Gondolas and Gondola Rides


Gallivanting by gondola in Venice, Italy

There are two important rules to remember about gondola rides in Venice:

1) If the price bothers you, don't do it.

2) If the price doesn't bother you, make sure you understood the gondolier correctly.

Fact is, a gondola ride is like a hansom cab ride in New York City: It can be a delightful experience, but only if you're able to forget the price and focus on the experience.
What a gondola ride costs

gondola passengers photoThe city of Venice sets official rates for gondola rides, which started at Ђ80 for 40 minutes the last time we checked. Additional 20-minute increments are Ђ40. After 7 p.m., the base rate climbs to Ђ100, with Ђ50 for an additional 2 minutes. Up to six people can share a gondola.

This doesn't mean you'll actually pay 80 euros, or that you'll get a 40-minute ride. Depending on demand, gondoliers may regard the official rates as a polite fiction. Special services, such as singing, can boost the fare even more. This means you should negotiate both the rate and the length of the ride before you get into the boat. Otherwise, your gondola ride may be memorable for reasons that have nothing to do with sightseeing.

If you dislike negotiating, you can leave that chore to your hotel concierge, though he (or she) may add a hefty surcharge. A few years ago, a reader told us that he'd paid the Hotel Bauer's concierge Ђ120 for a gondola ride just before Carnevale, but he added that he didn't mind the rate and got great service. Another reader (presumably well-heeled) spent a mind-boggling Ђ150 for a 50-minute ride and thought the expenditure was "well worth it."

squero photoTo be fair to Venice's gondoliers, they invest a great deal in their boats: about Ђ20,000 for a traditional hand-built wooden gondola with a useful life of about 20 years. They need to earn the bulk of their annual income in a few short months. Finally, a goldolier's living costs may be higher than yours, since Venice is an expensive city in one of Italy's wealthiest provinces. Look it at this way: The man who's rowing you up the Grand Canal probably could earn more money for less work at an industrial plant on the mainland.

Spread The Love, Share Our Article

Related Posts

No Response to "Gondolas and Gondola Rides"

Публикуване на коментар