Venetian gondolier punting gondola through green canal waters of Venice, Italy
Venetian gondolier punting gondola through green canal waters of Venice, Italy

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

11 day suggested trip

Venice, Lake Garda and Lake Como

From £2035 per person
ATOL Protected
  • Admire the Venetian villas on the shores of Lake Como
  • Savour wines in the rustic vineyards surrounding Lake Garda
  • Visit to the largest island of the archipelago – Venice Lido

8 day suggested trip

Florence and Venice

From £1449 per person
ATOL Protected
  • Take panoramic photographs of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Walk over Florence’s oldest bridge, the Ponte Vecchio
  • Marvel at Michelangelos David in the Galleria dell Accademia
  • Visit Venices Doges Palace and its smaller museums

9 day suggested trip

Venice, Verona and Lake Garda

From £1699 per person
ATOL Protected
  • Enjoy live classical music whilst sipping on a coffee in St. Mark’s Square
  • Dine on traditional Italian cuisine against a breathtaking backdrop
  • Visit Scaligeri Castle, one of four castles built by the Lords of Verona
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