Welcome to Venice and the Friuli region

Experience the beautiful and lively lagoon of Venice or the calm life along the inner waterways of the Friuli region.

The two Italian sailing areas of Venice and Friuli are like two beautiful but very different sisters. It’s impossible not to give in to their diverse charm. Venice is the cool big sister that is always busy. Here activity is bustling 24 hours a day. The Friuli region on the other hand is Venice’s calm counterpart. Here you’ll experience relaxed sailing to islands, canals and exciting cities that you can explore at your leisure.

The romantic city of Venice is a one of the world’s finest holiday destinations and the most famous canal cities in Europe and is built on 118 small islands. There is hardly anything more romantic than to arrive in Venice from the lagoon. From the deck of your boat you’ll have an impressive view of the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs as well as the port with the historic buildings and the famous gondolas.

Sail to Murano and experience the famous glassblowing workshops - or go to Burano where the finest lace is produced - and don´t forget Torcello with its impressive basilica. The resorts along the Lido offers swimming, and if you prefer more peace, then sail on the rivers Sile and Brenta to Padua, which is quite idyllic.

The Friuli region to the north of Venice is the place where you can relax and enjoy life on the water. Sailing on the canals you’ll reach small islands with cozy towns and exciting museums. If you like to swim you should sail to the famous places such as Lido di Jesolo. Here you can also play a game of golf at the popular course of Grado.


Riverboats in Venice

Venice & Friuli

Experience the beautiful canals of Venice and the fabulous lagoon or travel north and enjoy the relaxing holiday life in the Friuli region. No matter what you’re in for an extraordinary boating holiday when Italy is your destination.

Highlights in Venice & the Friuli region: 

  • The Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square in Venice
  • Venetian gastronomy, Renaissance art and culture
  • The museum of glass and the glass workshops of Murano
  • The charming island of Burano with its lace production
  • Fine sandy beaches of Jesolo and Lido
  • The spectacular bird and wildlife in the Po Delta - an area of outstanding natural beauty
  • The fish market in Chioggia
  • Impressive mansions along the river Brentt
Map of Venice

Practical information about sailing in Italy

Venice and the surrounding lagoon can be a challenging place to sail, thus having sailing experience is an advantage. But even if you don’t have any sailing experience you can easily choose Italy for your riverboat holiday and enjoy the canals and rivers outside of Venice at your leisure.

Sailing in Venice

There can be a lot of traffic on the waterways in and around Venice. This combined with the up to 1 m tide is the reason we only recommend sailing on the venetian waterways if you have previous sailing experience.

In Venice you’ll meet a lively and very interesting jumble of tourist boats, water buses, water taxis and commercial boats, all of which have unconditional priority. To manoeuvre here you’ll need complete control and constant vigilance!

The Venice lagoon is directly linked to the Adriatic Sea, and this accounts for large differences in the tides. Sailing out at sea is prohibited. At several places in the lagoon the water level is sometimes so low that you sail through narrow fairways marked “Briccola”. The system is easy to follow both in general and in the smaller or larger intersections. You receive a thorough introduction with pictures upon arrival and the system is also clearly described with pictures in the channel map book.

Be aware that you can’t sail on the inner canals of Venice such as Canal Grande.

Mooring and tides

Be aware of the up to 1 m tides in the lagoon when you moor the boat so that it’ll not suddenly stand on the ground at low tide or are inclined in the moorings at high tide - at the risk of damage to the boat. Be sure to moor the boat with sufficient slack adapted so that it can follow the tide up and down.

For Le Boat and Locaboat customers there are private mooring spots at multiple locations in the venetian lagoon. Payment is obligatory when you book your boat. There are a very limited number of public mooring spots and private marinas around Venice. And they can be very expensive.

When sailing in Italy you should only moor at the designated mooring spots. Some are free but often you’ll have to moor at a private marina where you need to pay a fee for your spot.

Locks and bridges

All the locks in this region are electric and operated by a lock keeper. When you need to pass a bridge, you’ll often need to call ahead a few minutes before you arrive to request the bridge to be raised or opened. You’ll find more information on both locks and bridges in the manuals aboard your boat. A lot of the locks and bridge will be closed during lunchtime, and some are fully closed on a specific weekday. Inquire at the base for changes and other things to be especially aware of.

Vaporettos and water taxis

Vaporettos: Water buses sailing in fixed scheduled service all day until approximately midnight. It pays to buy a voucher, valid for x number of trips or 24 or 48 h hours.

Water taxis: Small fast sailing boats that you just have to watch out for when sailing in the fairways.


No matter where you sail in Italy, you’ll find a lot of exciting shopping opportunities. Most cities and towns have at least one fixed market day which is always worth a visit. You’ll also find supermarkets, bakeries, butchers and pharmacies in multiple cities and towns along the way.

Be sure to ask at the base upon arrival so that you are all up to date on the possibilities along your chosen route.

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