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April 2010

Johnny Depp's yacht in Venice

Johnny Depp's yacht Vajoliroja in Venice 

ABOVE: The yacht Vajoliroja on Venice's Zattere.

Hollywood heartthrob and Ho Chi Minh lookalike Johnny Depp is in Venice to shoot The Tourist with Angelina Jolie. Today, his yacht--the Vajoliroja--followed in the actor's wake. Cheryl grabbed several photos of the boat at its mooring along the Giudecca Canal and shot a brief video of crew members spiffing up the vessel. 

In the video, you'll see that Vajoliroja is tied up next to a popular snack bar on the Zattere. (The yacht's mooring platform is separated from the pedestrian promenade by a short bridge with a locked gate, which should discourage rubberneckers and paparazzi from peering through any portholes.)

Tip for cruisers: Why settle for a cabin on The Love Boat when you can charter an entire vessel from the former Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow? According to the Web site, you can hire Vajoliroja (with crew) this summer for US $130,000 per week. 

Liberation Day - Festa della Liberazione

Campo Santa Margherita - Festa della Liberazione

ABOVE: Members of the Vigili del Fuoco, or Fire Brigade, prepare to raise the Italian Flag on the memorial column and flagpole in Venice's Campo Santa Margherita.

April 25th is Liberation Day in Italy. The national holiday, called Festa della Liberazione in Italian, celebrates the fall of the Mussolini regime in 1945.

In Venice, as in most Italian cities, veterans and history-conscious citizens organize ceremonies to remember the day of liberation and those who died during World War II. 

This morning, when Durant was out for a walk, he saw members of the Vigili del Fuoco hauling ladders from their fireboat in the Rio San Barnaba. They didn't seem to be in any great hurry, so Durant followed them to the Campo Santa Margherita, where the reason for the ladders became apparent: The firefighters had been brought in to raise the flag for a neighborhood Liberation Day ceremony. The short video below chronicles the event:

Venice cruise videos

Venice is one of Southern Europe's leading cruise ports, and many readers of this blog and our travel-planning site, Venice for Visitors, have booked cruises in or out of Venice.

If you're among the cruisers who'll  be visiting Venice this year or next, we recommend taking a look at our Venice cruise videos, which show 16 cruise ships cruising up the Giudecca Canal or in St. Msark's Basin on their way to the Adriatic and points beyond. To see the clips, which are hosted by YouTube, click:

Venice for Visitors: Venice Cruise Videos

We also suggest reading our cruise-related articles at Venice for Visitors, which include:

Venice Cruise Terminal (Port of Venice)

Venice Cruise Port Transportation: Getting to Your Ship

Venice Cruise Terminal Hotels

For general Venice travel information, go to the home page of

Finally, for information on cruise lines and cruise reviews (such as an in-depth review of an MSC Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice), see our European cruising site,