Gondolas in Venice

Venice Gondolier
Venice Gondolier

Gondolas in Venice are perhaps the most recognizable of all the features of Venice along with the canals and bridges themselves. Gondolas were the primary means of transportation through the waterways of Venice for centuries. As technology developed and the years went by, the introduction of motorized boats (vaporettos) and ferries has largely reduced the use of gondola rides in Venice Italy to ceremonial events and tourist transport. A gondola tour in Venice can be quite expensive but is well worth the money for the people who have their hearts set on taking a gondola ride in the City of Canals. There are much cheaper ways of getting around the various waterways of Venice, and back and forth to surrounding areas such as Padua and Burano, but there is nothing quite like the romance and charm of a serene gondola ride in the enchanted city of Venice.

Gondola Venice
Gondola Venice

One way to ensure that your gondola rides in Venice Italy are memorable for all of the right reasons is to go into the situation with a basic understanding of how the system works in Venice. First, a Venice gondolier must be Venetian born by law. There is a certain pride that comes along with the profession and the gondoliers that are truly invested in their profession spend quite a bit of money on the maintenance of their craft over the twenty-year life expectancy of the gondolas in Venice.

Gondola Ride Venice
Gondola Ride Venice

The tourist traffic is heaviest during the late spring and summer months, and gondolas are used primarily for tourists. It thus follows that the gondoliers are in a position of needing to make as much money as possible in a short period of time. Although prices of gondola rides in Venice Italy are fixed by the local government, this hardly means that the price is truly fixed, especially in the event that the gondolier does anything exceptional at all, from singing, to in some cases, simply helping someone into the boat. The best thing to do before embarking upon a gondola tour in Venice is to negotiate the rate and the amount of time you want to spend on the gondola prior to taking the trip. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can turn to your hotel concierge to establish the parameters and price for your trip in advance. You should not have a problem at all if you go into it understanding that this is not an inexpensive proposition and clearly define how long you want to spend on your gondola tour in Venice.

Venice Gondola Romantic
Venice Gondola Romantic

Despite the price and some of the potential conflicts, gondolas in Venice do offer a more romantic and enchanting means of getting around than the much less personal vaporettos and the other waterbuses and taxis. If you want to use your time on the gondola to see some of the best sights from the water, including St Mark's Square, consider taking one of the gondola rides in Venice Italy that embarks from along the Grand Canal. You will be able to cruise the main waterway of the city gazing at the wondrous Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge, and Basilica San Marco, to name just a few of the amazing sites.

A quick tip is that if you wish to take a seriously inexpensive gondola ride, you can always jump into one of the traghetti, which are standing gondolas that take you across parts of the canals where there are no bridges for the equivalent of about 50 cents. Not as romantic, but then again, not nearly as expensive either. While prices change and fluctuate based on where you go and for how long, you could expect to pay between 80 and 100 Euros for around 45 minutes on a gondola.

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