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.