A honeymoon in Venice is incomplete without a romantic gondola ride accompanied with some very good baritone music live performed by the gondolier guiding you through the canals that meander throughout the city. Here’s a hand’s on experience of my gondola ride:-
As soon as you come to the one of the many tiny ports (one out of many in Venice) just a few bridges away from the famous Piazza San Marco, you can rent out gondolas. After being greeted by smiling gondoliers, you and your partner are readily welcomed into the boats. The traditional licensed gondolier always wears a striped black and white shirt, black pants and closed shoes. The rides cost about 40-60 Euros per person plus tips in the back canals, which is expensive but the ride promises to be as romantic as it promises. If you don’t want to pay as much, gondola rides at the Grand Canal are much cheaper through ‘traghettis.’ Though, it may not be as exclusive as you would like it with your partner, as they are a means of transport for others and need to accommodate more people.
No jet-set go out here
A gondola is a long hand-made wooden slightly rocky boat that can usually hold up to 6 people, and was previously used by upper-class Venetians for transport. They are slightly curved to counter the weight of the gondolier standing at the edge of the boat. I climbed into it with my parents, my brother and two of my friends I made during the group tour with SOTC. The place has a great romantic vibe as we set off into the waters slowly, with our gondolier breaking in to song, serenading us on this charismatic boat ride. It almost seems like one of the pre requisites of a gondolier happens to be a talent for singing! The more you tip them of course, the singing gets better. A song favourite happens to be ‘O Sole Mio.’ The gondolier also pointed out a few spots here and there, like the Church of Santa Maria Formosa and the popular Bridge of Sighs, along with innumerable convents, and private houses that look stuck in time. As the boat moves slowly you will be too astounded by the sights around you to notice!
Famous for its canals, Venice is connected by more than 400 bridges and an astounding number of waterways. The presence of so many waterways makes it one of the least polluted cities in Europe! Canals here serve the function of roads, and it is a relief for a brief period of time to realize that you will be breathing in a pollution free environment.
As we passed by the over bridge, local Venetians and tourists crossing by on top, waved at us as we waved back. The experience by boat, besides being romantic is also a visual treat, especially during the summer when flowers are in bloom. The gondolier is at ease with steering with only one oar, despite water traffic. The buildings that surround you have an old charm to them, as they seem to be immersed in water! It almost seems unreal as you pass by them; it feels like they are floating! Our gondolier informs us that some people still inhabit the top floors of buildings. It feels like you are sent back to another time. The lapping of the waters against the oars promises to be an almost soothing experience.
Occasionally though, we were surrounded by sewage like smells which would be a right turn off for some couples during our gondola rides.
Nevertheless, the gondola ride in Venice should definitely be on your to-do list if you’re on a honeymoon or are just plain…a hopeless romantic!