1. Padua to Venice Boat Cruise of the Brenta Riviera
In ancient times, Padua and Venice were connected by typical river boats called Burchiello®. The wooden boats featured elegant cabins and 3 or 4 balconies and were driven by the wind or oars, before being drawn by horses from Fusina to Padua. Recreate this journey on a full-day mini cruise from the heart of Padua to Venice San Marco. Departing from the historical Burchiello® Stairway at Portello, you will cruise along the original course of the 18th-century Venetian Burchielli, passing the gorgeous Villa Giovanelli at Noventa Padovana. Relax on board the luxury boat, with open-air deck to soak up the views. Disembark at Stra for a guided tour of the frescoed rooms of Villa Pisani, an imposing Villa surrounded by a monumental Park, one of the most beautiful in Italy with its long pool and grand Stables. Continue towards Dolo, enjoying historic illustrations of the different villas seen from the river. Pass through Dolo Lock and on towards Mira. Just past Mira Lock you will stop at Villa Widmann for a guided tour of the 18th-century mansion that belonged to a noble family of Persian origin. Cruise to Oriago, where you will stop for lunch in the historic "Burchiello" restaurant. Next, navigate to Malcontenta, cruising past villas, villages and swing bridges. Upon arrival in Malcontenta, stop to explore one last villa; the regal Villa Foscari, designed by Palladio and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the edge of the lagoon, it was within easy access of Venice for its powerful Venetian owner. Finally, cruise through the Moranzani Lock to journey across the lagoon, and dock at San Marco, Riva degli Schiavoni, at the “Pontile della Pietà” landing stage.