Have you ever thought of visiting a city, maybe Venice, and after having traveled far and wide on foot, by vaporetti or even by gondola, spending the night not in a hotel room but letting yourself be rocked by the waves on board a boat?
On gulet in Venice
It is not a dream, but an easily achievable experience by booking the stay on one of the two gulets anchored at the Giudecca where Matteo Groppo will welcome you in a nice and friendly way. And it will feel like the first moment you ever knew him!
Freedom and Akos, the traditional wooden boats of Turkish fishermen made entirely of wood, are anchored at the Consorzio della cantieristica Minore di Venezia behind the Church of the Redeemer.
In the cabins of these fascinating boats you can spend the night with the Boat & Breakfast formula. Matteo is immediately explained by what it consists of. The Boat & Breakfast allows you to live alternative experiences to the usual hotel or B&B in boats moored in marinas, like this one in one of the most suggestive places in Venice in Giudecca with the peaceful view of the West Lagoon, offering all the charm of life on board, without giving up any comfort.
Along with the contract, a sort of boat rental for sleeping at night with breakfast included on the deck with water reflections in the background, the necessary rules to be observed on board are remembered. Because staying on the boat is very different from staying in a hotel or apartment.
The experience of life on board implies small sacrifices that are amply rewarded by the romantic atmosphere that reigns among the woods immersed in water, falling asleep with the scent of the sea and awakening with the tinkling of the master trees and with the sea breeze that caresses pleasantly the skin.
Matteo showed us the behaviors to keep during the stay on the gulet to live on the boat in the right way. One of the first rules to be respected is that of silence: making excessive noise at times of rest can create discomfort when the walls are thin and the spaces “intimate”.
Another golden rule is to avoid waste because saving on water and electricity on the boat is also an excellent opportunity to protect the environment. Drinks are not allowed on board: water is available to everyone for free, while the rest can be purchased on site.
Fourth and fundamental conduct to be respected is that of not throwing anything into the toilet because that of boats clogs very easily and also used toilet paper should be thrown in a separate basket, which is emptied frequently.
In short, once these simple practices have been memorized, the boat is certainly an original way to enjoy an all-round experience between the land and the sea, moored at the port and at the same time rocked by the waves.
To then find themselves in the middle of the colors of the lagoon and be advised by Matteo to discover the little pearls of Giudecca and Venice and to observe them from this privileged point of view.
Want to learn more and know more about Matteo?
Matteo is 25 but already a life full of adventures he told us while sipping prosecco together. He was 10 years old when he approached the world of sailing, alternating regattas with educational activities. He was a skipper in the Maldives and in the Dominican Republic until April 2018, when he decided to drop anchor here in the Giudecca from the gulet Freedom, the first boat & breakfast in Venice. “I like the sea, navigate, always know new people and be a citizen of the world together with the guests, travelers like you who come on my boat” – he tells us.
We were his guests in the 32-meter wide Freedom gulet, 7.50 wide and with 10 cabins all with private bathrooms, for a total of 26 beds, and two lounges in marine style with comfortable seats for all guests. On the outside deck there is a veranda, with a table and sofas, to stay outdoors and also enjoy the warm rays of sun that September gave us.
Together with the splendid sunsets in which the sky and the sea are tinged with reddish reflections, the hulls are reflected on the water and then the darkness of the evening falls, illuminated only by the great moon. Then we go down to the cabin and fall asleep in the warm and protective shell of the wood illuminated by the “old-style” brass accessories, to enjoy even without navigating the pleasure of the sea, with the slight rolling of a boat at the mooring, waking up at morning with the cries of seagulls circling in the sky.
Beside it is moored Akos, until recently used for mini-cruises on the waters of the Conero Riviera. It is a 23 m long and 3 draft gulet with a schooner, equipped with 6 berths, bathrooms with shower, kitchen, saloon and a large solarium deck.
Both offer the thrill of experiencing Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in a way that is not only alternative, but also economic and in line with the history of this magical place. In fact, as Matteo points out, Venice is an aquatic city where boats represent a natural constant and staying in the boat is living it in the most authentic way, as in the past when travelers arrived only by sea.
And from here it is easy and convenient to reach the nerve centers of the city, from Piazza San Marco to the station and the airport. Another great plus? From Giudecca you have a breathtaking view of the lagoon city and its beautiful sunsets. And the gulets are the ideal accommodations to explore Venice during the day and then come back and relax in the silence and splendor of the lagoon that lights up with warm and golden light as the sun disappears on the horizon.