"Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola."
- Diana Vreeland
The Gondola is one of the major attractions in Venice, and it is a must in the "visit Venice check-list," but how much do you know about it?
Fact is that the Gondola is more than just a mere boat! It is history. It is art. It is a brilliant engineering piece.
Hand made with 280 different pieces made of 8 different kinds of wood, the Gondola has existed since the 11th century as one of the major means of transportation in Venice for centuries until it was replaced in the modern days with boats with engines.
The Gondola is characterized by its 11 meters long asymmetrical body. The fact that its left side is larger than its right side is the very reason why the boat can be handled by just one Gondoliere, who would row the boat in a standing position, holding a long wooden oar made of wood not fastened to the hull.
It purposively has a flat bottom to suit the unique condition of the Venetian lagoons and has two peculiar ornaments, the big “fero da prova” on the front, whose main function is to balance the weight of the gondoliere, and the smaller “riço” at the back of the boat. Back then it used to be painted in different colors and have a small cabin to protect the passengers from the weather or from onlookers. Now, all gondolas are painted black and the small cabin is no longer available.
Nowadays, there are 260 to 280 such work gondolas, for a total of 430+ gondoliers and 160+ substitutes, all of whom have passed training and a major comprehensive exam which tests knowledge of Venetian history and landmarks, foreign language skills, and practical skills in handling the gondola.
Day time Service “SERVIZIO DI NOLO e CORSA DIURNA”: € 80,00 € for 30 minutes; € 40,00 extra for each additional 20 minutes.
Evening time Service(19.00 to 8.00) “SERVIZIO DI NOLO e CORSA NOTTURNA” :€ 100,00 for 30 minutes and € 50,00 extra for each additional 20 minutes.
▪️ Remember to be clear about the amount of time and thus the price before starting the trip.
▪️ Price intended for 1 Gondola/ max. 6 people.
The Gondola will ride for 30 minutes around the starting point - namely, the place you have taken the boat - so if you would like to see the Gran Canal and some inner canals, you should take it either at Rialto or San Marco Square. Please take in mind that the canal at San Marco Square is usually more wavy and windy.
The gondoliers do not accept pre-bookings. Exceptions are special events such as marriage gondola, proposal events, special arrangements, and the Gondola singer (extra € 130,00 - € 180,00). So when it comes to booking a Gondola, you can simply go to any gondola station and wait for your turn.
Perhaps the easiest solution would be the Gondola Station located just right next to Rialto's waterbus line n. 1 stop as it is approximately 3 minutes away from our apartments.
You may have come across some Gondola booking websites but we do not really recommend those as most of these tours are "shared tours," which means that you will share the Gondola with other strangers. The total price is not that convenient as well as they usually sell the "tickets" at 30 something euros per person (unless you are in 2).