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Il Burchiello. A romantic river cruise between Padua and Venice, to discover the Venetian villas on the Brenta Riviera

Monday, 14 February 2022 10:11
Il Burchiello

Every year from March to October an ancient 18th-century, Venetian burchiello barge offers romantic mini-cruises to discover the Venetian villas on the Riviera del Brenta. From Padua to Venice and vice versa this is an unforgettable trip through the art and history of the region. 

The burchiello was a finely wrought and decorated Venetian barge used to transport passengers. It had a wide wooden cabin, and three or four balconies, and was used by wealthy Venetians to get to the city from their villas in the countryside.

Just as it did in the past, today’s burchiello operates as a scheduled tourist service along the Riviera del Brenta, from Padua to Venice or vice-versa. This heirloom craft slowly cruises the Brenta waters while tourist guides on board tell about the history, the culture and the art of the villas built along the Brenta river.

Today the burchiello is a modern and comfortable riverboat. The cabin has comfortable sofas, air-conditioning, a bar and toilets, and from the panoramic deck passengers can enjoy the beautiful landscape.   

The programmes offer cruises from Padua to Venice (Padua, Stra, Dolo, Mira, Oriago, Malcontenta, Fusina, Venice) or from Venice to Padua (Venice, Fusina, Malcontenta, Oriago, Mira, Dolo, Stra, Padua), plus guided tours inside some of the Venetian villas, the famous and richly-frescoed summer dwellings of the 18th-century Venetian nobility

These charming mini-cruises pass through nine swivelling bridges and five locks, which are “water lifts” that enable the craft to rise or fall with the differences in the water level, which can be as much as ten meters between Padua and Venice. The cruise ends in Venice in the stunning marble scenario of St. Mark’s Basin.

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