Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
9:00 AM 2nd October 2020

Row Like a Gondolier – Post Covid-19 Tours In Venice

In a city famed for flooding, Venice is opening its waterways to would-be gondoliers with an equal penchant for gardening!

The Grand Hotel Dei Dogi has created a series of new experiences which will enable visitors to savour Venice whilst enjoying peace of mind in the new post Covid-19 world of travel.

An authentic retreat for the true connoisseurs of Venice, the property is full of surprises, including one of the city's largest private gardens.

And that is now forming a backdrop for two travelling treats.

The Artist’s Garden

As well as a class in botanical drawing, visitors will be accompanied on a 30-minute hotel garden tour by an expert guide from Venice’s Wigwam Club, the organisation charged with safeguarding the city’s historic gardens.

They will experience the traditional ice-house and hear how Lorenzo Patarol planted and catalogued rare species in the early 1700s before entering the calming gazebo for an hour long drawing class, taken by expert tutors.

The Artist’s Garden experience is available from Euro 86/£78 based on 4 people and can be booked directly with the hotel on arrival.

Garden Party
The hotel’s secret garden is also the delightful setting for an alfresco mixology masterclass, followed by a private picnic lunch on the lawn. Complete with a private expert mixologist and pop-up bar on the private wooden dock, learn to create a perfect signature Doge Cocktail and a famous Venetian Bellini.

The Garden Party experience is available from Euro 106/£96 based on 2 people (€ 35 for additional children under 11) and can be booked directly with the hotel on arrival.

However, for those with a penchant for ‘rowing with a difference’, how about an afternoon on a gondolier with an instructor?

The Taste of Voga/ Energizing Voga
The gondola is a global symbol of Venice and celebrating the Venetian gondolier, this experience allows guests to learn to row like one.

This has been inspired by the school, located opposite Grand Hotel Dei Dogi whose founder Gloria Rogliani teaches authentic Venetian rowing (‘voga’). The experience starts with a two-hour lesson away from the tourist trails, winding through the city’s canals and to the islands beyond. Take to the water to learn this centuries-old tradition as well as viewing Venice like never before.

The Taste of Voga/Energizing Voga experience is available from Euro 105/£95 based on 4 people and can be booked directly with the hotel on arrival.

The Dedica Anthology (; +800 8099 8099) offers rooms at the Grand Hotel Dei Dogi from €248/£226 a night based on two sharing a double room with breakfast.