It can be a romantic experience to take a ride in a gondola through the Venetian canals but it could be very costly. Here is vital information on taking a ride in the gondolas in Venice that will help you to make the most of your experience.
Gondola Fares in Venice
Let us first talk about Gondola fares. They are set officially and the rates are standardized. There are minimum fares for an average ride, but they could go higher. A typical ride will last 40 minutes. If you bargain for lower fares, you might end up taking a shorter ride.
A gondola can fit 6 people. So, you will be able to save money if you are willing to share with other passengers. If a ride is booked through an agency or hotel, an extra fee will likely be included in the fare. You also have the option of arranging a ride in advance with or without music.
A Gondelier’s Role
Most Gondoliers are men and they all have to be officially licensed. They must wear a shirt with stripes, closed dark colored shoes and black pants. They have a particular hat but do not wear it all the time. While some of the gondeliers will sing, it is not a requirement, so you may or may not experience that. Few might give you information during the gondola ride, but most of them do not speak fluent English.
Gondoliers stand up and row. They make use of a single oar as it helps to row through narrow Venetian canals. If you wish to visit a particular area, be sure and mention it to your gondolier prior to the ride.
Where Can you Go on a Gondola?
Where do you go in a gondola? It is recommended to take a ride on the silent, back canals instead of the Grand Canal as it is very crowded. If Grand Canal is where you want to go, it will be cheaper to take a vaporetto.
If you want a gondola ride, it is better to ride on the canals that are less frequented by tourists. You will see a different side of Venice and will not get caught in gondola traffic! You could stop the gondola in the location you wish to visit. If back canals are what you want to explore, walk some blocks away from main street as well as San Marco and then look out for gondoliers.
A Luxury Gondola Ride
Gondolas are similar to luxury cars. The official color of the gondolas is black, and many of them are decorated ornately. They will typically have blankets and comfortable seats. When you are looking for a gondola, walk around to look for one that catches your eye.
If you only want to sit in a gondola to see how it feels, you could ride in a traghetto on the Grand Canal. This is a gondola that is used for ferrying people to and from Grand Canal. This is much cheaper though not as romantic. You will also get an amazing view of Grand Canal this way.
While a gondola ride is a customary tourist activity in Venice, there are ways to cut costs and enjoy the canal via traditional Italian experience.