Long, sleek, and slightly crooked, Gondolas are elegant Venetian boats manoeuvring the waterways of Venice.
These flat-bottomed, wooden boats are 11 meters long and are especially master-crafted in distinctive workshops called squeri!
What’s more; rowed by the professional gondoliers, they are not just the primary means of transportation in Venice from the 12th century but also the symbol of history, tradition, and romance in the city. While a gondola ride in Venice is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind experiences for travellers, here are a few things you must know before you decide to take the plunge.
What to expect on a Gondola Ride
Gondolas not only allow you to explore the beauty of Venice from a completely different perspective but also let you appreciate how the ‘floating city’ functions so well without streets. Most of the travellers prefer taking the Gondola ride on the serene, less-crowded back canals as there wouldn’t be bumper-to-bumper Gondolas, and you can relish the beautiful sights at your own pace.
Some good places to find Gondolas away from the hustle and bustle of the St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal are Campo San Barnaba, San Polo and the Jewish Ghetto. What’s more; just like choosing a luxury car, you can choose from many ornately decorated Gondolas enriched with the goodness of comfy, cushioned seats and stroll around the city in the Gondola that best suits your fancy.
Becoming a Gondolier
If you enjoy your journey through the canals of Venice enough to consider starting a new life as a Gondolier, the career path is not as simple as buying a gondola and learning to serenade. Aspiring gondoliers must attend the Gondola School where they are required to study a foreign language as well as the history of Venice and Venetian art. After passing the exam, new gondoliers are required to participate in an internship of six to twelve months.