The Triumphant Return of the Trionfo

Il Nuovo Trionfo - Trabaccolo a Venezia

Il Nuovo Trionfo - Trabaccolo a VeneziaWaterborne once again after much needed maintenance carried out at the shipyard Cantiere Casaril Sant’Alvise (the last one of its kind left in town for repair of vessels of this type).

The Nuovo Trionfo will be present at the Arsenale from April 24 – 26 on Open Arsenale 2015.

Everyone is invited to come aboard to inspect the work just completed, and also to become a member of the Club Amici del Nuovo Trionfo. Your dues will help to support the initiative for continued renovation of the historic vessel. They will also entitle you to

  • get on board and join the crew after a brief training
  • participate and / or organize private events (birthdays, parties, presentations, events, toast etc.).
  • participate in the short excursions in the lagoon on the dates organized for members
  • participate in the work of minor maintenance on board: painting, cleaning, light carpentry, interior, sails, halyards, ropes, rigging, etc. There is something for everyone who can work with his hands.

Current Amici are also invited to renew for 2015.

For more about the type of vessel, see the Trabaccolo Wiki page.

Canal Grande, coming to an iPad near you.

Venice Grand CanalYou would think, looking at the continuous images of each side of the Canal Grande, that photographer Daniele Resini went out and took one loooooong photo of each side of the entire canal all on the same day.

Hardly.

Instead, this labor of iPad love took three years to precisely compose numerous images to look like one practically endless one. Swipe from one end of each side of the Grand Canal to the other, or tap the map to jump directly to any palace anywhere along the canal. Each palace and location is named so before long, you’ll be reciting their names like a local.

There’s also a really fun set of extras, a series of chopped up image puzzles that you maneuver by hand to recompose in their original form. Just the thing to keep the kids busy in the vap while you gaze out the window at Venetian scene slipping lazily by. Palazzo Bembo, for the prince? And you thought Bembo was just a font…

From the incomparable, indefatigable Michela Scibilia Teolinda team.

See more about it on iTunes.

Ladies Living Venice, in Oxford and on the Thames

Un Po di Donne on the ThamesA group of women vogatrici from the Remiera Giudecca rowing club organize a rowing vacation each year in August. Their name, Un Po di Donne (a few women), is a double entendre for the destination of their first sojourn in the park of the Po delta. Subsequent trips include second trip down the Po from Mantova and Cremona, and to Acquileia in Friuli and back.  This year was their first trip abroad: starting and ending in Oxford, up and down the River Thames.

The City Barge Venetian rowing club in Oxford boasts a small fleet of Venetian rowing craft. Several members are frequent visitors to Venice (a number of them rowed the Vogalonga this year), and once they heard of Un Po di Donne’s idea to row the Thames, they graciously arranged to provide the women with three, four-person sandal for their week-long trip. As a result of their being short a rower or two, I got to tag, or rather row, along.

A few of us went up a few days early, giving private lessons as an excuse for eating the bounty of rich, creamy things one of the members served up at her home afterward (she kept the happiest chickens I have ever seen; four of them provided her with about 3 eggs a day). The next day we went to Port Meadow (open range cows, horses, sheep, etc.) and stopped at the Perch pub (it didn’t take us long to understand that pubs are the whole reason you ever get in a boat).

NarrowboatFor maximum flexibility during the journey, we rented a 70-foot long narrowboat, a type of boat initially developed for traversing the canal waterways,  but now found chugging along many rivers as well. They are quite comfortable, resembling a very long, floating camper. The plan was to row first upstream as close to Lechlade and the source as we could get, then back downstream to Abingdon and Dorcester, before returning again to Oxford. We made it as far upstream as Radcot, and indeed down to Dorcester and back.

It was a wonderful adventure, indimenticabile. Our captain and chef Cristina had hauled down the essentials via air: an 8-cup stove-top caffetiera, a liter and a half of olive oil, and a massive pressure cooker for eat-in meals. A wi-fi hot spot kept us in touch as long as their was a data signal; we indulged in a pint and welsh rarebit when the sun was shining at mealtimes. We rowed past pubs and sometimes partook, saluted wildlife & livestock, in weather consisting of endless cycles of showers, wind and sun; chatted with locks and charming lock minders, photographed a pristine countryside, discovered Pim’s and sampled ciders, soaked up extraordinary hospitality.

Buongiorno, VeneziaUnica (addio, VeniceConnected)

VeneziaUnica is the new portal the offers advance purchase for all passes and services you’ll use while you’re visiting the city. The online portal was activated October 7, 2013, replacing and eventually expanding on other online venues like VeniceConnected, Venicecard, with more likely to shift there in the future.

FOR TRAVELERS

VeneziaUnica Composer

Just passing through? Use the composer to select, then purchase passes and services for each individual in your travel party, including

• ACTV passes
• museum & church passes (VeniceCard, San Marco Museums, etc.)
• land and water transfers (Aerobus/Alilaguna)
• toilets, wi-fi

with more to be added over time.

Where you retrieve your pass/tickets depends on the service you purchase, it has not changed. What seems to have changed is that services are no longer date specific, which is probably a good thing.

What is misleading from the English description is that they talk about it being a city pass. There is no single card for all services for the traveler; there is a single portal with a “composer” that you can use to purchase a number of services in advance, that you retrieve individually according the services; instructions will be included as they always have.

VeneziaUnica city pass will also replace imob/CartaVenezia (though your imob will act like a VeneziaUnica city pass until it expires): the card is free, the paid services for residents and frequent visitors that may be activated via the city pass are public transport, bike sharing, car sharing (Italian driver’s license required), car parks, wi-fi, etc.

FOR RESIDENTS and FREQUENT VISITORS

Residents and frequent visitors will be issued free VeneziaUnica cards, then use them to activate paid services such as ACTV services, car park, car sharing,

Your current imob card will act like a VeneziaUnica card until it expires, when it will be replaced with a VeneziaUnica card.