Monthly Archives: December 2011
Perhaps one of the major attractions of Venice, without which a visit to the city would be incomplete, is the gondola ride. This traditional, flat-bottomed rowing boat has been the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice for a long time. Now-a-days, with more advanced means of transport, the primary role of these gondolas has shifted to carrying tourists for a ride at fixed prices. However, a word of advice for all tourists here would be to forget about the price of the gondola ride (they are certainly not pocket friendly) and concentrate on the ride itself.
The city of Venice sets official rates for gondola rides, which started at €80 for 40 minutes the last time we checked. Additional 20-minute increments are €40. After 7 p.m., the base rate climbs to €100, with €50 for an additional 2 minutes. Up to six people can share a gondola. However, we need to mention here that the gondoliers often play with these prices according to the demand of the season. They could even offer special services such as a singer for extra charges. It is advisable that the tourists negotiate the price and the time schedule of the ride clearly before setting on to one. Hotels also offer services for the arrangement of a gondola ride, but it comes with a hefty charge.
Well, the prices charged by these gondoliers are not totally unfair as they have to invest a good sum in their boats. A traditional hand-built wooden gondola can cost upto €20,000 and runs fairly well for about 20 years. Moreover, Venice being a costly city, the gondolier’s cost of living is also very high.