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Overall trip proved to be VERY DISAPPOINTING!
From our initial departure, there seemed to be little concern or awareness of the customers. Boat arrived with no heat running despite temps in the high 30s and rain. Even after asking crew to turn on heat, there little response. Then the boat had a mechanical breakdown as we arrived at lunch and we were delayed waiting for another boat for 2 hours past the scheduled departure. During this entire time, we got little to no communications from the guide about what was happening and how the schedule would be changed. We ended up arriving at the final stop, Villa Piasani, nearly 2 hours after original schedule and too late to see anything as Villa was closed. Ultimately, we only saw one Villa in the morning, and a small farm mansion in the afternoon. Quite the contrast to the advertised program.
To top off the issues with the ship performance, our guide seem clueless about managing communications with the customers. While legitimately multi-lingual, she seemed to regularly forget to speak in English. For every five minutes of the tour spoken in Italian, we heard only about one/two minutes in English. She never connected her content from the previous session with what she was currently describing. Her content seemed to be driven by whatever she was seeing out the window at the moment. She would shift from English to Italian in what seemed like mid-sentence. Not once did she check-in with her customers to measure if we were hearing her or had any questions. We ultimately got very little guide insight during most of the time on the river. Without a question, she was one of our most disappointing guide experience in our 15 years of international travels. At last stop, while everyone is getting off the boat, the other guide picked up at first stop with 50 Italians is speaking Italian to her group, but our guide is nowhere to be seen. Of course, she has not provided any info where should meet her since we going on a bus to final leg of our trip to Padova. We finally located her in her dark coat, in the distance in what is left of daylight at nearly 7 pm in the rain. Once on board the bus, not a peep from her about the trip or what was significant about the Villa Piasani even thought we could not see it.
In summary, this trip was pretty much waste of an entire day and over 200.
Had always wanted to do this tour after having seen the boat moored along the Riva Sciavone on an earlier trip to Venice.
It was easy to board the boat and the guide was helpful and the boat comfortable. The history of the wealthy Venetians having their summer villas along this canal was very interesting. I enjoyed the day fully. On the downside, only one of the Villas was by Palladio and it was fabulous. I had thought the others would be as well. Also, it was a long day and possibly could have been condensed into a half day.
However, I was glad I booked the trip and would recommend it.
This was a really good tour, a full day just chugging up the Brenta Canal visiting 3 villas, and stopping for a delicious 3 course meal 22 Euro extra. We went through numerous locks and several swinging bridges. A great way to see the countryside. On arrival in Padova we caught a quick train back to Venice for 4 Euro and it only took 25 minutes! Fantastic tour and our guide was amazing she gave the commentary in 4 languages! The villas we stopped at too, were well worth a look. The wealth of the Venetian Republic on display.
We were a little disappointed that our tour ended short, at Stra, because we were told of conditions on the canal...BUT, received a lot of information about history, culture, language, the specifics of the different villas we visited...felt the tour was well organized, efficient and comfortable, and the lunch optional purchase was good. ...our guide narrated and managed us in Italian and English, fluently. She told us, she also does this in German and French--remarkable.
We had a great time on the Brenta Canal. Our whole day was very well organised and our two guides were enthusiastic, welcoming, friendly and informative. The boat was comfortable and we had beautiful views despite the rainy weather. The lunch break was smoothly and efficiently run and the food was excellent. Our guides could not have been more helpful when giving us advice about getting back to Venice - timetables, maps etc., for train and bus journeys. Our tours of the three villas were made even more interesting by the conducted tours. Altogether an unmissable and unforgettable day.
This is a fun way to have a relaxing day without the bustle of crowds. The tour itself is good and interesting to actually see the inside of the wonderful old villas. The guide was incredible!! She jumped from Italian, German, English and French with ease. Never did she sound bored-always animated. The meeting place was a little difficult to find. A hint that it is beyond San Marco would be very helpful.