Travel

Unleash Your Inner Sailor in Venice! Join Now

Just trying to find the office of the sailing and rowing club Venice On Board involves taking a deep dive into the maritime past of Italy’s most ravishing city. The club sits in the ancient boatbuilding district of Cannaregio, where the intricate maze of alleys and canals confounds even Google Maps. I discovered this one morning last spring, when I wound my way there from the Piazza San Marco, became lost, and had to retrace my steps several times before finally finding the Rio della Sensa, a dreamily quiet side canal near Venice’s last working shipyard. At 9 a.m., the only person in sight was a bearded young craftsman who was planing the hull of a traditional wooden sailing boat. Behind him, a heavy wooden door guarded by a sleeping brown dog stood open, leading me to deduce, Sherlock Holmes–style, that I had arrived at Venice On Board’s HQ.

The retro nautical ambience became even more potent when I peered inside to find what might have been a backstage prop room for a production of The Pirates of Penzance. Every inch of the floor was covered with coiled rope, canvas, obscure metal tools, and handmade models of antique Venetian sailing craft. Read more…

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