About Venice and Friuli

Surrender to the pleasures of the Venetian Lagoon

The waters of Veneto, Italy, are like two different sisters. 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.

 

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Map showing where the Venice and Friuli boating region is in Italy

Find your bearings...

Venice and Friuli Region map

 = Le Boat Base           = Canal           = Navigable river           = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

History & Heritage

Venice is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Include time for it in your history holidays, and then cruise to Murano for its glassware, Burano for its lace and beautifully colourful houses, and Jesolo for its Villa Saccagnana. Tour Villa Pisani on the lovely Brenta Riviera.

Golf

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.

Swimming

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.

Gastronomy

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.

 

Useful information

A bit of background

More than 120 islands are 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. Checking out a Veneto Italy map shows that Venice is more than just a premiere city. It’s a much larger area collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. As you head north up the coast from Venice, you enter the Friuli region of Northeast Italy. This area is less travelled. 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!

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.

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 at 80 euros per week or 50 euros for a short-break supplement. In the Friuli region from our base in Precenicco, you’ll find a wider selection of moorings.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Hire of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demontration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • A compulsory moorings fee has been included in the price quoted. See compulsory costs for more details
  • Optional holiday extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • 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

Download our region guide

We've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

Interactive map of Venice and Friuli

  = Le Boat base       = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
Venetian Lion on St. Mark's Basilica

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.

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.

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.

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 glass

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.

Chioggia is a small island also called "Small Venice" beacause of its similarities. Discover this picturesque town and its all pedestrian town centre, where you will find numerous good restaurants with local specialities based on fresh fish.

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 marvellous historical centre with restored watermills, where small shops are selling food specialities. Have a walk along the pedestrian area, where there are many restaurants. You will also see old venitian villas that you may visit.

Have a walk in the beautiful Stra, especially along the canal where you will see beautiful venitian 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 vaste pool; originally built in 1721 by the Venetian Doge Alvise Pisani. In 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.

Jesolo is one of the 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 prominade is a paradise for shopping fans, with small artisan workshops and large boutiques on what is allegedly Europe's longest pedestrianised 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 the 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 artifact – 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 a 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 characterised 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...

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

Casale RETURN via Venice

Casale
Murano
Burano
San Erasmo
Venice
Casale

10 hr(s) of cruising

100km 2 lock(s) 3 nights

Casale RETURN via Venice

The magic of Italy enchants you, growing stronger by the moment! You guide your floating villa past Venice, taking in the impressive sight of St. Mark’s Square, and then you venture off to the Venetian islands where the pace is subdued and time seems to slow. A Little Venice Short Break river cruise on the Sile embodies the best of all worlds!

10 hr(s) of cruising

100km 2 lock(s) 3 nights

Casale RETURN via Venice & Chioggia & Jesolo

Casale
Treviso-Casier
Torcello
Murano
Burano
San Erasmo
Venice
Chioggia
Jesolo
Casale

22 hr(s) of cruising

140km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale RETURN via Venice & Chioggia & Jesolo

You cruise down the River Sile, and an awe-inspiring sight captivates you. Islands spangle the blue waters north of Venice, beckoning you to visit Murano and Burano. Soon you’re tied up at a dock and dining on fresh seafood in an osteria (café/bar). You lift a glass of vino, knowing you’re having the time of your life on a canal boat in Italy!

22 hr(s) of cruising

140km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale RETURN via Venice & Stra (Padua)

Casale
Treviso-Casier
Torcello
Murano
Burano
San Erasmo
Venice
Oriago
Dolo
Stra
Padova
Casale

16 hr(s) of cruising

200km 10 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale RETURN via Venice & Stra (Padua)

Palatial villas line the manicured shores of the Brenta Riviera near Stra, presenting an ever-changing view of where Italy’s rich and famous dwell in luxury. You tour the Villa Pisani and your jaw drops! But you’re not done yet! When you boat in Italy, your holiday travels can include fabulous Venice with its myriad historic sites, chic shops and 5-star Michelin-rated restaurants!

16 hr(s) of cruising

200km 10 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale to Precenicco

Casale
Jesolo
Caorle
Bibione
Lignano
Precenicco

30 hr(s) of cruising

220km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale to Precenicco

Threading the gentle rivers north of the islands in the Venetian Lagoon ushers you into an oasis of golden beaches where seagulls glide above the blue Mediterranean. You realise that a boat cruise in Italy can be so many things, and you’re happy for a laid-back holiday spent swimming, sunbathing, playing golf and enjoying the many amenities of Jesolo, Caorle and Bibione!

30 hr(s) of cruising

220km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Casale to Precenicco via Venice & Grado

Casale
Murano
Burano
San Erasmo
Venice
Jesolo
Caorle
Bibione
Lignano
Grado
Precenicco

25 hr(s) of cruising

150km 4 lock(s) 10 nights

Casale to Precenicco via Venice & Grado

The scenes and sounds of Venice flooded your senses! The grand canals, the incredible architecture and the hum of vitality made your blood flow faster, but now you’re ensconced at a quiet quay in the Venetian islands. When you boat in Italy, you’ll delight in the contrasts. Ahead of you are castles and ruins to explore, and beach resorts where you can play all day in the sun!

25 hr(s) of cruising

150km 4 lock(s) 10 nights

Casale to Precenicco via Venice & Brenta Riviera, Chioggia

Casale
Burano
San Erasmo
Venice
Chioggia
Oriago
Dolo
Stra
Padova
Jesolo
Caorle
Bibione
Lignano
Marano-Lagunare
Grado
Aquileia
Precenicco

40 hr(s) of cruising

250km 15 lock(s) 14 nights

Casale to Precenicco via Venice & Brenta Riviera, Chioggia

You wanted a holiday with a mix of experiences — the fun of historic Venice and the subtle charm of the Venetian islands, and that’s the beauty of a Dolce Vita Long Break canal boat hire! Leave the busy waters of the big city behind in favour of quiet seaside villages, seabirds and sand dunes, quaint shops and osterias (café/bars)!

40 hr(s) of cruising

250km 15 lock(s) 14 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Marano

Precenicco
Lignano
Marano-Lagunare
Precenicco

12 hr(s) of cruising

80km 0 lock(s) 3 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Marano

The distinctly country feel of the waters of Friuli fills you with serenity as you commune with Nature. You watch the birds, feel the warm breeze and smell the salty tang of the Adriatic. The sundeck becomes a popular place to enjoy a cruise in Italy! You soon discover that the lagoons and islands create a marvelous location for beautiful fishing villages and classy beach resorts.

12 hr(s) of cruising

80km 0 lock(s) 3 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Grado

Precenicco
Lignano
Marano-Lagunare
Grado
Aquileia
Precenicco

16 hr(s) of cruising

100km 2 lock(s) 4 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Grado

You fly into Treviso and spend time sightseeing in Venice, and then you begin your true Venetian short break holiday in the fabulous Friuli region north of the city, starting from Precenicco. Here you revel in a cruise in Italy, celebrating the unspoilt barrier islands and relaxing on the golden beaches of Adriatic resorts in Grado and Ligano.

16 hr(s) of cruising

100km 2 lock(s) 4 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Marano, Grado & Caorle

Precenicco
Lignano
Marano-Lagunare
Grado
Aquileia
Bibione
Caorle
Precenicco

25 hr(s) of cruising

170km 2 lock(s) 7 nights

Precenicco RETURN via Marano, Grado & Caorle

The Friuli region north of Venice is a place where you boat in Italy and never want to go home! As you cruise, serenity washes all your stress away. You stop at island towns, poke into small museums, and kick up your heels at Adriatic resorts in Jesolo. You play a round of golf at the highly rated course in Grado!

25 hr(s) of cruising

170km 2 lock(s) 7 nights
Added on 24 September 2018

Richard Geyer said

Everyone was pleasant and helpful. Great weather and a super boat.
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Casale - Casale
Elegance
Added on 12 September 2018

Rob George said

Good helpful advice and information and excellent prompt communication Great choice of trip -amazing sights and experience
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Casale - Precenicco
Magnifique
Added on 05 September 2018

Alex Drak said

Everything was organized well Everything was excellent!
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Casale - Casale
Minuetto 8+
Added on 29 August 2018

Sam Anderson said

This was our first canal boat trip and we give it a five. We rented a Caprice with another couple for a Casales (actually Casier where it is picked up) return trip in Italy. We arrived five hours before our friends did, so Gloria at front desk, was ever so helpful in giving us a space to leave our luggage and offering a ride from a local to the grocery store to provision. We decided to walk instead. Upon our return she gave us two bicycles to use while we waited for our friends and our boat. We did a two hour ride along the bike path and then used them again when our friends arrived to do more provisioning. We were given the boat an hour early and given time to practice moving the boat around and docking after our orientation. We are all sailors and own our own boats so are familiar with water travel but these boats react quite differently, so it was good to have the time to practice a bit. They do not offer that so ask!! The staff are very accommodating. The boats are very tired on the outside but ours was clean and comfortable and in good shape on the inside. It would be nice if a few amenities were included such as a bit of dish soap, salt and pepper, garbage bags and toilet paper. They are easily purchased but it would still be nice to start out with some of those basics. And the Caprice needs some sort of folding table that can be taken to the top deck. We did have a few issues with the batteries and charging our devices and the air conditioning. They were very helpful by phone and we were able to sort things out. The air never did work on the generator but we were able to survive without it. We left the dock by 5:00 and went to Casales for the first night. During the orientation it was a bit difficult to understand how the mooring process worked but after our first evening it was very clear as to how easy it really was. We had plenty of room in Burano and stayed there for two nights and used the Ferry Boat to get to Murano, leaving the boat in Burano. Then three nights in Vignole while we visited Venice and Torcello again by Ferry Boat. These are all must see places for sure. We stopped on our way to Venice at one of the restaurants along the Lido where you can park the boat and have a meal. The one we stopped at one just before Venice along the Lido. Can’t remember the name of it but it was red brick and we had one of our best meals there. Fresh fish caught locally and just a great atmosphere. All in all we give this a five because the trip was delightful in every way. When we got back to the base our onward flight had been cancelled and Gloria gave me her phone to use while we booked a new flight, because we could not get our phone to work to make the call to the airline. We have read a lot of bad reviews and were a bit skeptical about using Le Boat but we would definitely use them again. They have the most moorings we noticed and some of the other boat company’s did not seem to have moorings anywhere so not sure where those boats moor. We do find that there are times when people expect things to ‘be like at home’ and when travelling this is not always the case. Sometimes you need to ‘go with the flow’ and not get so stressed that you ruin your vacation with unrealistic expectations. Everything was as good as expected or better.
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Casale - Casale
Caprice
Added on 18 July 2018

Andre Clark said

Great communication, staff willing to make the best out of each cruise, wide boat range (for every budget), well chosen rivers and canals. The trip from Casale to Precenicco is full of options, the sights from the boat are beautiful (most of the route is in open areas) and range from natural rivers and protected areas to wide lagoons and mid sized cities. Venice and the nearby islands are as impressive as expected. The beaches at the end of July where hot and easy for the children. A great difference from our experiences in France was that we couldn't just moor anywhere, we had to use private marinas almost every night. The marinas are very confortable and the power outlets were very welcome, without them the air conditioning doesn't run.
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Casale - Precenicco
Minuetto 6+
Added on 02 July 2018

Stephanus Lafras Uys said

We would definitely recommend LeBoat fora relaxing holiday. It was wonderful cruising the canals and visiting towns we would have missed if travelling by car. A 7 day trip worth the while
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Casale - Precenicco
Minuetto 6+
Added on 02 June 2018

James Stewart said

The transfer from the airport was easy to arrange on arrival at Venice Airport. The journey was not long(about 30 mins) the staff at the base were very helpful and arranged with a local driver to take us to the nearby supermarket for provisions. So getting afloat was simple. The journey had only 1 lock (automatic) the lagoon is great. We moored at the le boat sites on Burano and Choggia and at the new marina at Venice, all trouble free. The food was great and good value, every where! WE have had great trips on the french canals and rivers , but this was even better. We expect to go again from here, but to visit other places (Padova and Jessolo) Hopefully next year perfect way to see Venice and the lagoon
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Dear James,
Thank you for your five star review.
We are pleased to hear that you love Venice as much as we do! Our customers' feedback is very important to us and we will share your comments with the Base teams.
We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.
The Le Boat Team
Casale - Casale
Royal Mystique A
Added on 02 May 2018

James Rich said

This was the best trip/vacation ever! The entire staff were wonderful. They were thourough and explained everything very well. They were also very friendly and professional The boat was very comfortable, and very roomy. There were 5 of us, and we never felt cramped. We were able to navigate the Sile River, and through the lock with ease. The mooring in Vingole was extremely convenient as it was just steps from the water bus to Venice. We loved the experience.
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Casale - Casale
Mystique
Added on 02 May 2018

William Long said

The booking process was easy and when I had to make a change, well dealt with. We had a mechanical fault on the boat which was efficientl put right. The main reason is the cruising area which must be one of the best we have been to. It had much in common with the Venice lagoon, but was much less crowded, and there was a good combination of river and canal and open water. The bird live was good and in the Autumn must be spectacular. Le Boat recommend it for beginners. I would give a word of caution here: you ceratinly need a basic knowledge of how tides work; we did not go aground, but probably only because we saw someone ahead of us had! Also, there is an almost total lack of casual stopping places; you can only tie up at established moorings and longer passages require careful planning. We went to Concordia Sagittaria which was well worth it but it took five hours from Lignano Riviera and a strong wind prevented us from stopping for lunch at Mazarak. Our experience was that it took longer to get to places than the guide indicated. You need to be prepared also for some sudden and violent thunderstorms.
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Dear Mr LongThank you for taking the time to share your experience. We are sorry to learn you faced a couple of problems in your cruise. Thank you for your comments. Your feedback is very important to us and we value your opinions and we hope to welcome you back on board with Le Boat soon. Best wishes, The Le Boat team
Precenicco - Precenicco
Caprice
Added on 19 April 2018

Thomas Wood said

Wow, what a magical 9 x days holiday sailing around the Venetian Lagoon! Our boat was just right, highly recommend having a “fly bridge”. Our family were so impressed that we are seriously considering booking next years holiday cruising down the Canal du Midi. Wonderful relaxing holiday
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Casale - Precenicco
Minuetto 6+