Venice is a city full of great historical significance and profound beauty. It is unlike any other city in Italy and rather a special one. The gondolas are one of the most iconic images in the world as it plies the small waterways of Venice and the busy Grand Canal. These gondolas are a symbol of romance, tradition, and history in the city on the lagoon. A gondola ride in Venice is known to rank among the most dreamed-about experience for travelers from all around the world.
Now here are a few tips to let you know how to make the most out of your gondola ride as soon as you decide to take the plunge…
The Venetian Gondola
Once the Venetian Gondola or boat rides were used regularly by the upper class, but today the vaporetti has become the main form of water transport in the city. Today, there are only about 500 gondolas plying the canals and lagoon, while hundreds of years ago there were about 10,000.
A gondola is known as a wooden boat which is flat-bottomed. They weigh 600 kg, are 11 meters long, and are hand built in special workshops known as squeri of which there are still quite a few today. Gondoliers are owners and maintainers of their own boats. This craft or career is often passed down from father to son for the following generations.
A Gondola Ride Cost
Gondola fares are set officially and are standard. As of this year, costs are €80 for a daytime ride and €100 for an evening one. The rides last approximately 40 minutes. In case you want to extend your time on the water, you will have to pay €40 for each additional 20 minutes aboard, or €50 in at night after 7pm.
Before you book, make sure to check the current gondola fares. Beware of the additional fee if you book a gondola ride through a hotel or agency.
Gondolas can hold six people. These boats can be shared without the fares getting affected. So if you’re traveling with someone or going solo, you can find other tourists with whom you can share the ride. It may not be an appealing or a romantic option, but will definitely save you some euros.
Expectations with a Gondola Ride
A gondola ride is alike traveling in a luxury car. Black is known to be the official color, but there are some boats with comfortable seats and blankets with heavy decorations on it. You can roam around and choose the one which fancies you the most.
Where to Go on a Gondola Ride
Instead of the crowded Grand Canal, take a gondola ride on the quiet back canals which is the most recommended by people who’ve already been on one. If you ride on canals outside the main tourist area, it will allow you to see a different view of Venice where you won’t find bumper to bumper gondolas. Some good places to find gondolas away from St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal include the Campo San Barnaba and San Polo areas. The Jewish Ghetto is also one.
Is a Gondola Ride for You?
Gondolas allow you to better appreciate the functions of the city with canals instead of streets and see Venice from a completely different outlook overall. We agree that they are inarguably overpriced, and possibly overrated. But there is only one place in the whole world where you can ride an authentic gondola floating through the canals of a city that is more than 1200 years old – Venice.
And as Rick Steves rightly stated:
“Glide in a gondola through quiet canals while music echoes across the water. Pretend it’s Carnevale time, don a mask — or just a fresh shirt — and become someone else for a night.”
Also Check : Famous Museums to Visit in Venice