By Mimi Rippy
Drift beneath bridges, alongside cafes, under balconies and through the vibrant Venetian streetscape as your singing gondolier sweeps you down the Grand Canal for a gondola ride like no other.
The magic of Venice will come alive as you float by gondola down the shimmering Grand Canal and make your way into narrow canals spanned by tiny bridges that make up a labyrinth of land and water. Gondolas have existed in Venice for centuries. At first, gondolas were used for transporting goods through the narrow canals of Venice, today gondolas are primarily used for tourism and ceremonial functions. Taking a gondola ride in Venice reveals a totally different view of the city than exploring it by walking. The best time for a gondola ride in Venice is later in the day when the canals are no longer crowded with other boats.
A gondola ride down the Venice's Grand Canal is believed to be one of the most romantic experiences in the world. Two people can fit comfortably in the seat at the back and enjoy the sights along the Grand Canal.
Having a gondolier propel your gondola down the Venetian canals while humming beautiful Italian songs is and unforgettable experience. On your romantic gondola trip you will pass stunning buildings, historic churches and cozy cafes that Venice is known for. A relaxing Venice gondola ride the beauty that makes Venice a city everyone must experience.
Unfortunately, the gondoliers often attempt to run a variety of scams. Keep in mind that a gondola should be painted black and that the gondolier should have been born in Venice to have learned the techniques and trades of this profession.
You must still decide to go through with a romantic gondola ride, despite the scams. Head on over to the Tronchetto, or the Piazzale Roma to the Ponte di Rialto and the Doge's Palace. At any one of these places, you will usually find gondoliers that offer that unique Venetian experience.
The cost of a gondola ride in Venice varies. You can expect to pay at least �70. However, these so-called official rates are not usually followed, so you may end up spending up to �100. This doesn't even guarantee you the promised 50-minute gondola ride. Price increases may also occur if you ask the gondolier to perform a song. This occurs because gondoliers invest greatly in their gondolas. It costs about �20,000 for a hand-built wooden gondola that can last up to 20 years. Aside from having to recoup their investment, their standard of living is also relatively higher, as living in Venice can be quite expensive.
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