self-drive boat, but what a fantastic idea! The Lagoon, which surrounds the indescribable riches of Venice, is formed by narrow islands which separate and shelter its calm waters from the Adriatic beyond. From our bases at Chioggia, Casale and Precenicco, you can cruise right up to the marvellous sights of Venice itself - St.Mark's Basilica and the Ducal Palace. Exclusive private moorings are available near Venice, from which you can link up with the excellent water taxi system (vaporetti), taking you quickly to the famous sights. The Venetian Lagoon can be busy at peak periods, so some previous cruising experience would be advantageous.

Cruising options are plentiful. Apart from the obvious charms of the Venice Lagoon, there's Chioggia to the south, which is known as 'Little Venice'. Chioggia is a marvellous, colourful town, linked by bridges to the mainland. Its early morning fish market is legendary. The Po Delta to the south is a wildlife haven. Bird watching, hiking, fishing and swimming are all possibilities in its wetlands and salt marshes and there are beaches for relaxation.

To the west of Venice you can cruise the Brenta Canal to Padua, passing the impressive summer villas of the Italian gentry. Padua is one of northern Italy's finest historical cities with a wealth of artistic and architectural treasures. To the north of Venice you can cruise the meandering, tree-lined River Sile up to Treviso with its attractive Piazza dei Signori and castle. After visiting the lagoon islands of Murano, famous for glass-blowing, Burano, the lacemaking island, and Torcello with its beautiful cathedral, you can continue close to the Adriatic coast passing the beach resorts of Jesolo, Lido and Caorle. Enjoy a lunch at the many fishing harbour restaurants. Caorle has a historic centre with colourful houses looking out on to its ancient streets and piazzas. Further east make for the gentle River Stella and the Marano Lagoon, which provides wildlife and bird watching opportunities.

You may well wish to spend more time in Venice after your cruise. We can help with hotel suggestions and with planning your extended visit.

Places of Interest

Bibioni - This pretty seaside town has recently became a popular holiday resort. Away from the beaches and sun loungers is a more secluded site - the Bibioni Thermal Spa. Tucked away in a forest with views across the Adriatic, its a pleasure palace for the mind, body and soul with its saunas, Turkish baths and hydrotherapy pools.

Caorle - Caorle is a small town, but is frequented by tourists in all seasons. The old town centre is still structured as a little Venetian corner, with its coloured houses, narrow alleys and town square. The cylindrical bell tower attached to the cathedral was built in the 11th century and is one of only a few examples left in the world.

Chioggia - The rebuilding of Chioggia in the 9th century was based on the salt trade, with vast salt pans created along the shores of the Adriatic. Chioggia is a miniature version of Venice, with a few canals, chief among them the Canale Vena, and the characteristic narrow streets known as calli. Chioggia has several medieval churches, much reworked in the

period of its greatest prosperity in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Jesolo - The town is a famous seaside resort in Italy with 5 million people coming to the town every year to see its 15 kilometres of beaches. In the evening the town comes alive with bars, music halls and an amusement park which stays open till 1am in summer months!

Padova - The city is picturesque, with a dense network of arcaded streets opening into large communal piazze, and many bridges crossing the various branches of the Bacchiglione, which once surrounded the ancient walls like a moat. The city is home to the world renowned University of Padua which is almost 800 years old and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers. The Scrovegni Chapel is Padua's most famous sight. It houses a remarkable collection of frescoes which were completed in 1305.

Treviso - The city is home to the clothing retailer Benetton, who have sponsored not only many of the citys sports clubs, but also the parks and gardens within the city. There are many examples of buildings left after the Byzantine rule including the church of San Francesco and the Loggia dei Cavalieri, which has been used as a meeting place since the early 13th century.

Venice - It is impossible to summarise Venice in just one paragraph! The city is a wealth of stunning architecture, history and scenes of day to day life. It is a group of 118 small islands with the entire city listed as a World Heritage Site. At the heart of the city is San Marco where many of Venices famous landmarks lie including St Marks Square, St Marks Basilica and the Doges Palace. Just as famous is the Grand Canal which is a hot bed of activity throughout the day. Although you cant take your vessel along many of the canals, you can moor within the Venice Lagoon before transferring to a Vaporetti (local water bus) to see the sights.

Beyond the architecture the city is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

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