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Can you drive one of these babies up the Grand Canal?
Maybe. I was (as a non-commercial/gvmt motorized vessel) forbidden to travel the Canal Grande during normal business hours, but could do it later in the day and evening. I often ignored this. But if you speed, you're screwed. There are radar guns. Authorities watch for anyone making a wake, as it hurts the bldgs.

I really advise a person who is new to boats and Venice to rent a water taxi instead.


There is a God, and he apparently can be kind!

My gondola rowing instructor took me and my wife and son just a few hundred yards to where we let her and our infant son out at the Grande Canale. Unfortunately, we passed he San Traveso (always spell this wrong. Am I on track?) squero (boat building, maintenance shop) and got some stres from the workers and gondoliers checking on their gondolas. Even thought the trainer we were in had no Ferro (the distinctive bow iron work s you see on some editions of Jan/Janice Morris' "The World of Venice", and no seat... The instructor got the word to not let it happen again. He was close to cutting in on the Gondoliering business. This rental thing is a great and welcome surprise, especially if all the folks were experienced like Norman and I... I don't care right now, I want it! The bad part is it sounds so American; pay the man, turn the key and your a Captain!
Yeah, I know what you mean about the American thing. Look at me mom, I'm driving a boat! But it's still cool, and I'm incredibly stoked it exists. I probably would have bought a crap boat and outboard and donated it to a monastary again otherwise after a couple/few weeks. I guess it's the friars' loss.

marc gogarty

Hello, i have enjoyed reading your stuff

i read an article in some sunday broadsheet or other where the journo rented a small
dinghy with an outboard.

i have been sailing and motor boating for years - even piloted a waterbus on the regents canal in london

can you recommend anyone in venice who migh tloan me one

dream dream dreeam

No question that if I knew this person, I'd be borrowing the boat, too. A small boat with an outboard is all I need. Please let me know if you find a humble boat for rent/to borrow.


I too have read about hiring a dinghy in Venice (in the Weekend Australian, I think). We visit often, and I can think of nothing nicer than being able to potter out into the lagoon under our own, well, not steam, but you know what I mean. I'd be delighted to hear more. We have rented a flat in Cannaregio in late April and have no idea about laws as to mooring, but even to rent a dinghy (aka a tinny where I come from) for a day would be bliss.

Best wishes,



I'm in the same boat as Jude - I'd love to rent a tiny dinghy! Anybody have any news or ideas regarding this?


Bram van Scharen

I would love to experience this as well!!!
I'm considering to rent one week a mid class as well.
Can anyone provide me more direction for other things to think about?
For example; what does it cost to stay in the harbour? Can you "park" the boat on the canal grande?
Finding a place to moor your boat in Venice is a trip. You absolutely will never tie up your boat on the Canal Grande ... in fact, it is most likely illegal for you to even take a craft down there these days, as a non resident pleasure boater. There are virtually no 'free parking zones"in Venice, and the use of someone else's "posto barca" can result in having your boat cast off into a canal, or worse.

Last I checked, the restaurant La Zucca will let you tie up your boat there while you had dinner (I did that once). There are, mercifully, marinas ... one at San Giorgio, another in Castello. Check online for rates, they are sure to be published.

Once you get outside Venice proper, there are lots of great places to moor and explore. It's still a logistical challenge, to be sure, but begging and charming skills are useful. (Italian language skills, to say the least, are handy). I had a killer mooring spot in Caorle tied next to a crusty old clam fisherman's boat.

Get a couple high quality charts of the lagoon. There's the official Laguna Nord and the Laguna Sud charts which are indispensible. Get them from Mare di Carta ... the Venetian nautical bookstore. They speak some English ... they are at www.maredicarta.it/ .

To rob Nike: Just Do It.


Kay T.

This brought back memories of when I visited Venice while in the US Navy. Itally in general was very lovely.
Kay T.

Tim Heymans


I've been reading your posts. As a matter of fact I'm looking to rent a little boat too, preferably a small classical rowing boat. Does anybody have any clue where I might find one of these??


Truck Rental

Oh I love boating in Venice! you are so lucky to have found this solution- my only problem is that I simply cannot sleep in a boat- I honestly tried about 4 times and got so sick every time, being on a bout awake for 20 hours straight doesn't bother me one bit, but I just can't sleep in these lovely rocking things :)

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i like this part of the blog:"Ever since I donated my little boat to the monastery of the Armeni when we stopped living in Venice in 1999, I've been longing to get back out on the lagoon. But the padre at the monastery said that after I left, the boat foundered and the engine was ruined, so there's nothing for me to tool around in. I've stayed out from behind the tiller in all my visits since 1999, and I have to tell you, I really miss it. " is very good


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Wow, I can think of nothing nicer than being able to potter out into the lagoon under our own. I'd be delighted to hear more.

Ben Cliff


didi you try venicehouseboat.it?

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