I have read about the recent floods in Venice, and it reminded me of the time when I was there last April.
Even though it was quite cold, being early spring, the weather was nice so I walked around for hours. I saw so many of these gondolas on the Grand Canal, and since I couldn’t get a ride in one, I had to content myself with taking pictures after pictures of them and their gondoliers.
The wooden gondola is a quintessential Venetian image, and were I more well-heeled, I would definitely take a ride in one. As a backpacker on a really tight budget, though, I couldn’t imagine forking out €80 or so for a 40-minute ride.
(Incidentally, do you think being a gondolier is easy? To be one, you need to undergo a lot of training. You must pass a comprehensive exam to prove your knowledge on Venetian history and landmarks, as well as pass a foreign language test. You must also pass a practical exam before you can be given a license! Whew!)
I have heard so much about the beauty of the Grand Canal that instead of going broke on the gondola, I took the much-less expensive option: a public water bus (vaporetto) that goes from the Santa Lucia railway station (where all visitors arrive) all the way to Piazza San Marco. The one-way trip (I walked back to Santa Lucia) took around 25 minutes and cost only €6.50.
If you’re planning to stay longer than a day in Venice, though, better get a day pass or the 3-day travel pass. It will be very much worth it. However, the best way of seeing Venice is still on foot.
If I could have gotten cheap flights to Italy from Belgium, I would have come back to stay longer, especially to participate or even just observe the carnival in Venice. Spending just one day in the City of Water is definitely not enough!
Have you ever taken a ride in the Venetian gondola? If given the chance to go there, would you?
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venice is so fascinating . thanks
@ Ken: Yeah, it would be very costly for solo travelers, which is why I didn’t take it.
@ Tom: I didn’t know that!!! I would have grabbed at the chance, even for just a short ride. I’ll take you up on your offer. Someday. 🙂
@ Jacob Smeth: Yeah, Venice is wonderful!
@ Desiree: You and your BF would love it there!
Hi Ms. Aleah
It’s one of our priority lists in the near future. Thanks for sharing!
Photos which you have shown in your blog are really awesome. I really like all the different locations which you have shoot especially that 1st one is superb. I had visited many places but after seeing your photographs I would be happy to visit Grand Canal in future.
Nice post and great photos, Aleah!
A touristic gondola ride is expensive (80 euro) but there is also a cheaper option: in three points of the Grand Canal there are some gondolas that shuttle up and down from the two shores, it costs just 2 euro for each passenger.
Next time you come to Venice, I will be glad to show you around!
Nice photo, I will ride gondola if given free or share with someone. If just 1 couple, it bit costly for me.
@ Bianca: Safe travels!
@ Salika Jay: Maybe. I can do that if I were with someone I love hehe
@ Pauline: Too bad you didn’t get to visit Venice. It’s a really lovely city!
I was in Italy recently but didn’t have time to go to Venice. Sayang! From your photos, Venice really looks like a dream.:)
Venice is one of the places I really loved seeing. It’s so beautiful and romantic. I was lucky enough to take a Gondola ride. It’s a must-do if you visit Venice. Maybe you can do that next time 🙂
Thanks Aleah!!! I’ll be coming from Rome too! And I am soo sure I will get lost! I got lost in Istanbul twice, one when my bladder was about to burst and one during the night when I was looking for my hotel!!! hahaha It was both fun! More power to your blog!
@ Bianca: Congrats on your solo travel to Istanbul! That remains in my bucket list 🙂 Re Venice, arriving there depends on where you will be coming from. I arrived in Rome, Italy then took the trains north. Generally, trains are less expensive. You can see a lot of the countryside too, so it’s a huge plus. When you arrive in Venice (at the Santa Lucia terminal), go out (you will immediately see the Grand Canal) and down on your left. You will see the water buses there going to Piazza San Marco. Take that and then walk your way back to Santa Lucia. You may get lost (I did!) but that’s the fun in going to Venice! If you have more time than I have, go to the islands as well. Murano comes highly recommended.
Hi! I’m one of your avid readers. I had my first solo trip last month when I went to Istanbul alone. It was amazing!!! Now, I’m planning Italy and I saw on your blog that you went to Venice….Can you give me tips on how to navigate the area? Is train cheaper than plane. I’m travelling on a budget so i’m looking at all alternatives. Thank you and more power to your blog. You are such an inspiration
@ Hoobert: If libre, I’ll take the ride too! haha
@ Kalpana Sharma: Thank you. Once I have some free time, I’ll send you an email 🙂
Wow Nice photographs!!! A fantastic blog you have here. Thanks for all the great info I have found on here.
I would admire you to write some posts for our blog as a guest blogger. For the guest blogging u can mail me: Kalpana.sharma297(at)gmail(dot)com
I’ve never been out of the country so the (obvious) answer is no. But if I’ll be given the chance, yes I will. Why not? Basta ba libre. Wtf. I heard from another travel blogger na mahal nga din talaga ng fee sa gondolas. 🙁
@ Joan: It only means one thing: save up for it! haha
@ Wenie Langacre: The only souvenir I have of Venice are pictures haha And the memories of course!
I’ve never been to Venice but one of my favorite bags I have at home is a souvenir bag from Venice which my cousin gave to me last year!
Venice! One of my ultimate dreams. 80 Euro for a ride on a Gondolier?!? What the!!! Ang mahaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!! Sa pamasahe pa lang nun, pulubi na ko agad. Hahaha
@ Riz: It would be nicer to do that gondola tour with a special someone. It’s meant to be shared 🙂
@ Shalu Sharma: They are unfortunately luxurious haha
These gondolas are amazing way to see Venice. I have never been on them before but they look luxurious.Given a chance, I would certainly go there.
A ride on a venetian gondola is such a dream! if given a chance i would say YES. Those photos are really inviting, would love to be one of the passengers someday.
@ Sky: Does that mean you’re really planning to go na? There’s a definite date? Congrats!!
@ Synz: It was on my bucket list too. However, I still want to go back.
Nice! Hmmm.. this should be on my bucket list. ^_^
Riding a Gondola is one on our list, so we had to save that 80 euros for that romantic canal trip. 🙂 This will happen on not so distant future. ^_^
@ Gelo: Who knows, you’ll get sponsored to go to Europe! May annual contest ang KLM for photographers. Go for it next year 🙂
@ Lifeisacelebration: I only had a day in Venice, Tita Lili. I would have wanted to go to the other islands too. It’s something I can do next time when I can stay longer. 🙂
Oh, Venice! So romantic that place. One gondola ride for me years back and that’s good enough for me. Instead, I’d take the €10 ferry to the nearby, less crowded islands like Murano, Burano, Torcello, Jesolo di Lido. Oh now, I want to head back!
needless to explain that my family’s needs are my priority
but give me a fortune and i’ll bring them and my feet to venice anytime! those gondolas are a dream!