Venice is known for many things, but one of the most impressive is the gondola that floats peacefully down the canals throughout the city. For many of us, a ride in a gondola is an essential part of traveling to Venice – walk in the squares, take a romantic gondola ride, eat delicious food, etc. But unfortunately, the gondola ride you have pictured in your head rarely matches the one you’re likely to experience.
The Romantic Gondola Ride
When you picture the gondola ride, you see yourself snuggled up with your sweetie floating between ancient buildings impressed by the age and architecture. The romance of the trip is in the quiet, the fog, the beautiful experience. The only thing you don’t consider in your vision of the romance is the sheer number of people who will be staring at you while you float along. There are, of course, a few solutions to this particular problem. You can wear a big hat so that you have the illusion of privacy. You can drink a glass of wine or three so that you don’t mind the loss of privacy or you can just deal with the intrusion as best you can.
The Gondola Tour
Of course, the other reason to consider a gondola tour is simply because you can’t see Venice as well in any other way. If this your primary reason for riding the gondola, you don’t need privacy the way you would for romance. Since the gondolas are prohibitively expensive as well, you might as well bring your entire group on board. A gondola will hold up to six people or so, and when you split the cost of the ride and tour six ways, the cost per person is much more reasonable. Enjoy your tour with your friends, and the onlookers on the bridges of the city are barely a problem at all.
Tour the Grand Canal
If you’d just rather not deal with gawkers at all, you can hop on a gondola or traghetti and cross the Grand Canal. The ride is shorter than the one through the city’s canals, but on the open water of the Grand Canal, there are only a few bridges where tourists tend to congregate that run parallel to the gondola’s pathway, so you’re in the clear as far as other tourists are concerned. Of course, this ride may not be romantic either as there are likely to be additional riders on the boat as well.