lagoons of the veneto

It has been suggested that we call ourselves   rowgue rowing adventures  and this is one that definitely fits the bill!

Venice is the final, grand, chapter in a history of people finding protection in the shelter of the complex fabric of islands, grasslands, canals and sandflats. We will start in Grado, an early seat of the patriarchate of the Veneto, and wind our way past monasteries and private islands, through bird and fishing preserves to end in spectacular Venice for the Vogalonga! There is an option to row the Vogalonga if you wish.

        Only 13 seats available!  All the details are below: scroll down and each tab will bring up the appropriate information. We expect this trip to be very popular, so if you would like to join us, the details and costs tab will allow you to put a deposit so that we hold a spot for you. If you have any questions, please call or e-mail us!

Waterways and Boats

                               Grado lagoon

We will be starting in ancient Grado in the province of Fruili Veneto and rowing approximately 130km (depending on how much we wander....) through the Grado lagoon, connecting by canals to the northern venetian lagoon and then on to Venice. We will row in a combination of channels, canals and open marshlands. Some channels are large and well travelled by "motoscafi", many shallow and only available to rowers. There are abandoned island monasteries, traditional fishing huts, and small agricultural concerns.

The Marano Grado lagoon is an extraordinary ecosystem in which a large territory is protected in natural preserves. Leaving this first lagoon, we will use a network of river deltas and canals running just inland from the very popular wide beaches and pinelands to make our way to the northern venetian lagoon, and navigate all the way to Venice.

                      sat venice


touring quadWe will be rowing touring coxed quads. Coxing is very agreable though not so athletic, so typically we rotate through the position and enjoy the scenery. We will be finding our way as we go, armed with our eyeballs, charts and directions, so the coxswain will be a vital part of the equipage.

Since we will be rowing between 20 and 35 kmcoxswain everyday, this tour is approriate for experienced scullers, in good physical condition.


This is not our exact boat, but an image from our trip on the Douro last year, to give you an idea of a touring quad. They are stable and roomy, and we will be able to switch through the positions.

signsWe will typically row morning and afternoon, picnicking or stopping at a simple restaurant for lunch. It is impossible to know all the little islands and hidden charms of the lagoons, and this will truly be a discovery tour. The lagoons will offer opportunity for impromptu stops: be forewarned that Karen will try to bring the boats to shore wherever possible and visit anything historical or abandonned. This can be discussed! we will be a small group (3 boats only) which gives us great flexibility. 
 Please refer to the daily schedule for more details... and to the accommodations tab for more on the food and wine!


Rest and Restoration...

The italians have perfected the farm hospitality format: the "agriturismo". They vary from the very rustic to the quite luxurious, and always treat their guests to an evening meal made with their own farm products. Isolated on the lagoon, and often reachable only by water, they are typically quite small, which is why the size of this trip is so limited. A few of these inns are so small that we will be asking single rowers to share a room.



Grado was a popular 19th C beach town with the Austrians while they occupied the Veneto, and it is still a thriving beach and spa town. When the nearby roman port of Aquilea was threatened in the middle ages thehotel population sought refuge in Grado, which was easier to defend, and the historical town is still very special. We will be staying in a lovely hotel of that era for our first night.




From there we will stay on an island in the lagoon in a small inn whose popularity stems from their seafood restaurant.


then in two agriturismo farms set back from the beach communities between the Grado lagoon and the Venice lagoon.

valgrande twin outside hall



Then, as we enter into the northern venetian lagoon, we will stay in a typical venetian farmhouse on our own private island, where if we have any strength left, we can bike, fish or kayak, and discover the fish farm and orchard.These farms are the suppliers of Venice, and if you have ever admired the bounty of the Rialto market, you now see where it has come from.



Finally in Venice we return to our favorite neighborhood, Cannareggio, in a spacious apartment. There will be time to explore Venice and cheer on the VogaLonga, or row in it if you choose.

We are associating with our friends from Germany, with whom we rowed the Vogalonga in the past. They are providing us for the boats for this trip and if you choose to participate in the Voga, we will be rowing with their group, and with their help.

pastaAll your meals are included on this trip, we supply all breakfasts, lunches and dinners with the exception of lunch on your free days in Venice. Breakfasts will be in the hotel, lunches will be either a picnic or a simple meal in local restaurants. Dinners will prepared by our hosts at the agriturismo, primarily with produce grown in situ or locally. This is truly an opportunity to enjoy italian food as the locals do, and be forewarned that fish is a staple of the venetian diet. You won't get it any fresher!



The Veneto has a long tradtion of crisp light white wines, such as Prosecco and Pinot grigio, and these are so pleasant that they qualify as hydration. There are also wonderful red Barolos and Valpolicella from the Veneto. Wine is, as always, included at lunch and dinner.


Location and travel


You will fly in and out of Venice airport, which has excellent service from the states, and is a real treat to fly into. We will help you organise the transfer into Grado.

The google map below shows our approximate route. Please refer to the schedule for more information


Our Schedule


Sunday May 28th: We will meet at 4pm at the hotel to walk over to the rowing club and rig and organize boats. There will be no rowing on this day.
There is a possibility of a morning visit to Aquileia, the very impressive ruins of the roman port city. The afternoon will be available for wandering the old city of Grado ,taking advantage of the town's spa facilities or losing your jet lag at the beach. Get together dinner in a Grado old town restaurant.

Monday May 29th: We will row approximately 12 km in the northern Grado lagoon, visiting the marian sanctuary of San Barnaba, and then crossing under the bridge road which now connects Grado to the mainland.We will row past some historic Casoni (typical fishing huts) have a picnic lunch and then approximately 12 km more to Bocca d'Anfora (where the lagoon meets the ocean) in the southern lagoon. We will stay and dine at the small hotel on this island.

Tuesday May 30th: Row from Bocca d'Anfora to Bibbione: 30-33km total. In the morning we will row towards the fishing community of Marano Lagunare and row through the Stella River Natural Preserve where we will picnic or eat at a trattoria and stretch our legs. From there we will row to the south end of the lagoon, enter a small connecting canal, rejoin the Tagliamento River and row to our Casone, located in a very special little valley, just minutes from the beach. Pink flamingos, eagles, turtles, hares and hedgehogs - these are just some of the residents you'll meet along the trails of this beautiful property...

Wednesday May 31st: Row 29km. This part of the trip involves stretches on canals that connect the various rivers that flow into the Adriatic sea. Thus we will row on the canale Orologia, the Livenza river, the canale Commessara, the canale Revedoli until we pull up in the fields of our next agriturismo. This is bucolic agricultural country, and we'll stop for a nice lunch in the port town of Caorle. Our resting place for this evening is another lovely country house ,a mixture of tradition, comfort and style, surrounded by 500 hectares of fields and vineyards. There is a large pool and a walking path to the sea.

Thursday June 1: in the morning we will row 13 km to Jesolo paese, a fishing village at the northern end of the venetian lagoo. We will lunch there, and wander the town picking up any necessities. The northern part of the venetian lagoon is called the "laguna morte" as it has no rivers flowing into it, and has a different character than the busier and more churned lagoon around Venice. We will row an additional 12 km or so to our private "island" This is a typical venetian farmhouse, with an orchard and fisheries, and we will have the opportunty to bike, fish and just relax. This is perhaps our most rustic stay, and our hosts will be preparing our dinner for us.

Friday June 2nd: There is lots to see in the venetian lagoon: we will visit a vineyard next to Burano, row through the Murano canal (the same route as the Vogalonga) and also visit a monastery island and the island that the venetians used to keep the plague from entering the city. Crews of ships with the disease were interned here until proven clean. We will return the boats to Mestre at the end of that day.

Saturday June 3rd and Sunday June 4th: Back in civilization! These days are for the enjoyment of this amazing city, and to either row or cheer on the Voga rowers on Sunday. We will gather for dinner each night, but you are on your own during the day.

Monday June 5th: checkout/travel day


The details...

As anyone who has done camps with us in the past knows, we like to eat well and be comfortable. We take care of all the planning details for you. The cost is $3900.00 per person, all inclusive of housing, meals, and boats. We do not include your transportation to Grado on the first day or transportation to the airport on the last day, but will gladly help you arrange it. There is no option for non rowers except in Grado and Venice. Please talk to us if you have interest in bringing a non rowing companion. We will give you a single room if the hotel has enough rooms, but several of the hotels will necessitate sharing, and the cost is the same regardless of your "sharing" status. We will have support to get our bags from location to location, but in several cases, those bags will have to be brought in by boat so please pack light! If you aren't sure about how to pack light, our pros, Dan and Andy can help you with that!

Payment schedule:

Deposit (due on sign-up) :  $1000.00      
First payment (due 03/01/2017)  $1450.00      
Final payment (due 04/15/2017) $1450.00    


Adriatic trip deposit:

Please read our cancellation policy below before signing up, and please verify with us that the camp is set before purchasing air tickets. Because even waitlisted rowers cannot change plans at the last minute, and most of our costs are fixed and paid in advance, we encourage you to protect your trip with travel insurance.

Cancellation Policy:

Your deposit saves your space until the first payment due date, and cannot be refunded.
If you need to cancel after the first payment has been made, we will attempt to find a replacement for your spot. If we can find a replacement, we will credit your first payment. If you need to cancel after the second payment it is not reimbursable. Please call us if you have any questions.
Please download the Waiver and send it to us before or with your final payment.




Rowing the Vogalonga is not included in the adriatic trip, but we are able to arrange for you to row the race with our friends from Ludwigshafener Ruderein. If you are interested in rowing the Vogalonga this year, rather than cheering, please let us know asap.

For questions, or to order by phone, please call us: USA (203) 405-1818