A must-have in every tourist’s agenda
A myth that never wanes. The gondola and the gondolier are among the most famous and beloved icons of the world. Black and slender, with its unmistakable elegant lines, its precious fabrics, the fero on its bow and its oar-forks, this boat is the symbol of Venice and its waters. A gondola tour is therefore one of the most romantic experiences you could wish for, rocked by the lapping of the waves, the slow drift of the waters in the canals, the words of the gondolier as he illustrates intriguing facts and fragments of the history of the Serenissima.
Seen from the water Venice will look very different: from the canals you will understand how important it once was to travel by boat, you will be able to admire the main façades of the palaces, sail under the bridges and discover corners of the city you probably would not be able to see otherwise.
Today there are two main reasons for taking a gondola: there is the “gondola da parada“, a sort of ferry boat that Venetians use mainly to cross the Grand Canal, and the gondola “da nolo”, for hire, that offers the classic gondola tour.
The cost of hiring a gondola by day for a 40-minute tour is 80 €; after 7 pm, the price increases to 100 €. For every additional 20 minutes, the rate increases by 40 € during daytime hours, and by 50 € during nighttime hours. In any case, the price list is generally on display outside the hiring stations (the stazi). Each gondola can carry up to six people.
- serenata in gondola, generally performed by two musicians: one plays the accordion and the other sings songs from the Venetian tradition, and some famous Neapolitan or Italian melodies.
- brindisi, a toast, usually requested by couples or newlyweds to make the atmosphere even more magical, to the sound of clinking goblets and bubbly wine.
The Stazi are the “hiring stations” where the gondoliers wait with the gondolas that are ready for the tour; they are located in many areas around the city, including the San Marco’s Molo, the Danieli, the Bauer, the Bacino Orseolo, the Ferrovia (the train station).
The gondoliers may easily be recognized by their attire, which is regulated by the City of Venice and requires: during the winter season, long dark blue or black trousers and a dark blue or black marinara, the sailor’s shirt (a soft black cap and a black or dark blue jacket are also allowed); during the summer season, long dark trousers, a white duck shirt with a sailor’s collar or a shirt with horizontal red or blue stripes. Finally, for protection against the sun, the gondolier wears the famous straw hat with the ribbon that matches the colour of his shirt. They will reveal to you the secrets of Venice, the palaces and the personalities who lived here and made this city famous.
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The gondola da parada In addition, or alternatively, to the classic gondola ride, a real experience to do is to get on a “gondola da parada" , ie the ferry…