Gliding through the ancient waterways of the Floating City is one of the most romantic and memorable experiences of world travel.
If you’re heading to Venice and want to fulfil this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, check out the following tips to help make your ride as smooth and satisfying as possible:
Gondolas: the Basics
These vessels of past centuries are a symbol of Venetian history and tradition, typically handcrafted and navigated through the city’s ‘streets’ by gondoliers who have perfected their trade across generations.
Dating back more than 1,000 years and soaring in popularity during the 17th century, an estimated 400 flat-bottomed boats continue to delight visitors in their droves to the present day.
How Much Does It Cost?
Prices for a gondola ride can seem a little steep, with the city currently imposing a flat fee of €80 during the day and €100 after 7 pm. The fare will grant you 40 minutes on the water, with an additional charge of €40 per 20 minutes thereafter.
Therefore, couples seeking a romantic adventure should be prepared to spend more for an exclusive encounter. If you simply want to experience the ride, you can always ask to share the journey with strangers to bring your costs down to a minimum.
When and Where to Set Sail
Embarking at sunset or after dark can propel your gondola ride from enjoyable to sensational, but remember that the fee does increase during the evening.
The boats do not offer any awnings or protection from the sun, so also bear that in mind when travelling on hot summer days. Naturally, opting for a gondola further away from Piazza San Marco will ensure a quieter ride, less troubled by the tourist crowds.
Worthwhile options include the areas around Campo San Barnaba and San Polo. Wherever you set sail, drifting along the city’s breathtaking canals is certain to set your heart alight.