Gondolas are a classic symbol of Venice. An elegant black boat managed with a single oar by one man (or a woman – although it is said that it is just one woman licensed in Venice). A romantic tour of 45 min costs 40 euros per person. The price is fixed and determined by the city. If you want to try a shorter trip you can also cross the canal from one side to another for only 2 euros. The tickets for the longer tour can be bought online or on the spot directly from the gondolier. During low season (from November to March) it´s possible to have a serenade included in the tour. A musician plays the accordion and a singer performs great Italian successes like “O Sole Mio”.
Although the locals only uses the gondolas in case of wedding or funeral, it is an unwritten rule that every tourist should take a tour. And that is what is keeping the gondola industry alive. It´s a rigid process to become a gondolier – there are less than 500 of them, and the tradition is inherited from father to son. The first step to be a gondolier is to own a gondola, which is very expensive, and the training to become gondolier takes at least two years. The few gondola makers remaining construct no more than half a dozen gondolas per year since they also work on the maintenance on existing boats.
So if you want to experience a romantic gondola tour on the beautiful canals of Venice, go now before it´s too late!