At the end of January I was in Venice for a few days as part of a European tour that I and hubby booked. I have always been put off by going to Venice as many people have said it’s far too expensive but as we didn’t have to pay any extra to visit we were more than happy to explore this city.
Of course there is no way you can go to Venice without taking a ride in a Gondola and we were advised prior to going that the price was around €60 per Gondola. When we got there the price had doubled to a ridiculous €120 for a Gondola ride but luckily our tour guide managed to find someone else who was willing to do it for the more reasonable price of €60. It’s still a little pricey but thought we might as well do it otherwise we’ll regret it.
The Gondola experience in Venice
We were advised that it was best to go early so we did; we (our tour group of over 40 people) were the first ones there. We decided to share a Gondola with 4 other people and split the cost so we only paid €10 per person, if we wanted the Gondola for ourselves then it would be the full price of €60. The ride is supposed to be for 45 minutes and it takes you round the canals where you can see the old buildings etc. All the Gondolas are very luxurious with upholstered seating and classic fabrics, I read that Gondoliers wore traditional clothing like the straw hat and clothes but I didn’t see many who wore this attire.
I found the experience to be terrible, we paid for the Gondola and got a 15 minute ride! It was hardly worth it, the Gondolier also didn’t talk to us or smile so needless to say he didn’t get a tip! You can see much of Venice on foot so there is no need for a Gondola, if you don’t mind the money then do it but don’t be surprised if you end up coughing up a ridiculous amount of money for a short ‘boat’ ride.
In a way I’m glad I did it but I do feel sad for the 15 minutes we queued up for a 15 minute ride that cost €60 I have heard other people being charged €80 plus. I am not put off going to Venice again but I will surely never go on a Gondola ride, Gondoliers like to rip off tourists like their made out of money. For some people it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a country as beautiful as Italy, some tourists will never get the chance to visit again.