Venetian Gondolas and gondoliers

Venetian Gondolas and gondoliers

For most tourists a visit to Venice is incomplete without a ride in one of the gondolas. Find out the prices and on what to pay attention in case you decide to enjoy a ride in one of these gorgeous boats.

Venetian gondolas are maybe the most well-known symbol of the city. The charm of the intricately designed gondolas and gondoliers in their traditional costumes make it impossible to resist a ride.
Gondolas are typical Venetian boats that were designed for the specific conditions in the lagoon. These boats were used in Venice for centuriesas one of the main means of transportation.

Interesting facts

  • Gondolas were used for centuries to transport people in the Venetian Lagoon. These boats were painted in many different colors and only in recent history, the local authorities decided that they should all be painted black.
  • Traditionally, a large number of Venetian gondolas was fitted with small cabins that protected passengers from weather conditions and curious eyes of passers-by. Today, no example of this kind of gondolas has survived, probably because the times changed and almost all passengers are now tourists who prefer to enjoy the view from the gondolas.
  • Some scholars estimate that during 17th and 18th century there were around 10,000 gondolas in Venice. Today, that number fell to no more than 400, which are all used for transporting tourists.
  • Originally, gondolas were of different shapes that evolved over time. The modern banana-shaped gondola was developed in 19th century, while in 20th century any modifications on gondolas were prohibited by the local authorities.
  • Gondolas are made by hand by using 8 different types of wood (walnut, cherry, oak, fir, mahogany, lime etc.) and composed of around 300 pieces.

Prices of Venetian Gondolas
During the day, a 30 minutes ride costs 80 Euros.
During the night, a 30 minutes ride costs 100 Euros.

Five people can fit a gondola, therefore, tourists try to share the cost of the ride by finding an additional couple etc.
In case visitors search for a more pleasant ride a two member orchestra can be hired to accompany the ride. This is an extra feature for which visitors will be charged separately!

(!) The prices of gondola rides are fixed and regulated by the city authorities. Some tourists complained that a ride in a Venetian gondola lasts around 20 minutes and that gondoliers offered to prolong the ride for 10 minutes for additional 20 Euros.
(!) It is really hard to find an experienced gondolier that will take you on the ride through small canals that hide the real charm of Venice. Usually, the ride will follow the same routs and pass through the Grand Canal, which makes the ride more turbulent and less enjoyable.

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