Admit it: the moment you hear about Venice, an image of a gondola immediately comes to mind! There's no helping it! Over the years, Venice has come to be defined by its gondola, a black boat maneuvered by a guy in a striped shirt. It's a go-to romantic activity in the city, almost too stereotypical to a fault! But don't think that just because the entire world knows about Venetian gondolas that they're easy to get unto. On the contrary, if you don't know what you're doing, you risk ruining the experience of riding them. Here are some tips to avoid that.
Ride During The Morning
First thing's first, try to ride one in the morning. As early as possible when the gondoliers are open for business. That's often the best and most romantic time to do so. Early in the morning, when there are very few people on the streets and on the canals, you get to soak up all the beauty, the history, and the majesty of Venice in peace. On the flip side, in the afternoon, you'll see crowds walking along the streets, canals crowded with other gondolas, and the serenity of it all is gone! If you want your ride to feel romantic, doing so early in the morning is the way to go!
Pay With Cash
Though staying in Venice can get expensive
, riding a gondola isn't! And it's better to know how much a ride is will be better for everyone. Normally, a 30-minute ride would cost around €80.00 to €100.00, with an additional €40.00 for every extra 20 minutes. After 7:00 pm, it becomes €50.00 for every extra 20 minutes. And if you want your gondolier to sing—yes they actually do that!—it'll cost you €20.00 to €30.00. Nevertheless, no matter how long your ride ends up, please pay in cash. No gondolier accepts credit cards! Prepare how much you need and just hand it over to them either before or after your ride.
More People Leads To Lower Costs
If those prices are a bit too high for you, here's a tip where you can lower your costs: ride in a group! The prices will remain the same either way but at least, with more people, you only get to pay a percentage of the payment. Gondolas can only take up to a total of six people, so for an €80.00 to €100.00 ride, you'll only have to pay around €14.00 to €17.00 for your ride. Not bad right? Though it won't be as romantic with other people around, at least you got to save money!
Respect The Gondolier
Going back to the gondolier, please respect him! Follow Italian customs
when interacting with him. Don't make fun of his attire as well. As stereotypical and almost cartoonish as he may look, it's rude to comment on what a gondolier wears. Furthermore, when you ask him to sing a song for you as he drives the gondola, let him choose the song. Don't expect them to sing or even know the latest hits on the radio right now. A gondolier singing an Italian sing while he rows you across the city? That's the best way to go! And finally, please don't ever forget to tip your gondolier when your ride is one!
Know Where You Want To Go
One last great tip about riding a gondola: know where you want to sail off to. Though Venice may seem small and compact, its many districts
are actually farther apart than they seem. And it's better to know where you want to travel to via gondola so that you can go for a gondolier that's already near that place. Whether you want to sail under Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal or you want a more intimate ride with your partner through the Bridg of Sigs, as long as you know where you want to go, you'll be fine!
Riding a gondola is probably the first thing you'd want to do when you go to Venice. But don't think that it's an easy experience to go through! You're better off following a few tips and tricks to ensure your ride will be unforgettable!
What's better than riding a gondola in Venice? Going home to a luxury apartment
after you've ridden one with someone special!