Whether amatoriali (for the love of the voga), regatanti (racers), or campioni-campionesse (champion rowers), your instructors all have one thing in common: they are mad about the voga, and are eager to share their passion with you.
JANE Caporal started it all over 8 years ago in her small s’ciopòn, which she soon traded for the larger, rare, elegant batela coda di gambero. Jane hails from Bristol, England, grew up in Australia, married an Italian and has now lived in Venice longer (over 20 years) than in either of the other countries. Jane has been a vogatrice almost since she arrived, and regularly carries home a bandiera in the many regattas she rows in throughout the season, even rowing the the Regata Storica in 2015. Jane is the President of Row Venice, and handles customer relations, lesson and instructor scheduling, group arrangements and more.
NAN McElroy became a voga appassionata not long after she moved to Venice in 2004. She has rowed Venetian style across the lagoon, around the the Po river delta, over to Friuli, abroad in France, on the Thames and even around the island of Ponza. She joined forces with Jane in 2012 to help share the experience of the Venetian voga with travelers and residents alike; she is also a sommelier, and loves to share her knowledge of regional wines with rower-foodies who opt for the Cichetto Row outing. Nan is co-coordinator, focusing on digital operations, scheduling, images & web content.
ANNA Santagiustina is Veneziana D.O.C, born in Venice with a family she traces back to the mid-1700s. As a child, Anna learned the secrets of the voga by studying the gondoliers beneath her window on the rio behind the Malibran Theatre; as a middle school teacher Anna is also great with kids and families. Anna is available for lessons in English, French, Italian—or Venetian, of course.
CAROLINE Barray moved to Venice from Paris almost 15 years ago, and started rowing not long after that. She even participated in the famed Regata Storica after rowing only a few years. A talented sculptor and artist, internationally renown for her creation of vibrant animal sculptures from recycled metal, Caroline also offers painting lessons en plein air at Painting Venice. Caroline will give you a lesson in English, or her native French.
CRISTINA Montin loves to teach. She started rowing as a child, learning from and absorbing the passion of her father, Paolo. Cristina is also an avid racer, with a passion to put herself to the test, participating in the most competitive city-wide races throughout her 15-year racing career as a Campionessa. She’s placed in her preferred Murano regata almost regularly, as well as in the Regata Storica, claiming a 4th place finish. Cristina has continued to refine her rowing and racing skills, obtaining the 2º level instructor certification. So…be ready to learn from one of the best!
ELENA Almansi is also venexiàn to the core. She’s a regata campionessa, and as daughter of two Venetian rowing champions she comes by her voga expertise quite naturally. In fact, she and instructor Rossana Nardo took 3rd place in their first Regata Storica as rowing partners in 2015. Elena will give you a lesson in English or Italian, and can explain in detail the workings of anything from Venetian oar to the non-stop regate she participates in, to Italian law if you so desire: law is her father’s vocation and her university major.
ELISA Costantini was born on Burano, the island in the north lagoon known to travelers for fishing and lace traditions, but to locals for their rich history of innumerable champion regatanti. Elisa starting rowing at 10 years old; at 15 began competing against established campionesse in city-wide races. Now approaching a sage 18 years, Elisa studies languages at the Instituto Turistico Algarotti in Venice, and can conduct your lesson in English, Spanish, and French.
GABRIELLA Lazzari was born in Togo, Africa (!) to a Sicilian mother and papà Venessiàn; they all returned home to Venice in 1971. She began rowing for fun, but her passion soon drove her to begin competing and she hasn’t stopped since. She has participated in the renown Regata Storica, in other regate of all types and boats practically non-stop, and in the yearly Vogalonga marathon as well. Gabriella teaches kids at one rowing club; with Row Venice she hopes to transmit both the art of the voga and her passion for the Venetian lagoon to you, in both English and French.
LISA Dunk hails from the Lone Star State of Texas, and after taking a detour to study medieval and Renaissance music in Germany, hangs her hat right here in Venice. She relocated to Italy to pursue a career in opera, but we all know she stayed for the food…and now, the voga! She’s an enthusiastic and patient teacher who always offers a smile, her Texas charm, and critical advice about the best place for gelato. When she’s not rowing, she’s singing, but just don’t ask her to do both at the same time! Lisa will give you lessons in English and German.
LUIGINA Davanzo is a veteran of Venetian rowing. She has participated in the exclusive Regata Storica more than 10 times, and is currently National champion of the national stand up rowing circuit (VIP – Voga in Piede) together with Jane, who is her rowing partner. Apart from being one of the top female poppiere ( the gondolier position, at the helm) Luigina is also a valesana (one rower, two oars, as in the photo) champion.
NAUSICAA Cimarosta is from the island of Sant’Erasmo—Venice’s source of fresh vegetables for centuries, along with more than a few champion rowers. When Nausicaa is not rowing in a regata, she volunteers with Venezia Soccorso ambulance service that always are on hand, just in case. Nausicaa is not only a rowing expert, but a Venetian boat expert as well, having observed the experts since she was a kid; if you have any questions about our boats, she’s definitely the one to ask.
ROSSANA (only one N, please) Vera Nardo is Venice born and raised. Besides having always been athletic and passionate about sports and all sorts of games, she’s the mamma of a 10+ year-old and a graphic designer and illustrator at game design firm Studio Giochi.
Rossana won two national VIP (Voga in Piedi) titles in 2014 and 2015, and has held the title of “campionessa” of Venetian rowing since she was 20 years old. This includes a number of participations in the world famous Regata Storica, where she took 3rd place in 2015 with rowing partner and Row Venice instructor Elena Almansi.
SIBYLLE Lohausen is by now as much Italian as she is German, as she’s lived in the city with her Venetian husband (also a regatante) and family for over thirty years. When Sibylle isn’t racing in one of the many regattas held throughout the season, including the Voga in Piede (VIP) races held on Lago di Garda, she’ll give you lessons in Italian, English… and her native Deutsche, of course.
SOFIA d’Aloja was born on the Venetian mainland but has always been athletic and a lover of the sea and the lagoon. She worked as a lifeguard and developed courses for teaching children to swim before graduating in International Public Relations and studying at the University of Geneva; today she works as an insurance adjustor. Sofia’s dream is to compete in city-wide regate, but in the meantime she’s conducting research to discover the secrets of the voga, accumulating experience wherever possible in lessons and training. Sofia is fluent in both English and French.
VALENTINA Tosi is a champion racer and Venetian-born. As the daughter of a regatante racing campione—who is also her coach—it’s not surprising that she qualified to participate in the Regata Storica (the Holy Grail of Venetian regate and the most famous abroad) at only 14 years old. She has won three of these exclusive races, and is the reigning champion for 2015. Today Valentina lives on the island of Murano, where she and her family produce and sell artisanal Murano glass minatures. Valentina is very happy to have the privilege to transmit her passion for the voga through the lessons offered by Row Venice; you will be very happy to have Valentina for your lesson!
CARLOTTA Rumonato started rowing as a child, following in the footsteps of her grandfather: at first just for fun, participating with him in three editions of the Vogalonga. Eventually, practicing in the lagoon and discovering its secrets and beauty transformed a pastime into a sport driven by passion, starting with minor regate and moving into the more competitive. Through Row Venice, Carlotta has discovered another way to live the voga: teach it. Combining both instruction and passion for this ancient Venetian tradition, Carlotta strives to transmit her love for this special and unique way of living in every lesson.
Instructors are all CONI (Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano)-recognized, or scheduled for the certification course.