Venice is synonymous to luxury. It is the world’s truly extravagant and most glamorous lagoon city. Nothing typifies the quintessential romantic Venice best like a gondola. The hand-built, black, elegant boats have given the city an unmistakable identity world over for nearly 1,000 years now.
If you have made Venice your next vacation destination, wouldn’t you like to hitch on to a luxurious, romantic ride on a gondola and have a memorable experience? Then get ready now for a tour of Venice on a gondola. Here’s all that you might expect from this joyful ride.
Choosing different routes
There are essentially two routes offered for a gondola ride. Both these routes offer amazing sightseeing opportunities as your gondola glides along the canal. You will be able to explore important landmarks and scenic byways of the Sestiere San Polo or the Sestiere San Marco, on the Grand Canal’s either side. You can however choose either of the route or possibly spend time traversing both the routes at your own discretion. Be rest assured that you will just love the ride and get a fascinating experience in the process.
Each boarding point has a unique itinerary for the traditional gondola tour. The fantastic ride is surely the best way to enjoy some of the picturesque views that this beautiful city has to offer whether you board this most remarkable vessel from the Basilica of Saint Mark and traverse along to the Grand Canal, or set off from San Marco and head to Rialto, or simply glide along the small canals behind the Fenice Theater.
Exploring Classic Venice and Hidden Venice
There are two ways in which you can enjoy sightseeing in the city on a gondola. You can explore the Classic Venice or get mesmerized with the Hidden Venice. Both the views of the city are simply spellbinding.
During your tour of the Classic Venice, the first step you should consider is to meet the gondolier in front of Harry’s Bar at Calle Vallaresso. The Harry’s Bar is situated right off the Piazza San Marco. With the efforts of your gondolier, you will get a thrilling experience as you leisurely glide on your gondola along the Grand Canal passing by the Punta della Dogana as well as the monumental Church of the Salute. You will also pass through a number of side canals leading to the backside of the Palazzo Ca' Corner, the Teatro La Fenice, and the palace which hosted Mozart during his stay for the Carnival of 1771. Your tour of Classic Venice will now come to an end as your gondola returns past to your starting point at Campo San Moise'.
Now get ready to unravel the secrets of the city and hitch on to another gondola ride to discover Hidden Venice. You will once again meet with your gondolier who can be found at the San Toma' traghetto stop on the Grand Canal. This is the quieter Left Bank of Venice. The ride along the Grand Canal will take you as far as the Rialto Bridge and once again return downstream offering enthralling views of the royal palaces of the Dona', Pisani Moretta, Ca' Garzoni and Mocenigo. Finally, it’s time to end your ride as your gondola will pass through a small canal leading to the expanse of Campo San Polo, returning past the 15th century Palazzo Bernardo and concluding at your starting point.
Important points to consider while choosing a ride
The tour of Classic Venice or Hidden Venice is essentially not a guided tour. You cannot expect your gondolier to either guide, speak or provide any kind of information about the city. The tour is therefore designed for sightseeing purposes only and you are expected to gain information about the various attractions coming on your way beforehand. The ride on either of the routes may however strictly depend on the season you are traveling, the tides, the time of the day and the intensity of boat traffic. The peak tourist season is during the months of June, July and August. You may expect a more enjoyable ride on the Hidden Venice route as it is often less crowded.
The city authorities usually set the official rates for the rides on gondola. The rates though vary. The initial rates will be for 40 minutes. You will however be required to pay more if you want a ride for additional 20 minutes. The base rate is however more than double when taking a gondola ride after 7 pm. The fares will be even higher if you want special services like singing. A gondola ride can be shared by up to six persons. Despite the official rates, you can always negotiate with the gondolier for the best rates and duration of the ride.