What is a Gondola ride?

What is the History of the Gondola Ride? What does a Gondola look like? Were Gondolas a Sign of Wealth?
What is a Gondola ride

You may have read the play, the Merchant of Venice which popularized Venice across the globe. Tourists, especially the artists, began visiting after reading the play. Among other things, the city offers the Gondola ride. What is a Gondola ride? You must be wondering about it. It is one of the oldest means of transportation for Venetians to go from one city to another. Let us learn more about the Gondola ride and what does a Gondola look like.

1. What is a Gondola Ride and its History?

The story of the Gondola can be traced back to the 16th century when several boats were gliding along the canals for people to travel. Some of these boats were Batelas, Carolinas, Galleys, and Gondolas. Gondolas, in particular, have been a means of transport ever since then and have become the pride of Venice. Over the years, many variations took place and changed the way a traditional Gondola looks today. It has been painted by famous Venice artist Canaletto and a few other painters. A typical Gondola usually has two rowers. (Also read What is Marathon Distance?)

2. What does a Gondola Look like?

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Do you exactly know, what is a Gondola ride? Well, a Gondola is a long and narrow boat found exclusively in Venice. As far as its appearance is concerned, it has a flat bottom which gradually curves upwards at both ends. The person controlling the Gondola stands at one end of the boat and steers both his and the other end with the help of a long pole. (Also read What is a Steamboat?)

3. Are Gondolas a Sign of Wealth?

Gondolas have been a luxury and were mostly afforded by the wealthy and people make them more luxurious and colorful by adding valuable minerals and different expensive ornaments. It was true till 1562, after which the Senate passed a law requiring all gondolas to be black much to the disappointment of the elites. They were produced in specialized workshops known as Squeri. These were run by skilled artisans who used eight types of woods on the components like oak for structural support, larch and fir for components that touched the water, and so on. 

Even during the 17th and 18th centuries, approximately 8,000 to 10,000 gondolas were claimed to have existed. Today, there are just below 400 in service, practically all of which are operated to transport tourists on canal trips. They’re also used in gondolier regattas which are rowing competitions. After finding out what is a Gondola ride, let us look at their fair. Must read the 7 facts about dog sled teams.

4. How Much does a Gondola Ride Costs?

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Gondola fares have remained fixed and are not subject to change. They are around 80 Euros (3357.60 INR) for a day ride and 100 Euros (8394 INR) for rides past 7 p.m. The rides are 40 minutes long. To increase the time, you’ll have to pay 40 Euros extra after every 20 minutes and 50 Euros after 7 p.m. (See Why do rich people like to play golf?)

They can hold up to six people. The number of people can influence the fee. So, whether you’re traveling alone or with someone, you may see other travelers enjoying the journey with you which may not be ideal but will save you money. Do you know what are the symbols of travelling?

5. What can you Expect on a Gondola Ride?

  • The majority of gondoliers speak fluent English and even some German or French.
  • They dress in black slacks, a striped shirt, and dark buttoned shoes. They usually wear a band straw hat, but it is not mandatory. 
  • Gondoliers in popular regions may try to cut your trip short without rowing the full 40 minutes if they see many visitors waiting to hand them their money. It is a good idea to take a gondola in a place that is not crowded.
  • They do not have canopies or shade umbrellas, so you will be traveling under the hot scorching sun during summers. While it is expensive, a gondola trip during sunset or at night is breathtakingly romantic and gorgeous. On the other hand, early mornings are ideal for viewing because of the cold temperatures and soft light. (Also read 10 Romantic Valentine’s Day proposals)

6. Which Gondola Ride is Famous?

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As you know the answer to what is a Gondola ride and the adventure behind it, you must understand that enjoying a gondola ride can be very peaceful. The bustling Grand Canal is often recommended for a Gondola ride. Sailing on canals in the outskirts of major tourist areas will give you a new perspective of Venice while avoiding the crowd. The San Polo and Campo San Barnaba neighborhoods along with the Jewish Ghetto are excellent places to enjoy your ride away from the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square. So select a gondola station in the region you wish to explore. If you want to visit the back canals, look for a gondolier near the main street especially away from San Marco. (See How Do Roller Coasters Work?)

We hope you enjoy this information about gondolas and understood what is a Gondola ride. Plan your next trip to Venice and enjoy the bliss of nature. (Also read How Does Hovercraft Work?)

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