A boat trip with Tommaso is not the usual tourist outing - it is only for visitors who want an authentic Venetian experience with a knowledgeable and hugely interesting guide, born and raised on the lagoon. Booking was easy by email and Tommaso provided all the information we needed and helped us plan the best day out. We booked the Bragozzo 'El Sultan' for 4 of us - lots of room and very comfortable. It was definitely worth the extra money to have the boat to ourselves. We took wine and water, which kept cool in the on-board fridge, plus our own picnic of meats, salad and fruit. Tommaso had his own lunch but, after an unexpected downpour of hailstones which soaked us all, we were happy to share our wine with him as we all tried to dry out and get warm again. Tip: be prepared! Our trip took us up the Brenta Canal, stopping at 2 villas, which were nice, but nothing special. Nowadays, most of the canalsides are built-up areas of modern housing rather than beautiful rural scenery, and although it was nice spotting the old (and sometimes derelict) villas of the past, the pleasure was just being in the boat and joining in the exchanges with the locals as Tommaso negotiated the various locks, gates and bridges. When we returned to the lagoon, we still had some time left and the sun was shining, so Tommaso unexpectedly took us round several small islands to the south and north of Venice: San Servolo, San Lazzaro, San Clemente, La Grazie, Certosa, Sant' Andrea and Vignole as well as along the Lido. He had stories to tell about them all and by the end we really felt that we understood Venice and the lagoon and its people better than ever before. We all felt a little bit privileged to have been out on the lagoon in this way and would certainly recommend Tommaso and his boats to anyone who already loves Venice and is looking for something different and special in the company of a knowledgeable, friendly and witty local.
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