Canal Boat Holidays Italy
Surrender to the pleasures of Venice and Friuli with your own private boat on a self-drive basis.
NO experience necessary as you will be taught to sail!
Venice and Friuli
Canal Boat Holidays Italy – The Le Boat cruising ground in Italy is like two different sisters. A boating holiday in Venice bustles with glitz and the action doesn’t stop. But there’s a quieter sister waiting to welcome you on river cruises in Italy, and she’s just as beautiful. Laid-back isles and seaside canals provide a tranquil setting for some quiet times. Rivers thread inland to intriguing cities and towns, following ancient routes once frequented by Casanova and Lord Byron, for you to explore at your own pace. A Venice river cruise or a break in Friuli is effortlessly romantic and a delight to discover.
Canal boat holidays Italy – Venice opens you up to more than 120 islands, ensconced within the beautiful Venetian Lagoon. Sand bars and barrier beaches protect the shallow waters from the open Adriatic, creating the largest wetlands in the entire Mediterranean and one of Europe’s richest habitats for birds and other marine life. Venice is more than just a premier city; it is a much larger area collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. As you head northeast from Venice on your canal boat, you enter the Friuli region of Northeast Italy. On the way, you pass the Sile, Piave, Livenza, and Stella rivers. Each is distinct in character, playing host to wetlands, woodlands, and sandy beaches. The little cousins of the Venetian Lagoon create an idyllic setting, one that makes you want to linger and enjoy!
TOWNS & PLACES OF INTEREST
Discover Treviso, an old medieval town for a well deserved break. Stop here to discover the numerous winding streets, before slipping into a good restaurant and tasting the local specialities like radicchio, the red salad.
Please Note: Treviso is not accessible by boat but can easily be reached by bike or taxi from Casier.
Casier (Casale Base)
Casier is a traditional town with a lovely historic church and pedestrian square. Across from the public docks is the Burci Cemetery which hosts traditional Venetian wooden cargo boats, abandoned here 50 years ago. They are easily visible thanks to a network of wooden footbridges.
Casale-Sul-Sile is a beautiful town aside Treviso that you may access by bicycle or car. Visit here the great natural park of Sile River and its marvelous landscapes ; a perfect mix between silence and beauty.
Torcello is a welcoming island that used to be very important and populated in the past. Now, it is a peaceful island with beautiful monument to visit, such as the great basilica Santa Maria Assunta. Come here to find beauty and quietness.
Mazzorbo is linked to Burano by an old, wooden footbridge. It’s best known for Venissa, the ancient estate encircled by medieval walls which has been restored by the Bisol family, a family of winemakers. Renowned for making the best Prosecco in Italy, they have now introduced a vineyard to Mazzorbo.
In Burano, discover the multi-coloured houses made in an artistic mosaic style. You will also enjoy the visit of the laces museum and manufactures . Don’t forget to taste the Buraneo biscuit, irresistible typical sweet of the island made with butter.
San Erasmo is a peaceful and shining island, perfect for cycling. Along your ride, discover the Torre Massimiliana, an old stronghold built by Napoleon to defend the lagoon. Rest here along the unique beach of the lagoon, which is marvelous. A part of Venice’s wine is made here. Why not taste it?
Murano is a wonderful city to visit. Come and appreciate the charming basilica Santi Maria e Donato, built in the seventh century. Stay a little to discover the particular local and coloured architecture. You should stay here tonight : the canal banks are just marvelous during the night.
Venice (Must See)
Venice is a jewel of history and architecture. Come in and discover one of the most beautiful places in the world, famous for its festivals and sailing along the numerous canals. Have a walk downtown and discover the numerous gorgeous monuments. You will need your camera.
Chioggia is a small island also called “Small Venice” because of its similarities. Discover this picturesque town and its all pedestrian town centre, where you will find numerous good restaurants with local specialties based on fresh fish.
Renowned for its shoe production, Louis Vuitton’s manufacturing plant is based in the town, and also displays contemporary pieces from the Louis Vuitton art collection in its gallery.
Oriago is the first town of the Brenta Canal from Venice to Padova. Discover here a particular building, the villa Pisani “Malcontenta”, designed by Andrea Palladio as a summary of the Palladian Style.
Come to Dolo and discover its marvelous historical centre with restored watermills, where small shops are selling food specialties. Have a walk along the pedestrian area, where there are many restaurants. You will also see old Venetian villas that you may visit.
Have a walk in the beautiful Stra, especially along the canal where you will see beautiful Venetian villas. The city is known for its villa Pisani “La Nazionale”, which is a national monument. 168 rooms are fully painted by Venetian famous artists, immersed into a big garden with monumental stables and a natural maze and a vast pool; originally built in 1721 by the Venetian Doge Alvise Pisani. In the past, Napoleon lived here.
Visit Padova, a shining and verdant city, and discover San Antonio Cathedral, built in the 13th century in honour of the presence of Saint Antony. Have a walk across the “Prato della Valle”, a magnificent pedestrian round square close to an open-air museum with all ancient sculpture adorning the water canals of the square.
Lido di Jesolo
Jesolo is one of Italy’s few unpretentious tourist resorts, humming with shops selling buckets and spades, neon arcades, and crazy golf courses. The long beach is a firecracker of fun with events, games, sports, colours, and lights and the promenade is a paradise for shopping fans, with small artisan workshops and large boutiques on what is allegedly Europe’s longest pedestrianized shopping area.
Travel to Caorle and chill out in its beautiful all pedestrian town center and its numerous brightly coloured houses and good restaurants. You will have here a great chance to walk along the lagoon and admire the wonderful landscapes.
Concordia Sagittaria is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a feast of Roman treasures and artifacts – not least the amazing mosaic uncovered and on display near the center of town. Concordia makes for a pleasant and worthwhile detour with a lovely collection of good restaurants in the pedestrian area close to the moorings.
3 km from Concordia Sagittaria, and reachable by bike, Portogruaro is a charming town, with a big pedestrian area full of shops, bars, and restaurants. You’ll also enjoy the watermills, which have been fully restored and are in working order, and traditional Venetian bars. And for those interested in the local history, don’t miss the fascinating roman archeological museum.
Bibione is a large seaside resort, and also a welcoming and nice medieval town to walk in. In front of the mooring, you will find restaurants and bars. A good occasion to have a relaxing walk along the shore.
Famous as one of the best summer destinations in Italy for fun and entertainment, Lignano is packed with good facilities and amusements. Enjoy a day on the beach or take a walk along the river Tagliamento, with its crystal light blue water and pristine white sand which is carried by the river from the Carnia Alps.
Precenicco is a nice welcoming town. Come in and discover its medieval town center, with its numerous restaurants and bars.
Marano Lagunare is a typical fisherman old town with a nice a restored millenary tower leading the skyline. You will find a nice fish market downtown. Discover here the particular “Isola delle Conchiglie”, a small island characterized by swampy vegetation and with a fish restaurant. This place is famous for the large presence of nice shells to catch!
Aquileia is a city full of archeological areas. Moor here to have a walk among the numerous ancient ruins and discover its history and its great Roman past.
Grado is joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land and has a graceful Venetian style historic town centre. Here, you will have the chance to wander through the alleyways and squares flanked by picturesquely cluttered fishermen’s houses.
Canal Boat Holidays Italy is the perfect boating region for:
History and Heritage Boffins
The Friesland-Amsterdam region is replete with history and heritage, especially in Amsterdam and Utrecht! Check out Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, the Royal Palace and Dom Square! In historic Utrecht, don’t miss the tour of Stadskasteel Oudaen, a fortified house turned into a brewery!
There are first-rate golf clubs abound in Veneto to inspire golf weekends on your canal boat cruises in Venice. Tee off at the Golf Club Villa Condulmer near Casale. It’s a super 18-hole course set on a palatial estate. The course at Grado is one of Italy’s best.
Italy is known worldwide for its fantastic cuisine! In addition to pizza, pasta and gelato, sample delicious antipasti creations, amazing bruschetta and fresh fish and seafood. Combine with fine Italian wines for a dining heaven. Alternatively, stroll the colourful markets and buy local produce for a delicious meal on board.
Relax in the warm sunshine on the golden beaches of Adriatic resorts. Take a dip in the sea to cool off or enjoy a refreshing swim in a pool. The waters of the Friuli region are particularly inviting for lagoon swimming. Grado should top your list.
FAQ - Frequently asked Questions
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A brief history of the cruise area
In around 400 A.D. barbarians from Northern Europe swept into Italy, raiding and pillaging as they came. Some inhabitants fled to the islands off the mainland of present-day Venice. The open water afforded some protection. The settlement thrived on fishing and trading, and by the mid-1400s it was at the height of its power. It was known as the Queen of the Adriatic. The array of 150 canals and 400 bridges in the city make it one of the most unusual places in the world.
When cruising in the Venetian Lagoon near Venice, traffic can be quite heavy. Thus, some previous boating experience is recommended. The waters of the Friuli region are much less crowded and better suited for beginners
All the lift bridges and locks on the Venetian Lagoon and the surrounding waterways are automatic. You will find wooden posts (briccole) marking the channels for cruising.
Opening hours: Automatic opening on demand,
Public holidays: Locks are open all the time (inc. Bank Holidays).
Brenta river locks closed on Mondays.
Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your holiday plans.
When you’re near Venice, you can only moor in designated public mooring places. Space is quite limited, especially in the busy summer season. Take a water taxi (vaporetto) to your tourist destination in the Venetian Lagoon instead of hassling over a place to park the boat.
When travelling from Casale, exclusive private moorings are available for Le Boat customers. These moorings are located on Mazzorbo (Burano), Vignole (for Venice) and in Chioggia – areas which are well connected with the public transport (the famous water bus called Vaporetto) to help you visit central venice and all the surrounding islands. They do not have access to water or shore power and availability is limited – they are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. This fee will be automatically added, as a cost, to your Italy booking and is included in the prices quoted on our website when applicable.
In the Friuli region from our base in Precenicco, you’ll find a wider selection of moorings.
Getting to the Le Boat Bases
What is included in the price?
- Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
- A fully equipped kitchen
- Towels and linen for all passengers
- A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
- Technical support
- On-board maps and visitor information
- Passage through locks
What is NOT included?
- Optional holiday extras
- Boat damage waiver
- Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear, and tear) – charged by the engine hour.
- Travel to and from the base(s)
- Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
- Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
- Food and drink
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