Join me in Venice on the Lagoon Workshop May 2024

VENICE — The Lagoon Workshop, 2-7 May 2024

I’ve only been back from the Venetian Lagoon Workshop for a month (read more about the trip here if you missed it) but every time I spend time on the lagoon it leaves a mark on me and this time I’ve decided to try to keep that magic by staying even longer on the lagoon and adding more of the lesser known islands onto the itinerary. We will be well off the beaten track in this workshop that keeps growing — for 2024 it has become a 5 day Venetian lagoon extravaganza.

We will stay in colourful Burano, dine in some of the most wonderful restaurants on Burano (this Anthony Bourdain episode of No Reservations in Burano will get you in the mood), including Michelin starred Venissa and charming Locanda Cipriani on ancient Torcello island. We taste wine made on the lagoon (this time I have roped my sommelier husband into coming to give a Venetian wine lesson to us as well!), all over the various islands, visit artisans making lace and glass, explore the gardens of Sant’Erasmo island by bike and spend a day with a crab fisherman cooking for us on his boat. You will be swept off your feet by this, I promise!

Note that we won’t be spending any time on Venice itself during this workshop because I just don’t want to disturb the magic of the lagoon that you’re going to experience so if you do want to plan some time there, take a look at this mini guide of a neighbourhood I’m particularly fond of.

The Program

Day 1: The meeting point is at the Venice train station in the afternoon, where a taxi boat will elegantly take us to Burano. After check in, we’ll kick off the workshop with a visit to the walled garden of Venissa, where they grow vegetables and have revived a rare and ancient Venetian grape, for a wine tasting (read more about this incredible project here at Wine Spectator). We’ll then head for dinner at their Michelin starred restaurant inside Venissa.

Day 2: After breakfast, the day will be spent exploring colourful Burano with its rainbow coloured houses. We’ll stop at a famous local lace atelier to witness one of the last surviving arts and crafts of the lagoon and lunch will be at a new favorite which has recently opened and is led by a young and inventive chef. We’ll spend the afternoon preparing cicchetti paired with a selection of natural wines curated by my husband and sommelier Marco, who will be with us for the first two days of the workshop.

Day 3: On board the traditional and luxurious wooden venetian taxi boat we’ll head to the island of Murano to visit a glass factory – never open to the public – behind closed doors, in the company of the owners. We’ll then go for a leisurely stroll of the island before heading for lunch at the iconic Locanda Cipriani – chosen by Kings and writers alike – in magical Torcello. We’ll visit the church, a wonderful house-museum owned by an artist and return to Burano in the afternoon. Dinner will be at the fantastic restaurant Gatto Nero in Burano.

Day 4: We will take a converted fishing boat with fisherman Manuel Bagnolo to visit the southern side of the lagoon towards the salt marshes and the last of the moeche (crab) fishermen, before enjoying aperitivo and lunch on the boat anchored in the middle of the lagoon. After a three course lagoon seafood meal that has been fished by Manuel and his family, we will visit the abandoned islands in the north of the lagoon (anyone who wants to visit one or jump in for a brave swim can do so!), while Manuel tells us his stories.

Day 5: On board a traditional fishing boat called Bragozzo, we’ll set sail again and visit the island of Sant’Erasmo – called the Orchard of Venice: just think that since the Middle Ages this strip of land wrested from the waters has been growing fruits and vegetables to supply the city. Even then, the slow pace of the island contrasted with the traffic and chaos of commercial Venice, making Sant’Erasmo a peaceful floating corner of countryside. We’ll rent bikes and explore the islands vegetable patches and have lunch with the organic produce of a very special Farm. After lunch, we’ll head to another nearby island for a unique wine tasting led by an association I wrote about in Cinnamon and Salt called Laguna nel Bicchiere, Le Vigne Ritrovate — they collect grapes from all over Venice and the lagoon (Giudecca, Malamocco, Vignole, for example) and make wine from it on the Isola San Michele, where you’ll also see the 16th century cellar, the one used by the friars of the convent. Dinner will be at the Osteria Contemporanea, the more informal but just as wonderful restaurant of Venissa estate.

Day 6: Almost time to say goodbye. After check out, one last lunch at Trattoria la Maddalena, a local favourite and slow-food endorsed restaurant in Mazzorbo. Once we finish lunch, we’ll have a taxi boat swiftly bring us back to the Venice train station for departures.

The full brochure and registration details for the Lagoon Workshop can all be found HERE and you can email to book your place.


  1. Thanks for this great helpful article.

  2. Elizabeth Mrachek says:

    How do I sign up?

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