a person sitting on a boat in the water
a person sitting on a boat in the water

Gondola Ride

If there’s one thing you do in Venice, make it a gondola ride. There’s no better way to see Venice than by boat, as you cruise through impossibly narrow waterways and underneath time-worn bridges. Each petite boat is captained by a gondolier – a skilled guide often bedecked in the iconic striped shirt and straw hat costume. Each gondolier in Venice has to pass strict exams in history, languages and boat craft before they are awarded status as a gondolier, thus ensuring a smooth ride for all passengers.

For the romantically inclined, special gondoliers can even sing to you as they transport you gracefully through the city’s most atmospheric waterways – we doubt there’s an experience as romantic as this to be found anywhere else in Italy.

Whilst these charming craft were once the sole form of transport in Venice, they are today used just for small crossings and fixed-price journeys, offering an elegant alternative to the city’s more affordable water bus fleet. Be sure to book in advance if possible and share with others if you can, as gondola rides are often very popular and are priced accordingly.

Recommended on these multi centres

Venice, Lake Garda and Lake Como
Combine enchanting gondola rides in Venice with colourful Lake Garda markets, and elegant villas and gardens in Lake Como.
Florence and Venice
Book our Florence and Venice multi centre holiday and enjoy eight days of unforgettable sightseeing and lavish food in two of Italy’s greatest cities. Start your holiday in Florence, here you will see glorious Renaissance architecture, such as the Duomo of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore designed by Brunelleschi, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, one of the oldest churches in the city.
Venice, Verona and Lake Garda
This romantic eight night break takes you to some of the most enchanting locations in north eastern Italy, from the famous canals and palaces of Venice to the breath taking natural beauty of Lake Garda, with a visit to the historic city of Verona – the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – in between.
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