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The Team

About us

The Team

Over 40 people work in our team, which has grown and grown over the last 10 years, with all the enthusiasm of an extended family. Product management, bookings, accounts, marketing and logistics staff; tour leaders, mechanics and drivers: we all work in synergy to provide you with the very best possible holiday experience. We are:

Crew Italy

Enrico Belloni

Born and bred in Vicenza, a graduate in Environmental Science. Enrico's passion for music at high school led to the formation of a rock band...

Born and bred in Vicenza, a graduate in Environmental Science. Enrico's passion for music at high school led to the formation of a rock band with three friends, touring Europe, and later to a booking agency organising tours in Italy for foreign bands. Musicians from any corner of the earth would stay over at Enrico's in Vicenza, where he'd personally provide the catering and dish up authentic local recipes. His drums and cymbals have now given way to chopping boards and pans. Adores the bike-boat formula, which creates the unique atmosphere of an extended international family and leads to many enduring friendships. Enrico's ambition is to wear the captain's cap one day and he is currently training as an on-board mechanical engineering.

Erika Ferrando

Chef on board our boats in Italy. Adores nature for its beauty and as essential nourishment for the soul and at times the body too, even if...

Chef on board our boats in Italy. Adores nature for its beauty and as essential nourishment for the soul and at times the body too, even if the palate may require more to please it. Pomegranate red becomes happiness, ginger malice, chocolate kindness. Through her passion, instinct and experience, Erika endeavours to transform raw material into pleasure for both body and soul! One of the most beautiful things? – Sitting down in the company of people you love, savouring colours, scents and tastes, and knowing that the moment is unique.

Giovanni Penzo

A skipper by nature, he names his boats after his wife and calls his crew members "ciccio" ("matey"), irrespective of size or gender. For...

A skipper by nature, he names his boats after his wife and calls his crew members "ciccio" ("matey"), irrespective of size or gender. For them, Giovanni is a natural seawolf and rat-catcher. Spends most of his life between prow and poop, usually accompanied by his four-legged companion, Lapo. Old habits die hard and after dinner Giovanni will make himself comfortable under the stars, whisky in one hand and cigar in the other. His repertoire of unlikely stories, all narrated in inimitable Chioggia dialect, is legendary and appreciated by crew and guests alike.

Giuliano Zarantonello

Chef by profession but especially by passion. Enlisted in the "Girolibero-Zeppelin Navy" to combine two of his cravings: boats and cookery –...

Chef by profession but especially by passion. Enlisted in the "Girolibero-Zeppelin Navy" to combine two of his cravings: boats and cookery – or perhaps to dream of a lady at each port of call! Will happily corrupt the Headquarters with crostoli and Venetian doughnuts to be part of the crew, and people say that his cooking is better than his English (although, thankfully, he does get by in this too). Giuliano's life is increasingly happy and intense, and he manages to juggle sailing, his sweetheart Giada and their little Leonardo with the disparate passions of a vagabond.

Luciano Penzo

Hails from glorious Chioggia, the "other, real, Venice" – famous the world over, he claims, for the sheer number of scooters and e-bikes....

Hails from glorious Chioggia, the "other, real, Venice" – famous the world over, he claims, for the sheer number of scooters and e-bikes. Though a seawolf cub by birth, Luciano never scorns the dry land where he's passionate about his ladies (wife and two daughters) and motorbikes. Like all true seamen, he is forever seeking the optimum balance between physical equilibrium and the perfect diet... without ever finding it. Aboard our Ave Maria Luciano is the Jack of all technical trades: he'll fix anything, and if he can't fix it he'll just buy it.

Riccardo Tamani

A citizen of Mantova to the bone, Riccardo claims to produce, with his father, the best salami in the world. Started working at 16 and...

A citizen of Mantova to the bone, Riccardo claims to produce, with his father, the best salami in the world. Started working at 16 and resumed his studies a few years later, becoming in a short space of time captain, engineer, helmsman and diver – hence his passion for boats and water, which soon gripped his young daughter, Vittoria. On dry land, he loves to organise a bite with his closest friends and, being football mad, he loves a good kick around too.

Sara Visentin

"Once a Vita Pugna girl, always a Vita Pugna girl!" – that's her in the words of the "The Boss" (skipper). Loves cooking and, even better,...

"Once a Vita Pugna girl, always a Vita Pugna girl!" – that's her in the words of the "The Boss" (skipper). Loves cooking and, even better, eating desserts. Her speciality? – Pannacotta with basil and lemon. Sara discovered her passion in England partly by chance and partly by intuition. She now hops from hob to hob in the galley and has fallen in love with all things maritime: the boats, the water, life on the waves. The scents and creaks of the Vita Pugna make her feel at home, although she'll always yearn for the warmth of her family and dog, Wolly.  Loves travelling, dancing and... running in the rain.

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