When the Serenissima allowed its citizens to possess land on the mainland in 1345, many aristocrats used this occasion to build impressive estates along the Brenta Canal. Thus arose about 2,000 different types of villas between the 15th and 18 Century, that were used in the summer: the so-called Villa Veneta on the Brenta.
Venice to Padua on the waterway
This channel presented itself as an ideal extension of the Grand Canal, which was made possible by amalgamation of various rivers and existing canals. So the rich Venetians reached their summer residences comfortably on their boats (Burchielli). These ships once were moved by muscles, later towed by horses.
These cruises were fascinating and amusing, they celebrated and dined on the ships or in the villas that line up at the shore. But like so many things, these pleasures soon were discontinued after the Republic had been conquered by Napoleon.
About 50 years ago the Ente Provinciale per il Turismo di Padova resumed the boat traffic on the Brenta so that we can sail again this picturesque waterway.
The Batelli del Brenta bring the interested tourists from Padova to Venice and stop by the most famous villas for you to visit. During the cruise the ship passes nine turning bridges and through five locks. These locks, called conche or porte, are real water-lifts and overcome a water level difference of up to 10 meters.
To get back to the departure point you have to take a local transport. So catch a train or bus.
The shipping company I Batelli Brenta runs from 24th March to 28 October 2012 with motor vessels for 100 to 200 passengers, or for 25 to 100.
• Closed on Mondays
• Range: between Padua and Venice, and vice versa.
• Duration: full day from 9:00 am until about 18.00 clock clock (with stops at three villas in the old mills in Dolo and lunch at a restaurant on the Riviera del Brenta, optional dinner)
• cabins, bar, large panoramic bridge
• Adults from € 89.00, Seniors (65) from € 74.50;
• Adolescents (12 - 17) € 56.00; (6-11) € 40.00; Children (0-5) free
Half Day Tour
• Adults from € 51.00, Seniors (65) from € 40,50;
• Youth (6-17) € 40.00, children (0-5) free
• Departure Padua: lock delle Porte Contarine
• Venice Departure: Bacino di S. Marco
For more information chech out their website.