As you know, Venice is a city of canals. Traveling by boat is the only way to move around this city.
My name is Guido, Italian native, travel enthusiast and founder of Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours. In my last few blogs I’ve talked about Venice – namely, why Venice is so unique and the best restaurants to try when you visit Venice. If I may, I’d like to add something else to your Venice bucket list – and that’s to see Venice from a gondola. Too touristy? Think again!
A unique Venetian institution
As you know, Venice is a city of canals. Traveling by boat is the only way to move around this city. And the gondola is a Venetian institution. Although you can jump aboard a Vaperetto (water-bus), there is something quite unique about the gondola and it adds to the atmosphere of visit to Venice Italy. I don’t feel a visit to Venice is complete without a trip on a gondola – and this is particularly the case if you plan to travel to Venice during an Italian vacation.
Best way to see Venice
Traveling on water is the best way to see Venice Italy. But when you travel by water taxi or Vaporetto you are going at the pace of their carefully planned schedule – which is about getting from a to b, promptly.
When you travel by gondola, you are going at a better pace for a visitor to the city. It is slower, but there’s more time to take in your surroundings. Seeing Venice from a gondola means you get a better view of the city and the unique way it was developed.
Experiencing Venetian history
Traveling by gondola means experiencing a piece of Venetian history. The first accepted documentation of the Gondola is the late 11th Century, but many claim they can be dated as far back as 697.
Gondolas were once the only way to travel in Venice Italy. They were used as a means of traveling across, and up and down the canals. Some wealthy families owned their own gondolas and so, a gondola in Venice could also be a status symbol. This was particularly the case after horses were banned from the city. Nobles used to compete with each other over the decoration of their boat until a Doge outlawed this in the 17th Century.
From the 16th Century up until the 19th Century there were likely to be as many as 10,000 gondolas in Venice Italy. So traveling by gondola is like experiencing a piece of Venetian history.
Seeing Venice from a gondola is romantic, too. In days gone by, it was said a gondolier would never speak of any romantic trysts that took place under the canopy of their gondola. Since then, the gondolas have never lost this romantic reputation. And a gondola trip will certainly add romance to your Italian holidays.
Healthier for the city
In addition, seeing Venice from a gondola rather than traveling by the powerboats that cruise up and down the Grand Canal Venice Italy is healthier for the city of Venice. The waves from the boats are said to be speeding up the decay of the structure of the buildings that line the Gran Canal, as well as negatively affecting the lifespan of the gondolas themselves. And now with only 400 boats in operation, I like to take a gondola to help this ancient institution survive.
Tips on taking a gondola in Venice
That said, seeing Venice from a gondola is not the cheapest option. So here is some advice:
It is particularly good value to take an organised, licensed tour, which includes a Venice gondola ride – like Ciao Italy and Carrani Tours’ Discover Venice and Gondola Ride option. It offers you a romantic and relaxing afternoon exploring the key sights of the city on foot before embarking on your Venice gondola ride.
Or there’s our Gondola Tour and Gondola Serenade – a tour that takes n the Grand Canal and the minor canals that connect with it. It’s an atmospheric and traditional tour of the city.
And finally, some tips for you if you plan to take a Venice gondola ride independently:
I hope that when you travel to Venice Italy on your Italian vacation that you thoroughly enjoy this unique and culturally rich city. I am very sure you will. Ciao Italy & Carrani Tours has the pleasure of helping visitors to Italy explore Venice and other sights with our tours in Italy. We would love to help you do the same during your holidays in Italy. Visit us at ciaoitalytours.com for more information.
If you would like more information like these Venice travel tips – like other travel advice for Italy and information about tours in Italy or Italian vacations please do visit us at ciaoitalytours.comWe always say that with us, your Italian tour or Italian vacations will be one you’ll never forget.