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BOAT CHARTER
IN VENICE

Boating in Venice is the most valid mean to wander and discover the many natural and art treasures hidden in the charming Venetian lagoon

Article by Paolo Venanzangeli

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Nautica Magazine
n. 411, july 1996


THE SERENISSIMA SEA

Venice

When planning a sailing vacation not everyone takes into account the interesting possibilities offered by an area that privileges the historical and natural beauties over the stereotyped swimming vacation. Venice fits perfectly in this category: a vestige of the past times and a basilica can be hidden just around the corner, a rare perhaps endangered birds specie may nest nearby, everywhere history and tales have left their footprint.

Venice nautical chart Coming from the south the first landing will be at the river Po delta, specifically Porto Barricata, a wet basin located on the west bank at the Po della Tolle. This facility is particularly geared for offshore fishing and offers moorings to 300 boats with LOA up to 13 meters and water depth from 1 to 2.8 meters. After making good the outermost river's mouth ending at Punta della Maestra with its conspicuous point rendered by the Pila lighthouse on the left river's side, one reaches a large sized marina called and fitted with significant yachting structures. This facility is located on the southern side of the namesake island, on the right hand side of the Po di Levante river arm, is equipped with first class yachting facilities with 453 berths of which 50 are reserved to transit traffic. The permitted LOA is 25 meters while the water depth ranges between 2.8 and 4.0 meters.

Porto Levante is about 4 kilometers away from this river's mouth and has a wet basin for 130 boats, its entrance is however limited by a bridge spanning across it. Marina Nuova di Porto Levante sits on the left river side at about one and a half mile further inland with 100 berths for boats up to 10 meters LOA. The areas surrounding these facilities make for excellent excursions, better if supported by a local guide and riding the typical river flat boats or a pram. From here, Venice lagoon is a stone thrown away; several entrances are marked on the navigational charts as ports, in reality they are access channels marked by wooden clusters supporting the ports' navigational marking. From the the picturesque namesake town is easily reached. Berths in number of 150 for boats up to 18 meters in 3 meters water depth are found here. The Chioggia Inner Harbor has a water depth up to 3.5 meters, it is however permanently crowded with fishing boats and local minor crafts. The new marina instead, the Sporting Club with 70 berths and a permitted draught up to 3 meters, is very well organized and assisted.

A stop over at Chioggia is indispensable for those wishing to pick up and understand the true Venetian spirit, far from the tourist pressure. It is the home port to Italy's largest fishing fleet and as a welcome consequence, the place overflows with renowned seafood restaurants.

Malamocco port is the main entrance to the Venice lagoon with a channel leading directly onto Marghera. At Malamocco, the Alberoni marina sits at the right channel's hand with 60 berths in 2.5 meters water depth. To reach Venice, however, it is more convenient to enter through the Lido port. A careful study of the local Sailing Directions is recommended and particular attention should be paid to the current set that can reach here significant strength. Reaching Venice by boat is one of the most unforgettable experiences a sailor can have. Famous monuments, silhouetted against the sky, immediately transmit the recollection of splendid, glorious times of which the precious vestiges are the living proof. Yacht mooring can be had at only two marinas both managed by the local yachting club. Sant'Elena, reachable from both the Lido and Malamocco channels, is a private wet basin mostly reserved to the owners associated to the Diporto Velico Veneziano; sometimes however a mooring albeit a temporary one, can be found among the 225 berths, 15 meters LOA facilities set up here. San Giorgio is the home of Circolo della Compagnia della Vela, which recently threw the challenge for the America Cup with the good "il Moro di Venezia" boat. This facility offers 70 berths only but its position is unsurpassed: you practically moor in front of St. Marks square. Water depth here is 2.3 meters and entrance is from the west. Tronchetto is another location where preparations are under way for a new wet basin: it can take today 60/20 meters LOA boats in a water depth of 5 meters. Additional facilities within the Venetian lagoon are found at Fusina with 152 floating berths with 13 meters LOA and 300 additional shore storage. At Mestre, the Scafo Club in the Salso channel offers shelter to 340 / 13 meters LOA boats; the DEC wet basin another Mestre facility, fits 200 boats at their moorings and 500 ashore properly sheltered.

A particular mention should be made for Piave Vecchia, a channel port at the mouth of the Sile river where no less than five wet basins have been set up: two, Marina del Cavallino and Marina Faro on the left side and three, Darsena Faro, Nautica Dal Vi and the Tourist Port of Jesolo on the right hand river side. The local availability sums up to 1558 - 30 meters LOA berths with a maximum permitted draught of 3.5 meters.

Venice is really surrounded by series of first class mooring facilities offering the possibility to visit one of the world's wonders without having to bypass the island surrounding it, some like Burano, Murano and Torcello alive with a flourishing tourist activity, others totally abandoned but not less attracting like San Servolo, Santo Spirito housing the Agostinian Friars Order, San Clemente with its old quarantine station or, finally Poveglia whose monuments patrimony has been reducer to the spire bell tower of San Vitale.

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