Is a gondola ride in Venice worth it? Here are the pros and cons

Bellisima Venice! which means beauty will be an understatement for this floating city that retains its glory through Venetian Gothic architecture, winding canals and beautiful bridges, carnival celebrations, quirky alleyways with their ancient charm and charismatic gondolas creating unmistakable dreamy and romantic vibes. The city can leave you overwhelmed with endless possibilities and unparalleled vibes, but the most striking image of Venice is often associated with gondolas.

To begin with, what is a gondola?

Often the picturesque Venice is depicted through gondolas wading through the Grand Canal and the smaller waterways of Venice. This symbolic icon of Venice is nothing but a traditional Venetian wooden rowing boat with a high bow and stern used on the canals of Venice. They are 11 meters long and weigh 600 kg and above all they are made by hand in special workshops called “Squeri”. Made from 280 handmade pieces with eight different types of wood, their asymmetry, the fórcola (padlock) and the fèrro (ornament at the front of the gondola) make it quite unique and enchanting. Representing craftsmanship, culture, traditions, excellence, gondolas have become the epitome of Venice.

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History of Gondolas

As we all know, the magical city of Venice is located on a series of islands by the Adriatic Sea. Waterways have been the most important mode of transportation. Gondolas have marked their importance since antiquity, followed by vaporetti (water buses). Traces of Gondola can be found in Italian paintings by Carpaccio and Bellini from 1490. The ornamentation of Gondola seen today dates back to the Baroque period. At the end of 1800, the element of asymmetry was brought to the design of the gondola.

Who builds the gondola and how is it built?

The remer of Venice is the craftsman who creates the moving parts of a Venetian rowing boat. The oars need to be made in different sizes and require a lot of craftsmanship to combine with the oar. The squero of Venice is a gondola shipyard.

How much does a gondola ride cost?

The prices for the cable cars are 80 euros for a day trip and 100 euros for trips after 7 p.m. The trip usually takes about 40 minutes. If you wish to exceed, 40 euros are charged in addition for 20 additional minutes and 50 euros if the time exceeds 7 p.m. The capacity of a gondola is 6 people maximum.

The benefits of booking a ride before sunset makes it cost effective while booking it after gives a mesmerizing view with all the lights twinkling.

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What does a gondola ride look like?

While Venice stands on logs and floats above water, gondolas have been a means of transportation and are now gaining in importance as a tourist attraction. Similar to a luxury car, gondolas have officially gone black in color though now are more richly decorated and fancy in nature. The person who rides it is called a gondolier and wears black pants, a striped t-shirt, closed-toe shoes, and sometimes a straw hat. They row the boat through the canals of Venice and sometimes sing too but it’s not always expected. This image of singing gondoliers has often been depicted in movies, although it may require tourists to shell out extra money. They mainly speak English, French or German.

The gondolas cross many canals and bridges and bring people closer to the ancient buildings and heritage of Venice. The particularity of Venice is that it is built by man and that the whole city rests on wooden logs floating on the water. Since the logs are made of alder wood which is water and rot resistant, the logs have become much stronger instead.

Where to find a gondola ride?

Instead of taking a ride on the crowded Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square, it is advisable to take a ride on the quiet canals. In addition, San Polo, Campo San Barnaba and the Jewish ghettos are also crowded. The place where the gondolas start their turn is called stazi.

A map and information about the Venice neighborhood can be used to explore the neighborhood. The gondolas offer a unique perspective on exploring the city in a different way.

The pros of the gondola ride are having a closer and unparalleled view of the city, while the cons are that the ride can be very expensive due to the crowded sights and overall. Nevertheless, one can still share the expenses with other people, but at the cost of their privacy.

How to find a cheaper gondola ride in Venice?

One can try the traghetto gondola service, a gondola ferry service used to travel from one side of the canal to the other. It costs around 2.5 euros only and can be found in the following places: Dogana, Santa Maria Del Giglio, San Tomà, Riva Del Vin, Riva Del Carbon and Santa Sofia. The advantages of this service are that it is economical, although the disadvantages are that it cannot be matched with the experience of a normal gondola ride.

So, is a gondola ride really worth it?

Well, Venice is the only place in the world to experience the enchanting view of the city with a gondola ride. However, you have to book a trip in the morning when there are not many people on the canals or in the evening if the budget factor is not taken into account. This is one of the bucket list experiences where one can marvel at the charm of the ancient city mixed with romance and escape to Lalaland for a while.

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