- Venice's palaces and ancient buildings: Venice has remained largely unchanged over the centuries, so the views of stone buildings rising from the water are likely the same as they were in the days of Casanova, Titian, and Marco Polo.
- A beautiful serenade: Strike a romantic note with a serenade in Italian aboard a hand-painted, six-person Venetian gondola.
About this Venice tour
If you want to know what it felt like to live in 17th-century Venice, then this tour is for you. Back then, there were as many as 10,000 gondolas crowding the waterways of this floating city, serving as the primary transport for people, materials, food, and wine. They're still used today – as traghetti (ferries) for quick hops across the Grand Canal, or to race in regattas held between gondoliers. But there are now just over 400 in service, and to ride in one is a very special thing, indeed.
To be a gondolier, one must train, apprentice, and pass a pretty rigorous test on the history and geography of Venice, handling the gondola, and even foreign language skills. The guild overseeing Venetian gondoliers only issues a very limited number of licenses – so your gondolier isn't just some hack off the street.
You'll notice this as you're gently propelled down the canals, gazing at majestic palazzos and ancient bridges, and listening to the singer and accordionist serenade you. And then it will dawn on you: you're in Venice, on a gondola, being serenaded. There's something you can cross off your bucket list.
A palace to die for
The Ca'Dario may be one of the most beautiful palazzos to line the Grand Canal, but it may be cursed. The daughter of its original owner committed suicide, followed by the murder of his son. Others suffered financial ruin, significant illness, or death. Kit Lambert, former manager of the rock band The Who, died soon after buying it. And John Entwhistle, The Who's bassist, died of a heart attack a week after renting the palace in 2002.
Please make your own way to the Santa Maria del Giglio Gondola Station, besides Gritti Palace Hotel, where our representatives await.
This tour cannot operate in rainy weather, strong wind, or excessive high/low tide. The gondolier captaining the boat may cancel the trip for safety reasons with little or no notice. Gondolas carry 4-6 passengers and all seats are generally filled (4 seats if musicians are on board). Only two people can sit side by side. No narration or guiding is offered and the musician complement can change.
A minimal amount of activity is involved. Travelers must be agile and be able be to get on and off the gondola with minimal assistance, or with the aid of an accompanying companion. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Scenic, Adventure, Family Friendly, Boat Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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