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In My Gondola


Guest Solent Richard

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Guest Solent Richard

There is little doubt as to the popularity of taking a Gondola ride while visiting Venice.

 

Lets face it, its been popular since at least 1926  (turn your sound up)...

 

 

 

The question is though what is the best way to go about getting a Gondola ride. There are plenty of options...

 

From St Marks Square...

 

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From adjacent the Rialto Bridge...

 

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Or from one of the many 'Gondola Stations' adjacent popular hotels...

 

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Or at one of the many bridges off the beaten track...

 

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It's many years since my wife and I took a gondola ride but hopefully this thread will offer some tips, maybe from other members who have participated more recently, as to the best deals available: some which I have researched on the internet.

 

To pre book there is a good website that will even charge in pounds sterling...

 

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As can be seen the 'Classic' ride comes out at £22.00 per person. That is for a 30 minute ride and you can expect to share the gondola with up to 6 passengers.

 

Alternatively, for a mere £49.00 per person the same gondola ride can guarantee just you and your wife or partner with an additional glass of Prosecco.

 

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Or why not even hire a Gondola as part of that 'special' occasion...

 

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Guest Solent Richard

Some Tips then.

 

Bear in mind that if you pre-book you may not have a choice of where your gondola ride will start.

 

And that is particularly important because it will dictate the route you are likely to take.

 

Personally, unless you particularly wanted to take a gondola ride under the 'Bridge of Sighs'...

 

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...I would not recommend starting from St Marks Square.

 

Far better to choose somewhere further in along the Grand Canal than St marks Square.

 

Maybe somewhere close to the Rialto Bridge...

 

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...where there is always a plentiful supply.

 

Or why not wander and test your bargaining skills with those guys sat waiting for business ...

 

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Whichever you choose, it's fun and a really must do in Venice.

 

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One Cornetto anyone?

 

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Hi  I have never taken a Gondola ride, the prices charged are over the top, and I refuse to get ripped off, but I accept that others on the forum may have enjoyed their experience and after all it's their money and they can spend it as they see fit.  However, I was sat next to couple on cruise and they said they had taken a gondola ride but a few days they were complaining about the cost of tips charged by the cruise line, but I am sure that these were not much more than they paid for a 30 minute ride. 

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Best avoid the busy Grand Canal though, where there was a fatality two years ago when a gondola was hit by a water bus.

A good few years ago my husband was in Italy and had meetings in Venice, I got to go with him we stayed the Rialto Bridge hotel, right next the the Rialto Bridge...and our room overlooked the Grand Canal.

I spent quite a few hours on the balcony watching all the "near" accidents with all the boats, water taxis and gondola.

We loved the gondola when we did it.

Looking to do it again next may.

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My first gondola ride was almost 40 years ago as part of a ships tour they packed the gondola with passengers and not a very romantic ride at all. My first trip to Venice with my husband was before our marriage and we bought wedding rings from a jeweler on the Rialto Bridge.The gondola was too pricey for a young couple saving for a wedding. We did hire a private gondola on our next trip to Venice, though we had two sons with us then. Although we have been back to Venice several times since we have not bothered about the Gondola's ,the one romantic trip was enough.

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My first gondola ride was almost 40 years ago as part of a ships tour they packed the gondola with passengers and not a very romantic ride at all. My first trip to Venice with my husband was before our marriage and we bought wedding rings from a jeweler on the Rialto Bridge.The gondola was too pricey for a young couple saving for a wedding. We did hire a private gondola on our next trip to Venice, though we had two sons with us then. Although we have been back to Venice several times since we have not bothered about the Gondola's ,the one romantic trip was enough.

Like you we booked the gondola ride with P&O and had no idea we would be sharing. There were 6 of us on our ride and I too was disappointed. If I were to go again I'd book it myself so that we have a gondola to ourselves.

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I think it was around this time of year in either 2012 or 2013 we had an overnight in Venice as we stayed on board Queen Victoria for the second week of back to back cruises with our 2 very good friends and regular cruise companions. The 4 of us shared the cost of a gondola ride, requesting that we stayed pretty much in the backwaters rather than the busy main stream canals and we saved the extra cost of being serenaded as I did the job myself - much to the astonishment of the gondolier!!

"Che bella cosa na iurnata'e sole.....".

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Guest Solent Richard

I think it was around this time of year in either 2012 or 2013 we had an overnight in Venice as we stayed on board Queen Victoria for the second week of back to back cruises with our 2 very good friends and regular cruise companions. The 4 of us shared the cost of a gondola ride, requesting that we stayed pretty much in the backwaters rather than the busy main stream canals and we saved the extra cost of being serenaded as I did the job myself - much to the astonishment of the gondolier!!

"Che bella cosa na iurnata'e sole.....".

 

A man after my own heart David. Well Done you.

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A good few years ago my husband was in Italy and had meetings in Venice, I got to go with him we stayed the Rialto Bridge hotel, right next the the Rialto Bridge...and our room overlooked the Grand Canal.

I spent quite a few hours on the balcony watching all the "near" accidents with all the boats, water taxis and gondola.

We loved the gondola when we did it.

Looking to do it again next may.

We chose to eat at Caffe Saraceno next to the Rialto Bridge, and suspected at the time that it was going to be a "tourist trap" mistake.

The "black ink squid" remains the worst seafood meal I have ever had.

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We did the gondola ride as part of the excursion package from the ship, as the goldola was full the whole experience was spoiled by the goldolier having to tell the clown sat at the front to sit still as he was going to capsize the thing.

 

The gondola is not a particularly stable boat as it has a flat bottom, so the next time we go to Venice I will happily pay for just the two of us to take a trip.

 

Another tip is that if you approach the motorised water taxis you can get a very good negotiated rate for a private trip round the canals.

 

I approached the ones next to the drop off point just down from St Marks Square, we got him to agree a 1 hour trip for 4 people for just 125 euros.

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Lovely photographs Richard which brought back memories of a surprise visit to Venice a few years ago from my husband for my 60th birthday. Never fancied a gondola ride. Too low for me and I would have great difficulty getting in and out. Instead we took the public water bus all the way round the Grand Canal and also over to Murano. Happy memories.

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Enjoyed this report - beautifully illustrated, with sound advice.   The 'municipale' gondolas tend to leave from St. Mark's Square and seat 6 people.   The ride is interesting, particularly when there is a bit of traffic jam when the gondoliers have the opportunity to show just how good they are, but sharing with 5 other people takes the edge off the experience.   When booking a tour from the ship, St. Mark's tends to be the departure point and the journey is a shared experience.   The fun of bargaining with a 'resting gondolier' & being prepared to pay more for a more relaxed romantic ride, complete with 'comfy cushions'  is worth the trouble.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Enjoyed this report - beautifully illustrated, with sound advice.   The 'municipale' gondolas tend to leave from St. Mark's Square and seat 6 people.   The ride is interesting, particularly when there is a bit of traffic jam when the gondoliers have the opportunity to show just how good they are, but sharing with 5 other people takes the edge off the experience.   When booking a tour from the ship, St. Mark's tends to be the departure point and the journey is a shared experience.   The fun of bargaining with a 'resting gondolier' & being prepared to pay more for a more relaxed romantic ride, complete with 'comfy cushions'  is worth the trouble.

If a gondolier bargains on price he is "breaking the line", because the prices are an organised cartel.
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